Firstly, congratulations to the Contemporary Malaysian Watercolorists Association (CMWA) on holding their 26th annual exhibition in Penang. These artists are some of the most well known around Malaysia, as well as some big names from Penang. With local names including Khoo Cheung Jin who co-founded Urban Sketchers Penang, as well as CMWA members such as the current President of CMWA, Richard Wong.
This exhibition is very much a celebration of traditional representational art and there are some really beautiful works. My favourite was “Sandy Cove” by Lim Tong Juan. He used a kind of 1970s school text book orange for the sunset over the fishing boats, and large gestural marks rather than precise ones. It feels like gouache with its large washes of colour which are so peaceful and calm. This work was nicely paired with a painting by Dato’ Tay Mo-Leong of a brightly coloured boat with strong lines and similar gestural marks. Whilst I’ve not been to Bali and seen those boats for myself, it reminded me very much of my own experiences of Balik Pulau and I felt I could walk right into it and be at home there.
Hiding at the back was a beautiful piece by Choh Kok Kheong entitled “My Sweet Home”. Again I enjoyed the simplicity of the mark making, as my own preference favours this more. Its bright colours are beautifully reminiscent of the kampung in mid afternoon.
In complete contrast to these is Khoo Cheung Jin’s work “Dato Kramat Roadside Stall” which delivers all the liveliness and vibrancy one would expect of that neighbourhood. Short sharp washes combined with strong lines and a manipulation of negative space makes this piece full of so much energy, and so reminiscent of old Penang.
Daiichi Art Space is a well-organized space that features a lot of different artists, with shows every three weeks at this time of year. It is upstairs above a restaurant by the same owners on Jalan Argyll and is open from 1pm-6pm daily, except on Mondays.
Where? – Daiichi Art Space, Argyll Road, Penang
When? – July 2nd – 21st 2019, Tuesday-Sunday, 1pm-6pm
How much? – Free
Written by: Lusy Kuror