Balinese Spinner Oil on board, framed Signed Manfong with one seal of the artist 103.5cm x 49cm (40¾in x 19¼in).
Provenance: private collection, Singapore
李曼峰 紡紗女 油彩木板 木框
Lee Manfong left for the Netherlands in 1946, spending six years there to further his studies. Although heavily influenced by Rembrandt (1606-1669), he succeeded in creating oil paintings in an Oriental style imbued with a strong Southeast Asian flavour. Lee was fond of painting on vertical panels framed in dark-coloured wood, giving his works a special appeal when hung on the wall (see attached image of his exhibition). 'Balinese Spinner' is a good example of the artist's characteristic framing style.
When Lee Manfong returned to Indonesia from the Netherlands in 1952, he painted many Balinese-themed works. His depictions included vendors selling satay and rojak (a traditional fruit and vegetable salad dish), men leisurely engaged in cockfighting or tajen, bare-breasted women dancing, worshipping the gods and weaving, all in praise of the rich history of Balinese culture in Indonesia.
For other oil on board works of Balinese spinners, see Siont Teja ed. Lee Man Fong Oil Paintings Volume 2, Art Retreat, Singapore, 2005, pp.52, 54, 56-59, 61, 63-64. Compared with other similarly themed works, this coloured rendering of a Balinese spinner is more refined; the facial expression of the figure is more dignified and elegant. The work conveys feelings of poetry and romance that capture our imagination.