‘Two women at rest’ is a favourite subject that Cheong Soo Pieng has painted, composed in many different ways. This significant 1953 work is based on the landmark journey to Bali in 1952 by Soo Pieng and his fellow artists. The composition centres on two women sitting languorously in the shade. The painting is fringed by ritual masks and carvings, banana and frangipani flowers, outlined in black. These items place the content of the painting in Bali, adding much colour and interest. Soo Pieng uses bold, bright colours in this work, similar to works done around this period which emanated from his Balinese sojourn. The composition has the effect of being carved, which may be a reflection of the artist’s influence from the Cubist works of Picasso, whom he greatly admired.
Soo Pieng had many paintings and drawings where he combines two women in a composition. His portrayals of how they are complementary and also at variance provides contention and balance to the works. Another painting Resting, 1977, is also in the Singtel collection.