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Still Life: Fruits (静物：水果), 1992, Oil on Canvas, 60 x 70 cm
Though Koeh Sia Yong's still-life paintings follow Western style realism, the subject matter is anything but. Koeh Sia Yong reminds the viewer of his Singaporean heritage in choosing to depict tropical fruits in these pieces; sliced watermelons, juicy mangoes, persimmons galore. A bright bunch of bananas are tucked into the background, ripe for the picking. Against the dark backgrounds, the fruits almost seem to jump out, begging to be bitten. The only exception to the Southeast Asian array are the apples— but all the same, they are tantalisingly shiny. The warm reds, yellows, and oranges dominate the frame, made even more vibrant by the occasional patch of cool blue. The painting on the right uses a blue vase to ground the viewer, preventing them from becoming lost in the barrage of autumnal colours. In contrast to the first painting, the artist employs a more impressionistic style here, as the rough textures of brush strokes become more evident. Overall, these pieces are reflective of Koeh’s mastery of colour theory.
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