Lee Kah Yeow
(b. 1900 - d. 1995)
Lee Kah Yeow was a native of Yongchun County, Fujian Province. He was a disciple of the famous Chinese artist Liu Hai Su. He had great skills in calligraphy, and was equally excellent in the five major styles of Chinese calligraphy, which are the seal script, clerical script, regular script, cursive script and running script. He was especially good in his cursive writings that exude vigour, which demonstrates his excellent skills.
In 1939, Lee helmed the head of secretary-cum-arts teacher in Chong Hwa Independent High School. When the Japanese military surrendered in 1945, he set up a company named Ban Lee Chan Sdn. Bhd. Having a contented lifestyle, Lee improved his calligraphy and drawing skills even more after he retired from business. He started to collect paintings and calligraphic works by famous artists, and was known by his sobriquet Xi Lang Lao Ren in his golden age.
Lee visited the art master Zhang Da Qian once came to Malaysia and had a retreat at Fraser’s Hill. The name of Lee’s study, “Ruo Shu Tang”, was then inscribed by Zhang.
Prof Robert Hans van Gulik, the first Netherlands Ambassador in Malaysia in 1959 had befriended Lee dearly.
The above article is translated from the “Pioneering Calligraphy Exhibition by First Generation Chinese Artists” Catalogue.
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