Artworks that truly shine


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  • Friday, 09 Jan 2015

Creative lot: (From left) Yeo, Das, Xie, Teo, Tan and Yee at the Shine Art exhibition at The Refinery Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur. The exhibition features a wide range of works that are on sale until Jan 15.

ART lovers have the chance to light up their homes with beautiful artworks currently being featured at the Shine Art exhibition at The Refinery Art Gallery @ d6 Sentul East in Kuala Lumpur.

The pieces, on sale until Jan 15, comprise an assortment of artworks, from paintings, sculptures and illustrations to glass art and lights from eight female artists who are showcasing their works.

“I wanted to do something good and give back to society so I will donate the proceeds from my three paintings to charity,” said artist Alice Yee.

Yee, who is in her 50s, put up her landscape oil paintings for sale, starting from RM6,000 a piece.

With three to four layers of paint to make the art pop, Yee usually takes about a month to complete one painting.

“Painting is a good way to de-stress after work because when I paint, I feel calm and stress-free,” she said.

Painting a form of therapy: Teo with her acrylic paintings from her Sama-Sama series, on sale at the Shine Art exhibition.
Painting a form of therapy: Teo with her acrylic paintings from her Sama-Sama series, on sale at the Shine Art exhibition

The artist of almost 10 years said she loved painting landscapes, flowers and clouds as they do not restrict her creative energy.

Joining her is fellow artist Jennifer Tan, who is showcasing her horse series, comprising various paintings of horses.

“Painting the horses brought out this incredible amount of energy in me; with every stroke, I could see the boldness of the horse jumping out through the painting,” she said.

The former air stewardess’ mixed-medium artwork on canvas portrays Malaysian youth, who are now bolder and ready to persevere and fight for their rights in this country.

Tan, who has been painting for about two decades now, added that the horse series also portrayed her life in Hong Kong, where she resided with her husband and two sons for almost 26 years.

“In Hong Kong, everything is vibrant, full of life and trendy. When I started painting the horse series, I felt so alive and it brought me back to my days in Hong Kong,” she said.

Animal lover: Das and her acrylic paintings titled Nature in Check (left) and Attraction.
Animal lover: Das and her acrylic paintings titled Nature in Check (left) and Attraction.

Tan returned to Kuala Lumpur four years ago and saw the vast change in society, which was becoming more open and receptive to the arts scene.

“This painting is like my inner horse, soaring across the sky, being free,” she said.

Beside the horse is another animal painting, a purple elephant by artist Christine Das, who is a strong supported of the Borneo Pygmy elephant cause.

The 48-year-old has three pieces at the Shine exhibition, with one of mother nature and another focusing on a tree aside from the purple elephant.

“What you will notice from my paintings is that I love using a lot of lines and colourful mosaics like stained glass often seen in church,” she said.

Das, who coined herself as the artist’s voice of nature, added that a portion of the proceeds of the sale of the elephant painting would be donated to help save pygmy elephants.

Bold and brave: Tan says the horse series portrays Malaysian youth, who are now bolder and ready to fight for their rights in this country.
Bold and brave: Tan says the horse series portrays Malaysian youth, who are now bolder and ready to fight for their rights in this country.

Meanwhile, Debora Teo, who loves painting portraits of women and life, is showcasing her Sama-Sama series, a portrayal of togetherness and friendship.

The self-taught artist of four years paints women based on the stories she hears, people she meets and the personalities she sees.

“I started drawing when I moved here from Sarawak because I was missing my mum so terribly as we used to go for breakfast every morning and I had never really been apart from her,” she said.

Her Sama-Sama series of togetherness portrays just that, and soon became something to fill the void in her heart.

The breast cancer survivor added that painting was a form of therapy for her as it she could focus on painting all day long and not worry about anything.

Teo added that she usually finished her paintings within three days. She paints non-stop for 12 hours a day or more.

Fond of sculpting: Xie showing her sculptures that are on sale at the exhibition.
Fond of sculpting: Xie showing her sculptures that are on sale at the exhibition.

“I cannot just leave a painting unfinished because I get restless when it is not done,” she said.

Apart from paintings, the exhibition is also home to about 20 clay and Plaster of Paris (PoP) sculptures from Maxine Xie.

Xie spends about a month to six weeks working on one sculpture as the drying process takes time.

“Setting up the basis of it is very fast but to get it into a proper product to my own standards takes time,” she said.

Xie believes that nothing is perfect and she is never satisfied with her work, as being an artist means that there is always something to tweak here and there.

She enjoys working with clay, PoP and even wood carvings, and sculpts mostly human body parts such as the hand and feet.

Message for society: Yeo (left) and her illustrations drawn with fountain ink on paper. Her projects are mostly commercial works, such as the River of Life revival project.
Message for society: Yeo (left) and her illustrations drawn with fountain ink on paper. Her projects are mostly commercial works, such as the River of Life revival project.

“Not many people believe that there are women sculptors around as it is not an easy job. You need a lot of strength to pound and shape the material.

“It’s a physical job and it’s challenging but I love it,” she said.

Xie added that she grew fond of sculpting because of the labour-intensive process.

Another artist who joined Xie with another unique form of art was Liyin Yeo, who draws with a fountain pen on paper.

“My works are mostly commercial works, for example the River of Live project to revive the river.

“My client tells me about the project and I come up with an illustration and propose it to them,” she said.

Yeo added that she does not like things to be straight-forward and loves adding a twist to the story in her illustrations.

Simply lovely: Yee (right) showing her acrylic paintings that feature landscape and flowers.
Simply lovely: Yee (right) showing her acrylic paintings that feature landscape and flowers.

Like the River of Life, for example, if looked at closely, the skull in the middle is visible, to signify the river dying because of pollution.

Around the skull is what looks like a river flowing with rubbish and other waste.

“I put in a lot of research and planning into my work as I not only want the illustrations to portray my client’s message but also to have a little twist,” she said.

Apart from this, Yeo, who is an art student, also does witty satire, mostly revolving around the political scene in the country.

From sketching on her iPad, she showed her digital portfolio, consisting of political satire and witty comics of everyday life.

Yeo’s art pieces on display at the exhibition however, are not for sale as they are on loan by her clients, but they are open for viewing.

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