Bali Girl

Lee Man Fong

Title

Bali Girl

Artist

Lee Man Fong

Year

Undated

Media

Oil on Canvas

Theme

Figurative

The subject of the Balinese woman in twentieth century paintings of Indonesia and Singapore was possibly made iconic by painters like Lee Man Fong, Liu Kang and Cheong Soo Pieng. This undated work uses the vertical Chinese scroll format and characteristics of Chinese brush composition. The composition focuses on a central subject set against a blank backdrop, with only a portion of a small tree to create depth. The painting, like so much of Lee’s work, is done in oil. Other Western influences are the use of enhanced highlights of the woman’s features and headdress. The transparency of brushwork of Lee’s angelic-looking model also reflects Chinese painting. The artwork is thus a lovely hybrid of Eastern and Western painting, typical of the Nanyang style.

Another work by Lee in the Singtel collection is Untitled (Resting), depicting a cockerel and a hen. This undated work is painted in oil in a Western style with some Chinese details. The subject is symbolic of domestic fulfilment.