Visual feast of colours


  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 28 Jul 2018

‘The Hallmark Corridor’ by local artist Chen Zhe Rui touches on the heritage element.

THE 1st International Contemporary Watercolour Invited Exhibition in Penang features diverse subjects by 53 artists from 18 countries including Malaysia.

Currently on display at the State Art Gallery’s third floor exhibition space in Dewan Sri Pinang are 75 of their best pieces, each showing the distinct styles of the painters.

The pieces include ‘Good Morning Machu Picchu’ by Jansen Chow, president of show organisers the International Watercolour Society (IWS) Malaysia.

Chow, who hails from Kuala Lumpur, believes that a successful artwork must not only show good technique but be creative and original too.

“Technique and strokes need not be perfect. Sometimes a failed creative artwork can be more captivating than one that is perfect.

A cat peers back at the viewer in this simple but charming painting called ‘Attention’ by Endre Penovac of Serbia.

A cat peers back at the viewer in this simple but charming painting called ‘Attention’ by Endre Penovac of Serbia.

“Artworks that are rich in colour but non-original and repetitive can only attract one for a short period of time,” he commented in the programme notes.

Besides Chow, there are 27 other Malaysian artists along those from the Czech Republic, Pakistan, India, Italy, Canada, England and Serbia.

Also represented are talents from Greece, Albania, Taiwan, Russia, Thailand, Hong Kong, the United States of America, China, Singapore and Mexico.

Chow added, “The aim of the show is to bring top artists together and facilitate exchange.”

State Art Gallery committee member Becky Choong, who curated the show, said watercolour painting originated from the British in the 18th century and has evolved much since.

“We can see traces of British influence in Malaysia’s watercolour painting culture.

 (From right) Chow showing his piece ‘Good Morning Machu Picchu’ to Choong, Lee and guest of honour Patrick Goay during the opening of the 1st International Contemporary Watercolour Invited Exhibition at the Penang State Art Gallery.

“Watercolour painting has gained popularity here recently with the number of artists increasing gradually.

“This is evident from the number of lively works produced in the country,” she said during the show’s recent opening.

However, Choong feels that not all are able to display their fullest potential under the current system, and sees bodies like IWS Malaysia as instrumental in creating more platforms for the aspiring talents to shine.

The IWS was formed in 2012 and now has over 80 member countries.

The Malaysian chapter was set up in 2016.

State Art Gallery chairman Lee Khai said shows like this help benchmark the works of Malaysian artists against their foreign counterparts.

‘Grandpa And Child Feeding Hens’ by Atanur Dogan from Canada.

‘Grandpa And Child Feeding Hens’ by Atanur Dogan from Canada.

“I’m very impressed by the high quality of paintings featured here. The exhibition is certainly a feast for the eyes,” said Lee prior to launching the show.

The watercolour exhibition runs until Aug 6 and is open for viewing from 9am to 5pm daily, except Fridays and public holidays. Admission is free.

Following the show in Penang, the pieces will be exhibited at the Longyan Art Museum in Fujian, China, from Sept 7 to 11.

^’Legong – The Classical’ is a colourful piece by renowned Malaysian painter Datuk Tay Mo-Leong. 

Legong – The Classical’ is a colourful piece by renowned Malaysian painter Datuk Tay Mo-Leong.

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