Disability and ASEAN artists

The group photo of all the ASEAN deligates

Nurul at work with her mother Wairah

Seng Kit showing one of his line drawings with his mother Jenny

Art for All 2008 Thailand

This year, there were three ASEAN delegates, from each of the ten member countries in this region, invited to the event. One of the delegate, from each country, is a disabled person who has been chosen to represent their country in the art form they each excelled in.

Malaysia had the two artists at the camp. Tan Seng Kit was supported by his mother Jenny Soh and Nurulakmal was accompanied by her mother Wairah Marzuki. Seng Kit is good with his lines drawings and he makes his lines do intriguing designs on the paper. Nurul is accomplished in lines, shapes and colours and comes up with unexpected artworks occasionally.

Maman Sulaeman is a well known comic artist from Indonesia and he does his artworks from a wheelchair. Jesusa from the Philippines is an artist, singer, wheelchair table tennis player and a lawyer and she does mainly watercolours with great skill. Jushua Tang from Singapore is autistic but can do fantastic imaginative pictures. Pun Denh from Cambodia is a wheelchair dancer and a musician. (Just to name a few.)

The five days at the art camp was a crashed course in human relationship and cooperation through the media of art, music and dance.

Greeness & Whiteness

Pulau Perhentian No

Victor Chin, Pulau Perhentian No.45 (detail), 2007, acrylics on canvas, 85 x 120 cm

This is the latest painting, in the Pulau Perhentian series, which was inspired by the South China Sea, in the east cost of Malaysia and Victor Chin continues to explore the theme with new visual variegations.

This mixture of olive green, light green, light blue, under glazed red and yellow patches is covered over with streaking pale white marks and drippings. The artist, in this work, is letting the shapes, forms and lines shift themselves freely, into submission, in making this abstract construction.

Looking at this artwork, one may be lead, to imagine being in an undersea cave, with millions of stalactites, hanging from the roof of the cave. To others, who have been inside a medieval Islamic building, they may well recall being overwhelmed by the extraordinarily complex coloured tile patterns found on the walls and ceiling of those magnificent structures.

In any case, the pleasure here, is, to see it as what you most like it to be. Enjoy.

A Sea of Red

Painting No 2-3

Victor Chin, Pulau Perhentian No 38 (detail), 2006, acrylics on canvas, 120x85cm

This painting is a sea of semi-transparent red and dark paint marks that may suggest, like the other works in this series, the undersea marine life. If you have seen a school of fish swimming restlessly in the sea, you would have noticed their iridescence colours changes according to the angle they are swimming in and it also changes depending on the angle they are viewed.

This piece of work attempts to convey the agitated and tranquil moments of nature in the sea below. Of course, this picture is a static inanimate object and it requires that the viewer triggers their own imagination to see what the painter is trying to do here.

In the end, some observers may just be interested in the pleasure of looking at the painter’s unique use of lines, shapes, textures and colours and have their own different impression in mind. That is part of the unexpectedness of looking.

Recent paintings

Pulau Perhentian No25

Victor Chin, Pulau Perhentian No 25 (detail), 2005, acrylics on canvas, 85x120cm

This abstract image, filled with refracted yellow light of tropical waters, suggests a vibrant marine life surrounding the islands of the East Coast of Malaysia, where Pulau Perhentian, is just one of them. In this visual construction there are many different brush marks, lines and shapes, all pointing to the varieties of colourful fishes, sea shells, jelly fishes with their long tentacles etc.

One of the ways to enjoy this work, is to get really close to the surface of the painting and squinting your eye, gradually make out, from your our experience, some of your own memories of being in the undersea world. Your own recollection, will no doubt, add to the deeper pleasures of looking at a work of art like this one.

Could it be an oriental calm or turbulence or both? Its hard to tell.