Sunday, August 26, 2007

Malacca Watercolour Exhibition

Cheong Lam San's Malacca - 83cm x61cm - RM2,000

I was in Malacca recently for a holiday and was pleasantly surprised by the exhibition on Malacca by various artists, featuring work both in oil, watercolour and Chinese paintings.

This exhibition, held at the Bastion House, which is beside the Formosa, was held to commemorate the 50th Merdeka. The exhibition was supposed to end on Aug 18 but was extended for obvious reasons.

There were quite a number of interesting watercolour works, participated by various artists - both who were born in Malacca as well as those from other states. What interested me most were the watercolour works, priced from RM300 to over RM1,000. Some were quite good, others so-so.

Ong Keng Hong's Trishaw Peddler (78cm x 60cm ) - RM1,000

A chat with the person put in charge of the show revealed a sad response. There were some buyers. However, I did not see the number red spots - an indication that a painting has been reserved or purchased. What happened? I asked the chap. I was told that although there were lots of visitors, most of them were only browsers - interested to look, but not to purchase.

What could be wrong? Some of the watercolour works are a bargain - going from as low as RM300. Of course, the oils are also not cheap. Some went for RM6,000 and some were really good, although quite a few were seemingly ambitious in the pricing. Perhaps the market in Malacca is not ready. I don't know. Maybe purchasing power for art is low? Who knows.

Faizal Zainal's Evening Light in Umbai (15 x 22 inches) - RM1,750

Sunday, August 19, 2007


This is my second piece on oil and probably my last. I am not painting oils any more. Not that it is not a good medium, I just find it pretty daunting trying to come up with a piece - although I must admit oil is much easier to control and any mistakes can be easily painted over.

In terms of technique, if you have a good eye for detail, I think you can paint well in oil. Almost any texture can be emulated using oil, and any colour-shade can be put on canvas, if only you understand colour mixing well.

This was inspired from memory of a seaside somewhere in the East Coast. Hope I have done this piece justice.