The question whether artistic talent is natural or nurtured cannot be answered by looking at the Chuah family. Patriarch Chuah Thean Teng, famous for creating the genre of Batik Painting, died two years ago at the age of 96, leaving behind children and grandchildren, many of whom are artists in their own right. Art was too much a part of their milieu for anyone to know where natural talent ends and where social encouragement begins.
Datuk Chuah Thean Teng, known as Teng (Senior) was Malaysia’s only artist acknowledged to have started a world art form, Batik Painting. He passed away in 2008.
For a long time, the running of the art and antiques business at Teng’s Yahong Art Gallery (established 1976) has been left very much to his three sons – Siew Teng (born 1944, and henceforth to be referred to as S. Teng, the “S” denoting “Small”), Seow Keng (born 1945) and Choy Siew Kek (born 1946).
His three sons are also artists in their own right, all having been in it full time for a long time.
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