Remembering Yong Mun Sen (Born Kuching, Sarawak, January 10, 1896. Died Penang, September 29,1962)


Often called the "Father of Malaysian Painting", Yong Mun Sen was a fourth-generation Malayan who grew up in Kuching but ended his days in Penang. His many paintings are found in veritable collections throughout the world. Despite his attempts at discouraging his many children to stay away from artistic endeavours, one of his sons, Cheng Wah, became a famous painter in his own right. And it looks like the family talent will move on to another generation.

THE LEGEND OF Yong Mun Sen is one of the most gripping of an art of a people and time in the formative years of Malaya and after.

Painting pioneer (oil, watercolours, Chinese brush, batik, pen and charcoal), sculptor (plaster of Paris, wood-carving), art activist (forming of societies), studio photographer and calligrapher; no wonder Mun Sen is popularly dubbed the "Father of Malaysian Painting:' The ups and downs of his life and art are reminiscent of that of Vincent Van Gogh, the unofficial patron saint of the suffering impecunious artist.

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