Chang Fee Ming
05 Mar - 05 Apr 2008
Chang Fee Ming - "Mekong: Exploring the Source"
Many are familiar with Chang Fee Ming's earlier work, capturing kampong life in his home state of Terengganu, or the colour and ceremony of Bali, even the splendour of Mandalay's Buddhist culture. In 2004, he exhibited the first body of his Mekong series, taking his audience into more unfamiliar and difficult territory. The Mekong series is not only an invaluable document of communities whose survival may be threatened by the forces of change and development.
Four years on from his landmark Mekong exhibition, Chang Fee Ming unveils the sequel, a remarkable series of sixteen major watercolours and accompanying portraits, sketches and studies made from his travels to the Tibetan region around the source of the great river. This current body of work explores the narratives embedded in the life and landscape of this beautiful but troubled area. Mekong: Exploring the Source begins at VWFA KL in March and travels on to Vanessa Art Link at 798 in Beijing in May and to Singapore in July.
About the artist
Born in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia in 1959, Chang Fee Ming is a self-taught artist who began his career in the early 1980's. Since winning the Malaysian Watercolour Society Award in 1984, he has gone on to gain many accolades both locally and internationally, and became a Signature Member of The National Watercolour Society (USA) in 1994. He has exhibited widely in the Southeast Asian region, with solo shows in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, and Bali, and participated in numerous major exhibitions in Malaysia, Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, China, Indonesia, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, UK, Sweden and Brazil. His works have also appeared at auction at Christie's and Sotheby's over the past seven years.
In 1995, he published "The World of Chang Fee Ming" (Ooi Kok Chuen & Garret Kam) and in 2000 published "The Visible Trail of Chang Fee Ming" (Christine Rohani Longuet). He is currently based in Kuala Terengganu, spending much of his time traveling through Asia.
Since his beginnings as a self-taught artist, Chang Fee Ming has gone on to engender a whole new approach to the medium. His craftsmanship is unparalleled, yet importantly his is a continual exploration of the possibilities of watercolour to capture the light and temperature, the drama and detail of Southeast Asian life. He is also a consummate narrator, and so his work does not merely document and celebrate, it is also sensitive to the poignancy and the painful ironies of an older Southeast Asian world in transition, and above all testifies to the resilience of the human spirit and of cultural tradition in the face of change.