Yong Mun Sen (1896 - 1962) was born in Kuching, Sarawak. Mun Sen is considered as one of the pioneer artists who influenced the birth and growth of modern contemporary Malaysian art and is widely known as the Father of Malaysian Painting. Although trained in formal Chinese brush painting and calligraphy in China, he was drawn to watercolours and later oils. He was best known for his fluid execution of landscapes in watercolour. 

Mun Sen went to Kwantung (now Guangdong), China in 1901 for formal education specialising in calligraphy. During the stay, the experience of witnessing a Japanese watercolour artist made an indelible impression on Mun Sen. Since then, he focused on watercolour painting and eventually it became one of his greatest strengths.

In 1920, Mun Sen moved to Penang and instantly was captivated by the charm of Penang. He had his own art studio on Penang Road and later Northam Road. In 1936, together with fellow artists, Mun Sen formed the Penang Chinese Art Club.

Mun Sen excelled in watercolour paintings of landscapes.  He incorporated influences from Chinese art resulting in more airy and generalised compositions rather than detailed depictions. Since his death in 1962, his works have retained an important and honoured place in Malaysian art. He was honoured with a memorial exhibition at the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur and the State Museum of Penang, both in 1972.  He was one of the founders of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore.

Yong Mun Sen

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