KUCHING, May 3: Hoan Gallery at La Promenade Mall is preparing to host its next solo art show titled “Dialogue With Our Nature” by Bong Choo Chew, featuring more than 50 never-seen-before oil paintings.
According to Hoan Gallery’s director Hoan Kee Huang, oil paintings are a rarity in Sarawak due to the tedious and painstaking techniques involved, which few artists are able to commit to.
However, Bong, who is one of the founders of Sarawak Artists Society (SAS), has managed to produce an astonishing 50 oil paintings over the past decade. This solo exhibition will showcase Bong’s exceptional skills, deep thinking, and his appreciation of nature.
According to a press statement, the exhibition will begin on May 13 at 11am. The opening ceremony will be graced by Deputy Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting, and will be attended by past SAS presidents, business leaders and youths from universities.
“Dialogue With Our Nature” will be free for all to view and all pieces are for sale. The show will run for three weeks.
“I am not a commercial artist,” said Bong, aged 70.
“My condition to Hoan Gallery and the mall is that 70 per cent of proceeds must go to charities of my choice. Both parties agreed. I do oil paints to satisfy myself and for the community. I hope art lovers will appreciate my works for the benefit of society.”
Bong graduated from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore in 1975. As one of SAS’ founding members, he organised the body’s first art show at the Sarawak Museum in 1985.
A multidisciplinary artist, Bong is able to paint watercolour, Chinese brushes and Batik.
“In the 1990s, I entered the realm of oil paint. I like to think my works are in the traditions of impressionism and abstracts, but with my own distinctive style.”
For “Dialogue With Our Nature”, highlights depict Japanese Koi, lotus flowers, rivers, kampung-scapes, imbued with universal truths of Zen, Taiji, Yin Yang, Buddhism and Taoism.
Hoan said: “Bong’s belief that we only have one Earth and that we must collectively take care of our environment really comes through in this show.
“There are works in this show that really capture moments of beauty in nature, and there are also works that show Bong’s deep introspections. With this show, we really try to show a combination of skills that Bong has that can take your breath away and also very contemplative, peaceful pieces.”
“Dialogue With Our Nature” is Hoan Gallery’s second solo show of the year. The gallery just completed a six-week-long run of Alena Murang’s “Colours Of The Highlands”.
La Promenade Mall’s digital marketing manager Sophia Ong said the gallery had outsold expectations this year with about 70 per cent of Alena’s artworks purchased, including large format ones, and sold to buyers from Spain, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Miri and Kuching.
“As a community mall, it brings us great satisfaction that local art is attracting attention and becoming commercially viable. We love it that local artists are making money from their passion. We also love it that more home buyers are hanging up art,” she added.
For more info, visit hoangallery.com, lapromenademall.com.my or search @HoanArtGallery and @LaPromenadeMall on social media. — DayakDaily