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Lot 0002
Liu Kang (1911 - 2005)
Liu Kang was active/lived in China, Singapore. Liu Kang is known for painting.
Signed lower right, oil on canvas
Date: 1979 Dated
Painting: 24 x 36 in. Large
Frame: 29 1/2 x 41 1/2 in.
Great Overall Condition.
Private Collection, New York


Having received his art education from the best of both worlds at his time, the East (Shanghai) and the West (Paris), Liu Kang translated these influences and incorporated local Southeast Asian flavours to his work to create the distinct Nanyang style.

This particular style, attributed to Singapore's pioneer painters, was first seen in the works of Liu Kang and fellow painters Chen Wen Hsi, Chen Chong Swee and Cheong Soo Pieng upon their return from a study-cum-painting trip in Bali in 1952. Some of his well-known paintings from this era include: Artist and Model (1954), Batik Workers (1954) and Balinese Girl in Red Sarong (undated).

Liu Kang's reach however went beyond that of his peers as he continued to influence the next generation of artists through his teaching position in the local art institution - the Association of Chinese Artists of Singapore, the Singapore Art Society and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art (NAFA). Besides well-known artists, some of his students include famed personalities such as Singapore's first elected president, Ong Teng Cheong.

He paints in a very modern, Western way, distorting the sense of perspective and space, and providing multiple viewpoints while utilizing the same two-dimensional plane, much in accordance with the Fauvist masters. Colours is the other key characteristic that is close to the heart of the artist. His palette tonality is usually underlined with an emotional, brooding earthy tone not unlike that of Paul Cenzanne whom he greatly admired and emulated.

There are many still life compositions which the artist rendered throughout the 50s to 70s ,which allowed him to pay tribute to the French Fauvist masters, but it is the composition as such of the present lot that earned him the accolade of a seminal artist of the "Nanyang style" in which he displayed an ingenuity in appropriating a classical chinese landscape, with a French Fauvist palette and tonality, it is this precise mix of cross culture influence that is the core of a "Nanyang style": appropriation of styles and aesthetics with a deep affinity and mutual respect

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LiuKang(1911-2005)Singapore Artist Oil"Balinese Lady"

Estimate $5,000 - $10,000Feb 23, 2019
Little Neck, NY, USA