LONDON.- The High Commissioner of Malaysia to the United Kingdom, H.E. Dato' Ahmad Rasidi Hazizi, will formally open Chang Fee Ming: A Travellers Diary (A Private Collection), on Thursday 26th June at 7pm.
A Travellers Diary, presented by Singapore-based gallery One East Asia, is the first solo exhibition in London of works by the celebrated Malaysian watercolourist Chang Fee Ming (b.1959). It runs from 24 June to 4 July at the ROA Gallery, Pall Mall, near to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.
Fee Mings subject matter is the lives and culture of the ordinary working people of rural Southeast Asia: members of remote communities whose traditional ways of life are threatened with extinction; the fishermen and their families in the coastal villages of peninsular Malaysia; and the inhabitants of Bali participating in the ceremonies that have formed the framework of life on the island for generations.
Nineteen works from the private collection of Daniel Komala, founder of Larasati Auctioneers and art gallery One East Asia, Singapore, are being shown as a non-selling exhibition. There will also be three specially commissioned large watercolours and more than 10 smaller paintings and drawings, all of which are available to purchase.
A book to accompany the exhibition, A Travellers Diary (2014) has been published by One East Asia, Singapore.
Fee Ming was born in February 1959 in Malaysia, in the small town of Dungun in the coastal state of Terengganu.
He is self-taught, and works entirely in watercolour, pushing the medium to its limits by combining wet and dry techniques to create intense and meticulously worked paintings with a sense of heightened reality. His subject matter is the human figure, landscape or still life, and he is best known for his striking half-figure composition that often include all three elements.
Several books have been published about his work, including The World of Chang Fee Ming (1995), The Visible Trail of Chang Fee Ming (2000), Mekong (2004), Mekong: Exploring the Source (2008) and Imprinted Thoughts (2009), which was published in conjunction with his exhibition at Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI). In 2010 he launched two more publications: a book of travel sketches, Sketching Through Southeast Asia, and Visage. The latter features a new body of work that was inspired by his experience at the Louvre Museum while observing in person the making of Visage by the internationally acclaimed film director Tsai Ming Liang.
Although based in Terengganu and on the Indonesian island of Bali, Fee Ming regularly undertakes epic journeys that he uses to gather material and sketch ideas for series of works produced at home in the studio. The subjects of these series are the lives of the people and communities he encounters in remote areas, whose traditions and ways of living are increasingly under threat. His travels have taken him along the length of Mekong river and to Burma, India and the Swahili coast of East Africa.
His work is eagerly collected in Southeast Asia, Europe, the US and Australia.