Artists give Malaysian Twist to traditional Chinese Ink Paintings

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Traditional Chinese Ink Painting, Pixabay

Malaysia, April 11, 2017: While traditional Chinese ink paintings are usually associated with scenic landscapes such as mountains, hills, rivers, bamboo forest, pine trees or flowers, a group of local Chinese ink artists have given a Malaysian twist to such Chinese paintings.

They are featured at the Ink Sense Chinese Painting Group Exhibition at contemporary art space L’Atelier Rouge in Jaya One in Petaling Jaya. Six artists are participating in this exhibition.

Collectors and art enthusiasts can spot a distinctly Malaysian flavour or theme in this exhibition, with some works proudly drawing inspiration from traditional kampung settings, rubber trees and batik prints.

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At the show, Ng Yen Tee, 45, whose background is western art, has four artworks based on traditional Malay wooden houses. In her “harmony-centred” works, Ng contemplates on the idea of “home” – for a family and a multi-cultural nation. She uses three colours in her batik designs to symbolise the three dominant races in Malaysia. She also infuses her paintings with a dark ink texture to create a strong contrast for these colours to make each painting “visually more attractive”. Six years ago, she took up Chinese painting lessons from an art teacher in Klang.

Graphic designer Yon Chuk Yim, 48, feels that Chinese ink artworks need not be restricted to traditional themes. She explores a mixture of contemporary techniques, such as color splashes, and overlaying colors over ink.

Yon, whose mentor is Yee Sze Fook, a full time artist, likes to paint on the whim rather than follow a theme.

Veteran artist Shirley Chu Siow Eng, 67, born in Fujian province in China, Chu migrated with her parents to Malaysia when she was five. Choosing rubber trees as her theme, she recalls her younger days when her father explained how rubber plantations provided jobs and resources for the local economy.

Chong Buck Tee, 67, a graduate of the Malaysian Institute of Art 1972, who is one of Malaysia’s foremost Chinese brush painting artists, with a career span of more than 30 years, who has won numerous awards at home and abroad and is currently the president of the Bakti Art Centre in Ampang, and advisor of the Selangor and Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Shui-Mo Art Society, loves to paint landscapes. At this exhibition, his striking work, Mystic Landscape, has a refreshingly modern feel. “My works are imaginary but based on what I have seen – either from my travels or from pictures,” says Chong.

Others taking part in the exhibition are Dr Kok Ming Fong and Karen Ng.

– Prepared by Upama Bhattacharya. Twitter @Upama_myself