Getting better with age

  • Arts
  • Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013

Electrifying: Yli-Mäyry is known for her thick strokes and bright colours.

IT HAS been said that fine wine gets better with age and it appears so with Finnish artist, Soile Yli-Mäyry.

The 63-year-old has had more than 25 years of experience as a painter and uses a palette knife to add dimensions to her paintings.

During the opening of Asphalt Pearls at Pipal Fine Art in Publika recently, 25 of her paintings and one sculpture were put on display.

Present at the event was Finnish ambassador H.E. Matti Pullinen.

Yli-Mäyry uses paint in three ways: a thin, even coat, thick lines and by scraping the lines into the painted area for a three-dimensional look.

Her work surrounds the theme of humanity and people’s alienation from nature in the urban world.

Electrifying: Yli-Mäyry is known for her thick strokes and bright colours.

The third child of five siblings, Yli-Mäyry admitted to sketching daily to develop her ideas. She carries a tiny notebook and scrib-bles while on the go.

One of the important components of her artwork is the human being placed in the middle of her paintings.

No dull colours can be seen in her artworks during the exhibition. Her works are lively and part of the paintings exhibit thick strokes, as though depicting strong depths of emotions.

“Every colour is like music,” she explained.

“In music, every tone has its colour. I make music with colours. The composition is very important.”

Having travelled to so many countries, Yli-Mäyry admitted that every person would have different associations to her paintings.

She believes that Westerners are a very rational culture while Asians are more intuitive in nature.

With ample of experience in painting behind her, Yli-Mäyry is branching into other mediums to express herself.

“Sculptures are a new dimension for me,” she said.

She goes to Murano in Italy twice to thrice a year to make sculptures and totems that can go up to 185 cm in height.

“Art is an old and long culture,” said Yli-Mäyry. “In human culture, art is very important,” she said, adding that it could explain what a person feels inside.

Yli-Mäyry, who is a daughter of deaf-mute parents, learned sign language at an early age and was an interpreter for her parents, along with her siblings who helped. Her youngest sister was born with a missing arm and no legs.

Expressing herself through visual means, the artist explained that people from all over the world were similar on the inside, despite speaking and looking differently on the outside.

Since studying art in Germany in the early 70s, she has been to 26

countries and has had 280 solo exhibitions across the globe.

“I’m happy to be in Kuala Lumpur for the first time,” said the artist who has been to Tokyo 30 times.

The public can view her paintings at Pipal Fine Art gallery at Publika, Solaris Dutamas until Nov 30 from 10am to 8pm.

For more information, call 03-6206 5111 or visit

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Getting better with age


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