By Aileen Yap Wen Yee
The Kuching Chung Hua Middle School Alumni Association organised a five-day Calligraphy and Painting Exhibition at The Spring, Kuching from November 12 to 16, in which they invited more than 20 alumni and teachers from Chung Hua Middle School to assist and showcase their artworks, which included Chinese ink painting, Chinese calligraphy, oil painting, watercolour painting, fan art, and pencil art.
Chen Ming, 42, Vice President and Head of Youth of The Kuching Chung Hua Middle School Alumni Association and the exhibition’s president, said that this is the first time they have organised a Calligraphy and Painting Exhibition.
Their mission as a member of the Kuching Chung Hua Middle School Alumni Association is to give back to their alma mater, its teachers, and students.
Their contribution ranges from preparing students and teachers to study abroad in China to organising school-based activities for students.
However, much money is required to sustain their significant contribution to the school, so they established an education fund for this event to receive donations from the public and alumni.
At the same time, it allows the artists/alumni to showcase and promote their works to the public.
Artists may also choose to donate their work in any proportion that they see fit.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the alumni and supporters of this event,” said Chen.
When asked about the difficulties they had encountered while preparing for this event, Chen said that they were fortunate enough that the three months of preparation went smoothly.
One of the reasons is that the Kuching Chung Hua Middle School Alumni Association is filled with talented individuals.
Their president and secretary, Kho Kheng Hee and Chan Eng Hee, are highly respected in the Chinese calligraphy and painting fields and have experience organising calligraphy events, which is why they serve as advisors for this event.
When asked about the youth community’s lack of interest in calligraphy and how they attract the younger generation to learn and be interested in Chinese calligraphy and painting, Chan said that people like to come to exhibitions and see, whether it is a live performance of writing calligraphy or painting, people’s curiosity leads them to come, showing that deep down, every Chinese person yearns to know more about their culture.
He also knows that promoting this type of exhibition allows people to be exposed to this culture.
Chan explained that the arts featured in this exhibition are diverse, allowing young and old generations to enjoy the arts together.
Many young people will enjoy the showcase because it combines modern and traditional art.
“We want to organise these events so that people understand that art can be presented in a variety of ways. And it can also incorporate historical elements and traces, which are then displayed to the public,” said Chen.
He also said that by organising more events, the public will gradually accept this type of art.
He added that because of the positive response from the audience, he and his team would consider organising another similar event in one to two years.
Chen, however, noticed that the preparation for this event lacked human resources.
He strongly encouraged the young alumni to join this organisation for future events in order to give back to their alma mater.
• This article was written by a student from the Strategic Communication Programme of the Faculty of Language and Communication, UNIMAS.