Following the heart leading to art


Chess of Life by Ng Tze Tsong

EQUATOR College’s Diploma in Fine Art students are having a group exhibition at the Performing Arts Centre of Penang (Penangpac) in Straits Quay.

Titled ‘Abiogenesis — Youth Art From Home and Abroad’, the expo features 61 pieces done in various mediums and depicting a diverse range of subjects.

From paintings and prints to sculptures and mixed-media works, they illustrate the impressive talents of the group of 13 students.

Among them is Chong Wan June, whose painting, ‘Destruction of Gaia’, examines how humanity is slowly destroying environment without them noticing it.

“I loved art since young, and knew it is what I wanted to study.

“My parents, like most Asian ones, initially wanted me to go into more traditional fields like accounting.

Chong Wan June’s Destruction of Gaia
Chong Wan June’s Destruction of Gaia

“But I went with my heart as art gives me a platform to turn my emotions into something tangible that I can share with viewers,” the 20-year-old said.

Yap Ley Min, also 20, who put up ‘Looking Glass of Family Ties’ among other pieces, similarly enjoys fine art as it allows her to express her thoughts and views.

“My ultimate aim is to be a successful artist, but first, I need to keep on painting and improve my skills,” she quipped at the show’s opening night on Saturday.

Leow Xu Jia, who won the Golden Award for Emerging Artists in the UOB Painting of the Year 2016 competition, looked to the past with pieces like ‘Womb’ and ‘50s Beauty’.

The former highlighted the many inequalities women in the olden days had to endure, while the latter, a portrait of her aunt, examines how the concept of beauty changes with the times.

The 22-year-old revealed that she started off studying interior design at Equator, but transferred to fine art and found her calling.

Sorrow After Guilt by Ruby Lai
Sorrow After Guilt by Ruby Lai

“Unlike most creative fields where you are constrained by industry trends or clients’ needs, in fine art you have the freedom to create anything you like, regardless of whether people can accept it,” Leow added.

Also participating in the show are Ruby Lai Chia Xin, Ng Tze Tsong, Ong Jia Yee, Teh Jun Yang, Ong Wei Xuan, Goh Zi Hao, Goh Sheng Jie and Wong Joo Yee, as well as international students Stefanie Subczinski from Germany and Ryousuke Sakamoto from Japan.

Joining them at the opening ceremony were Equator principal Datuk Chuah Kooi Yong and Fine Art Department head Ricardo Chavez Tovar.

In his speech, Chuah said: “Despite the smaller number of students compared to our other courses, fine art remains a primary focus as it is at the heart of everything.

“Equator is a great place for creative young minds to shine, and we have the results and achievements to prove it — such as our students regularly winning national and international awards”.

The Abiogenesis exhibition continues until Saturday and is open from 10am to 6pm daily. Viewing is free.

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