KUALA LUMPUR, 25 Ogos 2015 – The National Visual Arts Gallery just launched an exhibition entitled ‘Cheah Thien Soong: Nanyang Ink Painting’ that runs from 14 August until 2 October 2015. Ybhg. Tan Sri Dr. Rais Yatim, the Socio-Cultural Advisor of Malaysia at the National Visual Arts Gallery, officiated the launch.
The works by Negeri Sembilan-born artist, Dr. Cheah Thien Soong – who specialises in drawing and disclosing his knowledge through various styles – are displayed in this exhibition. Cheah also received guidance from the pioneering figures of Nanyang Painting such as Chen Wen Hsi and Cheong Soo Pieng.
Visitors to this exhibition are able to view a total of 139 works ranging from sketches, Chinese ink (calligraphy) and porcelain. Cheah is one of the pioneers of the contemporary Chinese ink painters who started to paint on canvas and devote their talent towards porcelain and clay. Cheah Thien Soong successfully dismantled and broke the norms of traditional Chinese ink painting that extends beyond the abstract properties of the Eastern vernacular, hence triggering a new vision that indirectly contributed to the development of ink painting that is distinctly Malaysian.
Having been involved in art for 50 years , Cheah Thien Soong never stop creating masterpieces. His works mainly absorb local culture like batik, shadow play, motifs and paper-cutting, fusing Eastern and Western art concepts, thus forming the unique style of Malaysian ink painting, such can be seen in “Fishing II”.
Besides fusing East and West, the artist also managed to stimulate the eyes and imagination of art lovers through his ground-breaking series, “Nature Created”, in terms of its multi-dimensional, spatial and block composition. Its dynamic composition inspires endless imagination, allowing viewers to zoom in on “individual interactions” that happen between the painting’s subjects such as the rocks, trees and flowers.
Across the century, the artist’s approach to art evolves to create “Dialogue with Nature” series that injects Zen metaphors into his depiction of flora and fauna.
Cheah’s passion allows him to always produce great work. His determination brought him to reinterpret the two-thousand-year-old text entitled “Six Ways” written by Xie He, deciphering it with another “Six Laws of [Chinese] Characters Formation” that includes “Pictograph & Pictophonetic”, which is about creating onomatopoeic characters, letting the sound carry the energy throughout the composition to make the painting lively and moving.
The ‘Cheah Thien Soong: Nanyang Ink Painting’ exhibition is currently showcased at Gallery 3A within the National Visual Arts Gallery. The gallery is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.