Opening - Chong Siew Ying @ Valentine Willie Fine Art, Singapore

Malaysian painter Chong Siew Ying is opening a new exhibition at Valentine Willie gallery in Singapore on May 6. Informed by both traditional Chinese ink painting and European sensibilities Chong creates imagined charcoal mindscapes that play with texture and formal composition to communicate the infinite qualities of landscape. In this recent body of work the artist first drew with charcoal on large scale paper-mounted canvases. Once laden with grainy textures, she placed her work on the floor to layer them with a clear emulsion, then lifted lifted the canvas merging charcoal and emulsion. The result of this labor-intensive process is an animated and atmospheric surface that has similarities to the fluid and meticulous strokes of ink painting. After studying art in Paris, Cheong returned to her native Malaysia in 1998, and has since built a name as an elegant and gifted painter, which produces profoundly emotive works. She’s at ease painting human figure and landscape. In late 2006 she made a series of charcoal drawings of largely Malaysian flora and fauna, of an almost forgotten life in nature. In 2008, she moved on to a series of portraits of imagined Oriental beauties adorning her compositions with classical Chinese motifs - flowers, blossoms, goldfish, distant mountainscapes. Her latest works focus on the imaged landscapes with highly dramatic effect, that have yet a strangely familiar feel.