Artist draws inspiration from Penang’s unique heritage for his solo show

Lee posing with a pair of artworks titled ‘Straits Quay’ (left) and ‘Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower.’

THE litany of captivating sights around Penang is a rich source of inspiration for artists, and the only question is deciding what to replicate on canvas.

For Lee Weng Khim, the easiest way around is to venture out regularly and capture them one scene at a time.

The 39-year-old has completed a large number of pieces in recent years and a selection of 45 pieces is currently on display in his maiden solo exhibition.

Held at The Art Room on the first floor of Straits Quay Retail Marina, Penang, it comprises works in oil, acrylic or watercolours.

“Most of them were painted within the last three years,” said Lee, who spends his Sundays with the Urban Sketchers group painting scenes around George Town.

Lee, a part-time artist who also runs his own art centre, simply loves the rustic and sometimes rundown look of pre-war structures within the inner city.

“I am drawn to such buildings, as I can feel their history. Penang’s heritage is unique and one we should highlight.

“Most times I paint on the spot. This allows me to better capture the subject’s beauty,” he added during the show’s recent opening.

Complementing those are scenes from elsewhere around the island, including fishing villages and rural villages in areas like Balik Pulau.

One notable piece on show is Pasembur, depicting several helpings of the eponymous local hawker delicacy from his favourite stall at Gurney Drive.

It won him a consolation prize in the Pesta Pulau Pinang Open Art Competition and Exhibition in 2010.

“Pasembur is one of my favourite treats, and I used to have it at least once a week.

“When the contest came up with the theme of Penang Food, it was the best subject I could paint,” added Lee, who also does commercial foam sculpting.

Having participated in over 15 group shows previously, and with the art scene fast gaining momentum in Penang, he felt it was time for a solo show.

The exhibition runs until Oct 15, and is open from 10.30am to 10.30pm daily. Admission is free.

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