Buy an Ong Kim Seng semi-nude? It's a fake

Last month, Song Art Foundation founder Allison Liu had a dealer trying to sell her Liu Kang's Gathering Firewood (1956). She compared an image of the original (above) found in a catalogue of the artist's work and an image of the forged work (left and rig
Last month, Song Art Foundation founder Allison Liu had a dealer trying to sell her Liu Kang's Gathering Firewood (1956). She compared an image of the original (above) found in a catalogue of the artist's work and an image of the forged work and noticed differences in the colours and composition, among other things.PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SONG ART FOUNDATION
Last month, Song Art Foundation founder Allison Liu had a dealer trying to sell her Liu Kang's Gathering Firewood (1956). She compared an image of the original (above and right above) found in a catalogue of the artist's work and an image of the forg
Last month, Song Art Foundation founder Allison Liu had a dealer trying to sell her Liu Kang's Gathering Firewood (1956). She compared an image of the original (above) found in a catalogue of the artist's work and an image of the forged work and noticed differences in the colours and composition, among other things.
Last month, Song Art Foundation founder Allison Liu had a dealer trying to sell her Liu Kang's Gathering Firewood (1956). She compared an image of the original (above and right above) found in a catalogue of the artist's work and an image of the forg
Last month, Song Art Foundation founder Allison Liu had a dealer trying to sell her Liu Kang's Gathering Firewood (1956). She compared an image of the original found in a catalogue of the artist's work and an image of the forged work (above) and noticed differences in the colours and composition, among other things.
Last month, Song Art Foundation founder Allison Liu had a dealer trying to sell her Liu Kang's Gathering Firewood (1956). She compared an image of the original (above and right above) found in a catalogue of the artist's work and an image of the forged wo
Last month, Song Art Foundation founder Allison Liu had a dealer trying to sell her Liu Kang's Gathering Firewood (1956). She compared an image of the original found in a catalogue of the artist's work and an image of the forged work (above) and noticed differences in the colours and composition, among other things.

A pastel work attributed to the Singaporean artist was almost auctioned over the weekend, highlighting the issue of fakes and forgeries of Asian masters

A pastel on paper drawing of a semi-nude Balinese woman, signed and attributed to acclaimed Singapore artist Ong Kim Seng, was listed in a recent auction catalogue.

The portrait could well have gone under the hammer at a Masterpiece auction in Kuala Lumpur last weekend, but was withdrawn after he raised an objection.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 26, 2019, with the headline 'Buy an Ong Kim Seng semi-nude? It's a fake'. Print Edition | Subscribe