This paper presents the results of an extensive study of 14 paintings by the pioneering Singapore artist Liu Kang (1911–2004). The paintings are from the National Gallery Singapore and Liu family collections. The aim of the study is to elucidate the painting technique and materials from the artist’s early oeuvre, Paris, spanning the period from 1929 to 1932. The artworks were studied with a wide array of non- and micro-invasive analytical techniques, supplemented with the historical information derived from the Liu family archives and contemporary colourmen catalogues. The results showed that the artist was able to create compositions with a limited colour palette and had a preferential use of commercially available ultramarine, viridian, chrome yellow, iron oxides, organic reds, lead white, and bone black bound in oil that was highlighted. This study identified other minor pigments that appeared as hue modifications or were used sporadically, such as cobalt blue, Prussian blue, emerald green, cadmium yellow, cobalt yellow, and zinc white. With regard to the painting technique, the artist explored different styles and demonstrated a continuous development of his brushwork and was undoubtedly influenced by Modernists’ artworks. This comprehensive technical study of Liu Kang’s paintings from the Paris phase may assist art historians and conservators in the evaluation of the artist’s early career and aid conservation diagnostics and treatment of his artworks. Furthermore, the identified painting materials can be compared with those used by other artists active in Paris during the same period.
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