Art Detail | Ilham Gallery
Crossing the Bridge
Crossing the Bridge

Kuo Ju Ping is typically grouped with the Nanyang artists, but his style in Crossing the Bridge appears to be influenced by the European post-impressionists at the end of the nineteenth century. Elements of Post-Impressionism appear in his vivid colours and his use of short, repetitive brushstrokes to build up the picture. However, as with the other Nanyang artists, he shares a romantic idealism of nature and the countryside.

Oil on canvas
36 × 40.5 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Kuo Ju Ping
About Kuo Ju Ping

Kuo Ju Ping (b. 1908, Fujian, China – d. 1966, Penang) moved to Malaya when he was a teenager and was among the first batch of students at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. Unfortunately, he had to cut his education short to take over his father’s import-export business. Ju Ping was relatively unknown during his time, only gaining recognition posthumously. Despite this, he remained passionate in his artistic pursuits and was a dedicated art educator. He helped found the Thursday Art Group and Penang Chinese Art Club, and fostered many young artists who later became prominent names themselves. Since his death, he has been honoured with three retrospectives in Penang: at the Khek Association, Penang State Art Gallery, and The Art Gallery Penang. His works have also been exhibited at the Fukuoka Art Museum in Japan and the National Art Gallery of Malaysia. 

Further Readings

  • Marco C. F. Hsu. A Brief History of Malayan Art. Singapore: Millennium Books, 1963.

Learning Section

  • Describe the composition of this painting. What do you see in the foreground? What occupies the middle ground? What about the background? What is the focal point of the painting? How does the artist emphasise this?

  • How many figures can you see on the bridge? What kind of people are they? Are they rich or poor, young or old? What are they doing? Where are they going? How important are the figures in this painting?