Description: This work by Long Thien Shih is interesting. 1) It was painted when he was only 16 and at that time, he was very much into art, having been with the Wednesday Art Group under the direct tutelage of its founder Peter Harris. 2) It was painted in the Nanyang Style, the only works Long was exposed to then. Note the sound composition and matured application of colours. 3) It is not easy to find an old work by Long in the market. 4) The traditional manual method of grinding chillies from the raw granite mortar and pestle (roll or pounding) is said by some to be tastier than those using modern electric conveniences. Even the process of pounding or rolling the chilli is said to be therapeutic. 5) The painting was one done on masonite board (not common in the early years) instead of canvas, but as Long intoned: “Masonite board was cheaper than imported canvas, if primed properly with zinc oxide and skin glue, as taught by Peter Harris.” Long recalled that the painting was done from memories of the life he witnessed at Kampung Kuantan in Klang. “I used to cycle to Kampung Kuantan from my father’s kopitiam in Jalan Batu Tiga during my schooldays.”Painter-printmaker Long Thien Shih has impeccable credentials in art, and his long career path is well summed up in the exhibition, Long Thien Shih: Man Of The Times, at the National Art Gallery, in 2014. He showed early promise when he won 1st Prize in the Arts Council’s Young Artists Award in 1961, and was given his first one-man show at the Samat Art Gallery in 1965 and Gallery 11 in 1966 before he received a study award in France, at the Atelier 17, Atelier de Lithography and the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris from 1966 to 1969, and an MFA (Printmaking) at the Royal College of Art in London (1972). In 1992, he won the Prints Prize in the Salon Malaysia. He had solos in Melbourne (Crossley Gallery) and Singapore (National Library). His works are in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Fukuoka Art Museum in Japan, and the National Art Gallery Malaysia.
Dimensions: 56cm x 74cm
Artist or Maker: LONG THIEN SHIH
Medium: Oil on masonite board
Provenance: Private collection, Selangor
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