Hu-Kun, artist from China,’Taming the Tiger’, ink painting
The tiger, now an endangered species of wild life, mainly due to increasing number of poachers and deforestation, is found only in a few natural habitats. We are fortunate that in the Malayan jungle, in the 1950s (though they were already being hunted then), there were about 3,000 of these magnificent creatures.
Now it’s estimated that only 500 are alive (WWF sources).
Our nation’s emblems, crest and coat-of-arms, proudly carry the signs of the tiger. We also put the “tiger” in our car petrol tank. Many drink the “tiger” beer. And the Malayan Banking logo also uses the tiger as a symbol of strength and national pride.
In India, there are only 1,200-1,500 White Bengal tigers around. The Siberian tiger is down to 350-450 in the whole of Russia. Thailand and Vietnam have about 1,000 Indo-Chinese tigers. Sumatra has between 400 to 500 of their Sumatran creatures. The tigers in China are almost extinct except for those kept in their zoos.
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.