362
362
Cheong Soo Pieng
SARAWAK LIFE
Estimate
450,000680,000
LOT SOLD. 625,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
362
Cheong Soo Pieng
SARAWAK LIFE
Estimate
450,000680,000
LOT SOLD. 625,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art

|
Hong Kong

Cheong Soo Pieng
1917-1983
SARAWAK LIFE
Signed and stamped with a seal of the artist
Oil on jute
100.5 by 79.5 cm; 39 1/2  by 31 1/4  in. 
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Provenance

Private Collection, Singapore

Catalogue Note

Sarawak Life is a seminal work by Cheong Soo Pieng, a Singaporean artist widely celebrated for his expansive representations of the rich cultures and lush landscapes of Southeast Asia. Nothing short of intricate, this present lot is an exquisite portrayal of the daily lives of the Sarawak locale, as Soo Pieng depicts the charming interactions between his subjects, situated amongst the verdant backdrop of the tropics. The villagers have descended from the kampong via a narrow, steep pathway down to the river stream – it’s rippling waters painted in rhythmic strokes.

Executed on jute, the rough nature of the material’s surface lends interest and texture to Soo Pieng’s ink painting. Maintaining his fascination with unconventional, everyday materials, the artist elevates what many might deem a humble medium into a vehicle for innovation.  As seen in his earlier metal relief works, Soo Pieng uncovers his tireless experimentation in Sarawak Life. While the scrap metal works in his 1970s series hinted towards the industrialization of Singapore, the aesthetic effect produced by ink application to the jute fibers is apt for the bucolic subject matter in the present piece.

With an unparalleled affinity for detail, Soo Pieng carves out every detail of the landscape with subtle nuances in tones as well as fluid, controlled lines, which captures perfectly the true spirit of the local scenes, subjects and life of Sarawak. Despite adhering to a palette of muted, earthly brown tones, Soo Pieng manages to illuminate the canvas with a dream-like quality, as his attentive brushstrokes dot the canvas with textural undulations, which create light and depth within the foliage of the trees and the surfaces of the mountains. Soo Pieng’s masterful assemblage of colour and shapes breathes life into the flourishing flora and rich cultures of the island, as he illustrates the inherent interactions between nature and humanity. Sentimental in its very nature, this present lot is evocative of Sarawak’s utopian days, as Cheong Soo Pieng provides viewers with a brief vignette into its luxuriant tropics and the delightful rituals of its locale. 

Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art

|
Hong Kong