Sunday, 9 March 2014

Origins of an artist

YeeTing Wong's family is her artistic influence.

PEOPLE say that family is the greatest form of influence.

That was exactly how it felt for local artist Wong Yee Ting, 44 who grew up in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Wong – whose artistic name is YeeTing Wong – has been surrounded by people who were artistically talented since her younger days.

“My interest in art, music and dance started early for me, and has always been in my upbringing,” she said, explaining that her grandfather was an avid photographer while her parents were involved in singing.

For the record, her mother was an art teacher and Wong says that her four sisters are all naturally artistic.

“Maybe it’s a family thing,” she adds.

YeeTing Wong's love affair with nature translates to her art. For portraits, Lotud Tuaran I (above left) is taken from her coffee-stained art series. Tenom coffee from her home state Sabah was used to create this series.
YeeTing Wong's love affair with nature translates to her art.  

Wong’s interest in arts brought her to study Graphic and Illustrative Art at The One Academy in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, which eventually led to her career in painting.

“Nobody told me to be an artist – that’s why I am one,” she said, when asked why she decided to be an artist. “It is a good way to find out about oneself without being told what and who to be.”

The owner of Art Base Gallery in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah believes that her passion for painting and career can be put together. While she is locally based in her home town, she spends her time in a studio at Gallery Strandvang in Bornholm, Denmark during the summer where she works on various projects.

Her work which is inspired by wildlife in Borneo and beyond has upped her profile. However, Wong’s coffee-stained portrait work (Tenom coffee) of Sabah native women in 2012 was one of her most well-received exhibitions.

“It is also important that I can balance my passion in doing what I like and maintaining a decent life quality with sufficient income,” she said.

A quick look at her previous works and you can tell that Wong has a thing for nature themed paintings. Despite that, she works on portraits and sceneries too. She says that it is only natural to work on subjects that are in her surroundings.

Being a determined and ambitious person, Wong says that she gives her best every time she works on her paintings and she believes that all her paintings were the best at the time of completion.

“As an artist, it is a constant quest for the ‘true’ identity and it is forever changing,” said Wong, explaining the challenges of being an artist.

Despite becoming an inspiration for others, she draws her inspiration from many other sources such as culture, philosophy and old masters.

Lotud Tuaran I is taken from Wong YeeTing's coffee-stained art series. Tenom coffee was her hometown Sabah was used to create this series.
Lotud Tuaran I is taken from YeeTing Wong's coffee-stained art series. Tenom coffee from her home state Sabah was used to create this series.

“For my artistic inspiration, I learn from the old masters and their stories, and the contemporaries in the art museums and galleries for a new approach and concepts in art.

“It raises awareness in me that the world is so different and alike at the same time. This gives me strength to believe that what I do is comprehensible and can be related to,” she said.

For more info, check out Wong’s previous and latest works at

Tags / Keywords: Entertainment , Wong Yee Ting , painting , artist


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