Return to Love

Tay Bak Koi


Return to Love


Tay Bak Koi




Oil on Canvas



This 1998 painting Return to Love marks a departure for Tay Bak Koi from his signature landscapes with buffaloes. The piece is artificially composed of women and a child against a backdrop with trees and a pot of waterlilies. The mother and child figuration is iconic, not unlike classical madonna pieces. Tay has painted the faces of the women based on traditional masks, stylising their appearance. This treatment is in keeping with his practice coming down from his teacher Cheong Soo Pieng, who based the figuration of his subjects on wayang kulit puppets. There are also similarities in the treatment of the human figures with that of Tay's peer, Koh Sui Hoe.

Other works by Tay Bak Koi in the Singtel collection include Buffaloes (1960-62), Bulls (undated), Peace (1989), Pastoral View (1994) and Yuan Xiao (2000).