Promised that I’d provide more information about the painting featured in the background of “Psyche” poster and so here it is.
Seah Kim Joo (1939 – , Singapore)
Original Title Unknown (1968)
Batik on cloth
256 x 694cm
Collection of LASALLE College of the Arts
This five-panel batik mural is one of numerous murals Seah Kim Joo was commissioned to complete by both Singapore-based and overseas hotels and banks through the 1960s and 1970s. It was commissioned for the inauguration of Hotel Malaysia in Singapore in 1968, at that time one of the grandest hotels to open in Singapore. In 1973, the hotel was renamed Hotel Marco Polo.
Displayed at the hotel foyer as the centrepiece in the hotel’s collection, the work is a tapestry of numerous imageries of Southeast Asian native peoples and communities engaged in characteristic activities or repose. Many of the imageries in this work were obtained from Kim Joo’s exposure to the works of contemporaneous artists such as Lee Man Fong who drew upon regional subject matter in their works.
About the Artist
Seah Kim Joo was born in 1939 in Singapore and raised in Trengganu where was exposed to traditional batik making processes. He entered Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1959. In 1965, he returned to Trengganu and travelled the Malaysian east coast to consolidate his learning in the technique of batik.
Would like to extend my thanks to Nam Leng and NUS Museum for being so cool and allowing us to have our photoshoot within their premises under a very short notice. It’s really great to be able to work with someone who’s flexible and willing to let students experiment.