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Liu Kang (1911-2004) was born in Fujian Province, China and received his formal training in Xinhua Art Academy of Shanghai, where he was exposed to Chinese paintings. In 1928, he went to Paris where he was influenced by art movements such as Fauvism and Post-Impressionism. One of Singapore's pioneer artists, he was also a leading figure in the Society of Chinese Artists and the Singapore Art Society. In 1970, he was awarded the Public Service Star for his contribution in the field of art. In 1952, Liu, together with fellow artists Chen Wen Hsi, Chen Chong Swee and Cheong Soo Pieng made the historic trip to Bali. The exotic culture and beautiful landscape provided them with rich visual imageries and inspiration that were crucial for the development of the Nanyang style. This painting of a graceful Balinese woman is based on a 1952 pastel study which is also in the SAM collection.

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