Murals, Now & Then is the 4th Solo Art exhibition of Mr Hoo Chee Few. It opened on March 8th at Galeri Seni Mutiara. the exhibition is about the artist’s impressions of murals and street art, represented in watercolours.
Hoo Chee Few is a Penang-born artist who is the Director of the Malaysian Artists Society’s Education & Visual Art Development Department. He is also a member of the well-established Penang Art Society and the founder of C&J Professional Watercolour Centre & Motion Picture Studio. The official opening evening in Galeri Seni Mutiara was peaceful and warm with family members, friends, fellow artists and art supporters in attendance.
From my personal sit-down chat with Mr Hoo Chee Few, it was apparent that he is a natural story teller who happens to be a great artist. His artworks are filled with amazingly realistic details of scenes from Malaysia’s past. He also uses an uncommon deep-washing watercolour method to bring lightness into his paintings so that they appear dreamlike.
His exhibition comprises two themes, ‘Then’ and ‘Now’, curated so they face each other. The ‘Then’ paintings are hanging on the left side from the entrance, and consist mainly of scenes from Malaysia’s past including characters of different ethnicities from his childhood. ‘The Now’ paintings are hanging on the right-hand side; they feature the more personal subjects of his family, his state of mind during his artistic journey, and experiences with mural art.
In an interesting excerpt from his personal statement, Hoo assets: “cavemen painted their stories on cave walls and ceilings hundreds of thousands years ago, marking the first time ever in our history that humans created records, long before the introduction of languages. Many years ago, Malaysians lived in harmony and the sceneries were beautiful. Their daily lives with unique buildings as backgrounds naturally made up the “real-life artworks”.”
These days, Malaysian artists are creating street art and murals all over the country, and reflecting their multi cultural diversity. While attractive, they are impermanent, and in time, all of them may gradually disappear after suffering environmental damage..
Hoo foresees this and so creatively transforms street art into watercolour paintings with the intention of permanently preserving the street art. His ‘Then’ series consists of imaginative artworks tells true stories of the scenes during the old times. The ‘Now’ series contains interesting stories behind every earpiece which the artist has imaginatively created.
Murals, Now & Then is at Galeri Seni Mutiara (118, Lebuh Armenian, 10200 Penang) until 22nd March 2020, opening hours are from 11.00am – 6.00pm daily. The gallery is reachable as followings;
By Nasir Nadzir