Art Detail | Ilham Gallery
Mother & Child
Mother & Child
c. 1980s

87.5 x 57 cm
c. 1980s
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Chuah Thean Teng
About Chuah Thean Teng

Chuah Thean Teng (b. 1914, Fukien, China — d. 2008, Penang) is nationally acknowledged as the “father of batik art”,  being the first in Malaysia to use batik as a fine art medium. He was celebrated by influential art patron Frank Sullivan as having developed “a key Malaysian artistic expression” during a time when the newly-independent nation was searching for a cultural identity to represent itself. Chuah trained briefly at the Xiamen College of Art in China. In 1936, he moved to Penang, where he opened a commercial batik factory producing sarongs; it was here that Chuah began his experiments with batik painting. Due to the patronage he received among the wealthier Anglophile classes in Malaysia, he was able to exhibit his work at the Commonwealth Institute in England in 1959, and was the first Malaysian to be honoured with a retrospective by the National Art Gallery in 1965. A second retrospective was held by the Penang State Art Gallery in 1994. Many of his works, along with the works of his three sons and two grandsons, can be found in the family-run Yahong Art Gallery in Batu Ferringhi, Penang.