March 28, 2008
Victor Chin, Pulau Perhentian No 38 (detail), 2006, acrylics on canvas, 120x85cm
This painting is a sea of semi-transparent red and dark paint marks that may suggest, like the other works in this series, the undersea marine life. If you have seen a school of fish swimming restlessly in the sea, you would have noticed their iridescence colours changes according to the angle they are swimming in and it also changes depending on the angle they are viewed.
This piece of work attempts to convey the agitated and tranquil moments of nature in the sea below. Of course, this picture is a static inanimate object and it requires that the viewer triggers their own imagination to see what the painter is trying to do here.
In the end, some observers may just be interested in the pleasure of looking at the painter’s unique use of lines, shapes, textures and colours and have their own different impression in mind. That is part of the unexpectedness of looking.
March 26, 2008
Victor Chin, Pulau Perhentian No 25 (detail), 2005, acrylics on canvas, 85x120cm
This abstract image, filled with refracted yellow light of tropical waters, suggests a vibrant marine life surrounding the islands of the East Coast of Malaysia, where Pulau Perhentian, is just one of them. In this visual construction there are many different brush marks, lines and shapes, all pointing to the varieties of colourful fishes, sea shells, jelly fishes with their long tentacles etc.
One of the ways to enjoy this work, is to get really close to the surface of the painting and squinting your eye, gradually make out, from your our experience, some of your own memories of being in the undersea world. Your own recollection, will no doubt, add to the deeper pleasures of looking at a work of art like this one.
Could it be an oriental calm or turbulence or both? Its hard to tell.
March 21, 2008
The sovereign peoples of Malaysia, 49% of the 7.9 million, who went to the polls during the 12 general election on 8-3-08, voted for the opposition parties. Only 51% voted for the national coalition parties and they now rule the country by a simple majority, not with the 2/3 majority as they enjoyed before.
This is a victory for the Malaysians who dared to register their vote of dissent to the politicians in power for the last 51 years and this act of objection deserved our gratitude and praise. This ought to be a date in Malaysian history as a Malaysian Dissent Day (MDD) and ought to be celebrated annually from now on.
Politically MDD will remind all the politicians, in power or otherwise, the peoples of the nation is the authority. And there is still the next task to get the rest, 50% of the population of 27 million, who didn’t register to vote to do so for the next election. This is a vote by the different peoples, for the peoples of the country and not for politicians to misuse it for their own personal or party’s benefit.
MDD will alert its electorates about the social and cultural racist practices that existed in the country and learn how this concept of a ‘superior race’ is used, not just in Malaysia but world wide, as a tool to divide and subjugate its citizens and make them miserable and downtrodden.
The sovereign peoples of Malaysia deserved to live in freedom, dignity and fraternity. Long live the voice of dissent. Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!
March 12, 2008
Dominic is ten and he is in standard four in a Chinese school in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. His mother, Lim Siew Chong, is blind due to a car accident when she was twenty-one, in Ipoh. A few years back, both of them moved to live in Brickfields where she could train as a masseur at the Malaysian Association of the Blind (MAB) and then later work as a blind masseur in that area. There is a small community of both the blind and the deaf in this part of the city.
Dominic and his mother are both members of the harmonica music group from the MAB. This group of seven part-time musicians was invited to perform at the Sunday lunch party organized by Victor Chin and his friends at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center (KLPac) on the 24 February.
On that day, after lunch, Dominic together with about 20 people, young and old, some with disabilities, were invited by Nala Nantha, from the KLPac, to join her in an hour of theatre-based activities and games. The following day Nala contacted Victor and told him that she was impressed by Dominic’s natural ability and focus during the session and said that she would like to offer a semester of free classes to Dominic.
When Victor contacted Dominic’s mother and told her about Nala’s offer, she was not vary sure at first, but she agreed to come with Dominic to meet Nala the next Sunday at the KLPac. After the meeting and also getting a sense of the place and the activities at the KLPac Siew Chong was a bit more assured. But she finally consented when Victor Chin and Nala assured her that Dominic will be safe and will be provided with transportation and food as well on the Sundays when he has classes.
After his first class Dominic said to Nala that he really enjoyed the session and also he was pleased to meet with many new friends outside his normal group of pals.
March 8, 2008
Victor Chin’s Sunday lunch party on the 24 of February at the KLPac is now in video. The video footages were shot by several people on that day including Lucian, Numpueng and Victor. However this short presentation was edited by Victor and this is his first video in youtube.
This recording brings together some of the faces, the families and friends, the food and drinks, the music, the conversations and fun meetings and also some of Victor Chin’s photographs on exhibition at the KLPac. Enjoy.
March 5, 2008
Victor Chin’s exhibition In the Face of Disability ended on the 29 Feb at the KLPac and it was its third home. The collection is now waiting to continue its tour to the next host. It started on 14 Jan. and within the 46 days that the display was on at the KLPac, the photographs had attracted numerous remarks and comments and here is a selection taken from Victor’s visitor’s book and press cuttings.
‘Inspired work and inspiring.’ Joan Russell
‘Humbling, inspirational, glorious…’ Joe Hasham & Faridah Merican
‘I’m v. happy to see you progress from one neglected aspect of KL to its ‘neglected’ people, and you’ve taken in your embrace more than just KL people. Remember how we once tried to save “Court Hill”? Well done! ’ Wan Hulaimi
‘These photographs are vary sensitive & beautiful – I especially like the group shots (swimmers) – very poignant.’ Gabrielle Bates
‘Wow! Moved me to tears. Thank you for reminding me about courage.’ Shahnaz.
‘Your exhibition is a good concept and it makes all disable people proud’ Lim Anuar
‘Beautiful. U made me realize the other part of what life is about. Thank U.’ Kee Nyap
‘…The images are simple and stark, making no attempt to hide or mask the disability that it photographs. Yet, the vitality and the verve of his subjects make that very disability almost disappear as it is cloaked by the grandeur and strength of the spirit it embodies…’ Anandhi Gopinath, The Sun.