Medium: Watercolour and Ink on Canvas
Dimension: Various Sizes Miniature Canvases (700pcs)
Year: 2011 – 2016
I was a graphics artist in New Straits Times for 19 years before leaving the commercial world. I was one of the first “Info-graphic artist” in the country and it had always been my job to record events.
What started as a job became the theme of my paintings. I would use symbols and recreate events. Events are dramatised to explain complex incidents in a simple way to the audience.
As years passed I started noticing that images flash in and appear in the intellect and immediately move out. After closely watching these images, I noted a connection. Since I had been doing symbolism for many years, my intellect was linking itself with everything that was happening around me and was showing me its version of an incident.
After my Human Watching series where I did analytical studies of people born on specific days, I decided to capture every other image that appeared in my intellect without questioning its significance. Some were purely abstract images and yet within some I started expressing my emotions, personal and social.
I wanted to capture as much as possible and I knew only miniature canvas would be the best to produce these works. I used Mitsubishi Uni pin Fine Line and did line drawings.
What started as a playful relaxation increased by number and in 2011, exhibited 109 watercolour works on miniature canvases in Petronas gallery.
I later showed 150 black and whites and 150 colour works in The Art House, Singapore and in University Malaya.
After the initial 150 colour works, I decided to continue on Mitsubishi Uni pin Fine Line which was easy to carry around. This works were done whenever and wherever I get time. There are drawings done in hospitals, restaurants, toilets, traffic jams, parks etc and this is how portraiture came into the series. Whoever i meet or even see in public places became my subject. I was not interested in ‘photo reality” so I started creating impressions and added symbolism to show my version of the character. Nearly all portraits were of someone real.
In this exhibition I am showing 700 works.
Using small canvas is my way to tell the observer that “Art is not decided by the size but by what it contains”