Soh Chee Hui’s still life compositions comprise local objects and fruit from his Malaysian Chinese heritage. The convention of still life painting often depicts artefacts of value, sometimes with moral symbolism or used as an existential posture. In Soh’s case he often uses the common rice bowl in a composition with pomegranates, on painted backgrounds that recall the lacquer and gold of Chinese traditional wares. The foreground and background of his painting are flattened, without perspective, as in Chinese ink painting. Laid across the centre is a fragment that seems to contain an ancient script or floral designs. In this painting, the pomegranates are at different stages of ripeness or decay, and the artist has appropriated a traditional floral pattern for the centerpiece.
Soh’s art often has a philosophical element. Each still life composition is a shortened existential discourse, yet in the form of visual poetry. The viewer is invited to exercise a personal interpretation of the piece.