Dear MAYCHAM members,
Thank you for your enthusiasm and support. Due to the overwhelming demand, Consul General Yap has kindly agreed to extend the exhibition by a week to March 7th. We hope more of you can join this event.
Given COVID19 restrictions, we will also implement crowd control through registration of specific viewing times. RSVP is required and please indicate your preferred viewing times. As each viewing is limited to only 20 pax, please be mindful that every spot is scarce and valuable.
Please find a write up by SCMP about the event here.
Sponsored by the Michael & Saniza Collection, we proudly present our members to a retrospective of Mr. Yong Mun Sen (1896 – 1962). This year marks the 125th anniversary of Mun Sen's birth, making his retrospective even more meaningful. With the gracious support of our Consul-General Yap, this art exhibition will be held at the Penthouse of the Malaysia Building. Organised by the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (Hong Kong and Macau), this event is co-hosted by the Singapore Chamber of Commerce (Hong Kong), in partnership with Asia Society Hong Kong Centre and with the support of the M+ Museum.
Given COVID-19 restrictions, the opening ceremony will be livestreamed on Facebook (details will be announced). We will also implement crowd control through registration of specific viewing times. RSVP is required and please indicate your preferred viewing times. As each viewing is limited to only 20 pax, please be mindful that every spot is scarce and valuable.
Yong Mun Sen (1896-1962) is known as "The Father of Malaysian Paintings". Mun Sen, as he liked to be called, was born in Kuching Sarawak at a coconut plantation. A third generation Malaysian of Chinese descent, he was sent at a tender age of five to Tai-pu in Guangdong province where he received traditional Chinese education including the use of Chinese brush in calligraphy. His inspiration into water-colour was by chance, watching a Japanese artist in action at his family's plantation. Although he could have settled for a life of comfort as a wealthy planter, he chose the calling of art at a time when the art ecosystem was undeveloped. A self-taught artist, Mun Sen loved nature in all of its moods. Nature became both his teacher and his model, as the title of this exhibition is aptly themed. To further his career, Mun Sen left for Singapore where he was exposed to other artists and the art world. After two vibrant years there, he was transferred to Penang where he fell in love with the idyllic tropical island. Its natural beauty was an inspiration to many of his works. He lived in Penang island until the end of his life.
A highly respected legend, Mun Sen drove the development of fine arts in South East Asia. In addition to being the President of the Penang Chinese Art Club and Vice-President of the Singapore Society of Chinese Artists, he also co-founded Singapore's Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1938, at a time when many Chinese intellectuals fled to Singapore and Malaya due to the Sino-Japanese War. One notable Chinese artist was Xu Beihong who stayed in Penang during 1940-41, and the two became good friends with Mun Sen raising funds for the government and people in China. Xu Beihong appreciated and collected Mun Sen's works, calling his water-colour paintings amongst the best in the world. Mun Sen also produced some highly accomplished oil paintings with strong influence by Paul Gaugin and Vincent van Gogh.
This Retrospective brings together 26 of Mun Sen's paintings, including a masterpiece oil on canvas, charcoal, Chinese brush painting and water-colours for which he is best remembered. Sourced from all over the world, the collection was put together over two decades with the support of art academics, artists and gallerists. It is a truly diverse collection and representative of Mun Sen's forte, depicting his gift in capturing seascapes, landscapes, cityscapes, village life, human figurines and even a photo-realistic portrait. It fulfils a life time aspiration of our founding sponsors Michael and Saniza who have been on a mission to restore the honour this great artist deserves.