WHILE many artists continue to remain fascinated by the abstract and the modern, Lui Cheng Thak prefers to keep it old-school.
His body of work, being featured at the Metro Fine Art gallery until Jan 19, displays Lui’s love for heritage buildings and traditional culture. The exhibition features 60 paintings that were completed between 1998 and 2002.
Each painting demonstrates the richness of Malaysian and Balinese cultures from past years to present.
Born in 1967 in rural Negri Sembilan, Lui was brought up to appreciate traditional and historic architecture.
He shies away from cosmopolitan style buildings and has even gone so far as to remove distinctive modern architecture from sections of his paintings.
A painter by trade for almost 20 years, Lui demonstrates his improved techniques with each exhibition although his distinctive style remains the same.
Although Lui has made a career out of his art, it is a labour of love with every painting taking about three weeks to complete.
Lui’s distinctive style draws people into the history of the architecture and brings people on a journey back through time.
“I want people to remember what it was like and show that once there were buildings like these,” he said.
He uses sunlight as a metaphor for the changing periods of architectural design.
“I like to play with sunlight to create a mood for the scene. The light shadows imply the passing of time,” he said, adding that just as the sun moved across his painting, the building facades changed too over the years.
Lui’s “Repertoire” also features a very different style with his foray into bright and colourful portrayals of Balinese culture.
There are 24 Balinese paintings which are based on a personal trip he made to Indonesia in 2001.
For the artist, these paintings are a celebration of the spiritual nature of the Balinese people.
“The figures and culture are related,” he explained, adding that the architecture complements the mood of the figures in the painting.
The exhibition is a fascinating insight into times gone by and traditions that are slowly fading away.
Metro Fine Art gallery is located at Metro Fine Art Gallery, Ground Floor, Sunway Putra Place (formerly The Legend Hotel), Jalan Putra, Kuala Lumpur.
The gallery is open from 11.30am to 5pm (Mon-Fri), 11am to 4pm (Sat) and is closed Sundays and public holidays.
For details, call 03-4042 2224/ 016-287 0396 or visit metro3gallery.com