Scaling great heights in art journey


(From left) Koh, art talk speaker Ha Chan Kee, the artist Cheng, Kok and Chan admiring an artwork called “Accomplished Journey, Painting with Own Poem”. — Photos: AZMAN GHANI/The Star

THE majestic landscapes seen by Prof Dr Cheng Haw Chien during his travels around the world have inspired yet another painting exhibition.

The internationally renowned Malaysian artist, who is also an accomplished calligrapher, poet, author and educator, sometimes incorporates poetry into his artworks too.

One exhibition piece called “Accomplished Journey, Painting with Own Poem” depicts a mountain in Nepal.

“After coming back from Nepal, I sketched the Himalayas before applying ink and colours ground from mineral stones to the painting.

“The ink and mineral pigments blended well and brought out the characteristics of the mountain.

“I also used the ink to visualise the mist surrounding the Himalayas,” said Prof Cheng.

At the top right of the painting is a poem to describe the beauty of the mountain.

The “Memory of Mt Everest” uses the contrast of black ink and white paper to depict the beauty of the world’s tallest mountain.The “Memory of Mt Everest” uses the contrast of black ink and white paper to depict the beauty of the world’s tallest mountain.

The painting is one of 57 artworks displayed at the “Colours of My Life: Cheng Haw Chien’s Retrospective on 50 Years of Artistic Creations” exhibition being held at Wisma Kebudayaan Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) in Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.

The artworks show off Cheng’s different styles during various periods of his life.

He has held more than 150 exhibitions around the world since his first solo show at Hui Ann Association, Penang, in 1969.

Another masterpiece, “Memory of Mt Everest” pays tribute to the world’s highest mountain.

“This painting, which consists of two pieces, uses a more abstract approach. I capitalised on the contrast of black ink and white paper to differentiate the snow from the rocks of the mountain,” Prof Cheng said at the exhibition launch.

A book launch was held in conjunction with the exhibition, to introduce five publications that record Cheng’s artistic achievements over five decades.

A painting of a stork titled “Solitude”. A painting of a stork titled “Solitude”.

SGM general director Koh Sia Feai said the exhibition was the first to be held there after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I hear that Cheng is about to embark on his third trip around the world and I wish him a fruitful journey in creating more amazing works for Malaysia and the world,” he said in his speech.

Guest of honour at the event, Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy said he had been “accompanying” Cheng on his art, poetry and calligraphy journey for the past 32 years.

“I met him when I was the deputy minister of Culture, Arts and Tourism in 1990 and have seen how determined he is to surpass himself,” said Chan.

An art talk was held after the launch of the exhibition. Also present were SGM president Michael Kok and Universiti Malaya Chinese Studies Department Alumni Association president Datuk Ng Tong Hai.

The “Colours of My Life: Cheng Haw Chien’s Retrospective on 50 Years of Artistic Creations” exhibition will be held until Aug 7 from 11am to 5pm (closed on Mondays).

Admission is free. For details, visit www.sgm.org.my

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Cheng Haw Chien , travels , painting , exhibition

   

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