VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Golden Pagoda /Kekloksi
S1964-0044-001-0
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

"Kekloksi" was painted before his sojourn in Paris. It is a Penang landmark. Most probably he must have seen reproductions of French cubist Robert Delaunay's "The Eiffel Tower" a French icon and symbol of modernity which could have prompted him to find a Malaysian equivalent. He picked Kekloksi to proclaim it as a symbol of Buddhist piety soaring heavenward. It is a composition of a big cone enclosing numerous geometric forms that lends itself readily to a cubist treatment. Geometric forms are accentuated but not broken up and re-arranged.

History of the Object
Johor -born Chia Yu Chian is associated with the Nanyang School. A graduate of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, he counted pioneer artist Chen Wen Hsi as his mentor and his chief influence as a student at the academy. Golden Pagoda is a Cubist-inspired composition offering distorted perspectives and angular forms. The bold outlines and hatchet brush strokes recall his mentor’s formal devices. In 1959, Chia Yu Chian was given a scholarship by the French government to study at the L’École des Beaux- Arts in Paris. He remained in Paris until 1962 before returning to Malaysia. His experience abroad brought a stylistic shift to his paintings. He contributed Gauguin-inspired expressions of voluptuous Balinese women to the visual idiom of the Nanyang School.

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Type
Painting 
Materials
Oil on board 
Measurements
Width 73 cm Length 40 cm  
Creator name
Chia Yu Chian 
Creator date
1936 – 1990, Malaysia 
Where it was made
Malaysia 
Geography
Malaysia 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th Century; 1958 
Function
An artwork 
Acquisition
Donated to University Art Museum by the artist in 1964. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
NUS Museum, NUS Centre For the Arts 
Museum
NUS Museum, NUS Centre For the Arts 
Credit line
 

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