Koeh Sia Yong 许锡勇 ‘s Portraits of Bali

Low Sok Leng Low Sok Leng
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Singapore artist Koeh Sia Yong with his two paintings of titled Balinese Lady.

Koeh Sia Yong 许锡勇 is Singapore’s second generation Nanyang artist.  

Known for his works of Bali, the art exhibition “Portraits of Bali” features his oil paintings of this mesmerizing island in Indonesia, which has also become his second home.  

He started his paintings trips to Bali in the 1960s, with his fellow Singapore artist friends from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA).  

Bali had become a favourite painting spot with these NAFA graduates, following the foot-steps of their teachers who made the now historical trip to Bali in 1952. 

Enchanted with the beauty and culture of Bali, he made many paintings trips over the years, alone or with his friends.  

Singapore artist Koeh Sia Yong's oil painting titled Tanah Lot.

 

He was never tired of what he saw in Bali; in fact, every trip he made over these decades gave him new insights and inspirations, which he continuously captured onto the canvas. 

These many canvases are his portraits of Bali. 

What is a portrait?  It is more than just a painting of a person’s head and body.

A portrait is a representation of a person or place by an artist.  It is how the artist sees the person, thinks the person, feels the person. 

From Koeh’s portraits of Bali, we see his graceful Balinese dancers devoted to their craft.  We see the elegance of his Balinese ladies upholding their traditions.  We see the majestic natural beauty of Bali in his mountains and coastal fronts. 

Koeh's oil painting of Balinese dancers preparing for their performance.

It is a Bali with the intricacies and delicateness that we may not have noticed on our short activities filled trips there, but which we can now ponder and wonder from his paintings. 

This is the beauty of art, this is the power of artists. 

“Portraits of Bali” by Koeh Sia Yong 许锡 art exhibition runs from 24 November to 12 December 2021 at Art Outreach, 47 Malan Road #01-24 Gilllman Barracks, Singapore. 

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