Low Hai Hong was born in Indonesia in 1941 and moved to Singapore, where he attended the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1961. At the institution, Low studied Western Painting under pioneer artist Georgette Chen. He frequented Indonesia in the 1990s, returning to his hometown and seeing other parts of Indonesia, such as Jakarta and Bali. The artist exhibited his impressive oil paintings in seven solo shows, each featuring an exquisite collection derived from his travels.
The Vegetable Seller reveals one of Low’s distinct pastel drawing techniques. We may expect to find a vegetable seller in a market in real life. However, it appears that accentuating expression rather than representational verisimilitude was one of the artist’s chief goals for this piece. Here, coloured strokes overlay each other in random patterns. A woman with a wary expression pensively holds her wares. Low highlights her face with a subtle addition of a warm yellow and uses various tones of purple to accentuate her three-dimensional form. These aesthetic choices, employed with the vibrant background, accentuate the woman’s presence in the artwork.