Art Detail | Ilham Gallery

Although painted in acrylic, the background of this painting is executed in thin washes almost resembling the transparency and fluidity of watercolour. The images of  moored boats are suggested through the use of fine lines and the use of deep brown and red accent colours. Intricate details are highlighted using white paint and a palette knife. While the scenery depicting boats on a waterfront may be commonplace, this painting is a testament to the artist’s refined technical skills and in keeping with the Nanyang tradition, his ability to communicate the beauty of everyday life.

Acrylic on canvas
60 x 75 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Ho Khay Beng
About Ho Khay Beng

Ho Khay Beng (b. 1943-1986, Penang, Malaysia) was first trained at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, and completed his postgraduate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, Italy, in 1967. Upon graduation, he enrolled in extra courses in mosaics and sculpture and also participated in various exhibitions and competitions. He held solo exhibitions at  Chin Kang Association, Penang (1965), Galleria Guilla Flavia, Rome (1966), Galleria Michelangelo, Rome (1967) and Galleria D’arte Volci, Rome (1967) and received a high award from The Oversea Chinese Arts Association, Republic of China, in 1968. He was also dedicated to the arts back in Penang, being in charge of the art program teaching at Han Chiang High School, chief of Western Art Section of Penang Art Society, and a permanent member of honour of the Arts Council of the Federation of Malaysia. He was also closely associated with the Wednesday Art Group - which was founded by Peter Harris -  during the 1950s and 60s. In 1996, a tribute Memorial Exhibition for the artist was held at The Art Gallery, Penang. 

Further Readings

  • Ho Khay Beng: Memorial Exhibition (1934-1986). 1996. The Art Gallery, Penang. 

  • “The Treatment of the Local Landscape in Modern Malaysian Art, 1930 –1981” in Narratives in Malaysian Art, Vol 1: Imagining Identities. 2012. RogueArt.

  • “Nanyang Style: Bygone Dreams of Paradise? (Recent Conversations with NAFA Alumni)” in Narratives in Malaysian Art, Vol 1: Imagining Identities. 2012. RogueArt.

  • The Nanyang Show Catalogue. 2016. Visual Arts Centre, SIngapore