Hoan Gallery showcases unique styles of Sarawak’s artists


By Nura V Lorna

KUCHING: A new art gallery launched its opening exhibit: Rebirth-Sarawak Is Art, Past & Present (Rebirth) here on Friday (Jan 8) by a local fine art artist, Hoan Kee Huang.

Hoan told New Sarawak Tribune that he was touched by the tenacity of pioneer artists who strove to pursue a breakthrough in art.

“I always see young artists carry their own work to hang on the exhibition walls and nobody helps them. They have been painting since they were young and yet they still don’t have a recognisable professional profile. So, I started to interview some of them,” he explained.

Leonard Siaw with his ‘Reignite’.

Hoan began to hunt for their stories and works, hoping to promote their art to the public. He found artists Nia Latif and Leonard Siaw, and they are featured in his gallery.

Rebirth features dozens of artworks by 10 different artists, including renowned batik artist, Stephanie Eng.

Nia Latif standing beside her masterpiece.

“We have amazing water colour art by Lam Sion Onn. We even have new pieces by Lee Hock Kia, who even at 85 years old, is still painting.

“Our gallery carries three new works by Lee that were done during the movement control order (MCO) period.”

Hoan, who is the gallery owner, said the exhibition is also paying tribute to artists who have passed on. Rebirth features the works of the late Michael Chong (1948-2021), Chee Hong King (1920-1992), Chong Liew Sin (1949-1999) and Foo Syn Choon (1933-2012).

“In curating Rebirth, I made sure to include a wide range of ages (of the artist), techniques and mediums. The artwork includes oil on canvas; oil and acrylic on canvas, batik paintings, water colour arts and Chinese inks.

“Every piece is unique, none are duplicates. All are original works. In this first show, the oldest work is Chee Hong King’s Serenity from 1960, while the latest is Leonard Siaw’s Reignite completed in 2021.”

Hoan with his oil painting.

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