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Artist shines spotlight on Penang and Adelaide at ongoing exhibition


Yew posing with her piece ‘Mee Time’ which depicts  herself enjoying her favourite bowl of noodles when back in Penang. —Photos: LIM BENG TATT/The Star

Yew posing with her piece ‘Mee Time’ which depicts herself enjoying her favourite bowl of noodles when back in Penang. —Photos: LIM BENG TATT/The Star

MARVEL at the beauty of two sister cities through the eyes of artist Yew Swee Wah at her Penang/Adelaide Revisited solo exhibition.

The 30 pieces displayed at Galeri Seni Mutiara in Armenian Street, George Town, will take visitors on a fascinating journey.

Penang-born Yew now lives in Adelaide in South Australia but she still returns to her hometown every year.

“When I come back, I avoid the tourist places and prefer to go down roads less travelled, exploring time-tested hawker stalls,” Yew said.

Her favourite dishes include the famous sisters curry mee in Ayer Itam and spicy street morsels found in Little India.

An oil on canvas piece called ‘Once Upon A Time in Sia Boey’ which reimagines the now defunct market.
An oil on canvas piece called ‘Once Upon A Time in Sia Boey’ which reimagines the now defunct market.

“These works are a labour of love. It’s my personal journey from the known to unknown and back again,” she added at the show’s recent opening.

She grew up in a traditional Chinese family where mathematics and sciences were emphasised. But Yew had an interest in art, thanks to her grandfather who was a master in Chinese brush painting and calligraphy.

After some years as a primary school teacher, she obtained a Fine Arts degree from Universiti Sains Malaysia and was posted to Chung Ling High School in the 1990s.

She became chairperson of Penang Teachers Art Circle – the first woman to do so – and was also honorary secretary of the State Art Gallery.

‘Chilling Out At Rundle Mall I’ showing people relaxing at a shopping centre in Adelaide.
‘Chilling Out At Rundle Mall I’ showing people relaxing at a shopping centre in Adelaide.  

In 2003, she obtained her Master of Art degree from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. The thought of residing Down Under took hold.

She opted out for early retirement in 2010 and left for Adelaide.

“I was attracted to Adelaide because of its amiable weather and easygoing lifestyle.

“I love its greenery, world-class wineries and quaint weekend markets,” Yew explained.

‘Penang - Adelaide Heritage Houses’ contrasts the different styles of historic buildings in the two cities.
‘Penang - Adelaide Heritage Houses’ contrasts the different styles of historic buildings in the two cities.  

She is now a Fellow of The Royal South Australia Society of Arts and is actively involved in the arts scene there.

Recently, she curated the Art on Gouger show which was part of the prestigious South Australian Living Artist Festival.

Yew’s Penang/Adelaide Revisited exhibition, which was opened by her brother-in-law Walter B.C. Teoh, is her first solo event.

The show runs until Sunday and is open daily between 11am and 6pm. Entrance is free.

Northern Region , bureaus

   

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