1913 – 1974
Lee Cheng Yong was born on 26 March 1913. He studied art at the Sin Hwa Art Academy, Shanghai (Shanghai Academy of Fine Art) and was a teacher at Chung Ling High School, Penang. On his return from Shanghai, he held a one-man show at the Philomatic Union, Acheen Street in 1934. His works were mostly oil painted after the Post-Impressionist tradition of Gauguin and Van Gogh.
In 1936, the Chinese artist in Penang came together and formed the Penang Chinese Art Club which was one of the first local art societies in Malaysia. Lee Cheng Yong was elected President.
Lee Cheng Yong specialised in oil painting although he was also competent in watercolour, gouache, oil pastel and design. He also did sculptural works and was renowned for his burst of Tunku Abdul Rahmen, entitled “Father of our Nation”. The subjects of his paintings were varied and included portraitures, landscapes, still life,as well as semi-abstract works.
A notable feature of Cheng Yong’s style was his subdued tonality, where in spite of the ‘dull’ colours, he was able to show most successfully, the brilliance and warm sunshine in his paintings.
He held a successful one-man show at the Chin Kang Association, Macalister Road on 26th-30th December 1960, showing 98 paintings and sculptures. He died on 24th Febuary 1974.