You are cordially invited to Chua Chong Yong solo exhibition opening on Wednesday 8th Oct '03 at 8pm.

Gallery:Valentine Willie Fine Art
Date:8th - 25th October 2003
Time:12 - 8pm (Mon - Fri)
12 - 6pm (Sat)
Address:1st Floor, 17 Jalan Telawi 3,
Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel:(603) 2284 2348

The artist is also holding an open studio at RAP (For appointment, Please contact Chong Yong at 013 361 4468 | click for Location Map)

The Grey Ground, Acrylic on Canvas, 92 x 61cm (x 4 panels)

Pieces of thought

why pre war building?

I recalled when I first 'seriously' take pre war building as my subject matter, it was the design, the deco and the aging textured that attracted me. Later, I look into the history, the material, the issues behind, the problems, the conflict, the conserved vs the demolished, the act, the people/resident, the life styles, the 'together-memories', and now pre war building is one of my subject matters, anchored me to learn about myself.

In pre war building series, I was once paint as an 'artist'(choosing a favourite subject to paint, expressing feeling and emotion while trying to talk about issues), as an 'artist cum heritage supporter'(looking into pre war building from the point of 'badan warisan people', cracking heads and hoping that my artworks can changed the situation), as an 'artist cum observer' (looking into pre war building from different perspectives, the owner, the tenant, the 'badan warisan', the 'developer', the 'authorities'…)

and now, a mixual of all, I think.

why I salvaged?

initially with a simple intention:
'letting the material to speak for itself…'
later, I ask myself salvaged object as art piece?
salvaged object with artist signature?
putting salvaged object in an exhibition?
how much should I price?
no matter how much I priced them,
they shouldn't even be here at the first place.

by applying layers of lime washes and putting a price tag onto the salvaged bricks/tiles, I am adding the degree of fragility and attention to the bricks/tiles thus making the buyer to handle them with greater care.

after 'leaving' painting for a while (after winning phillip morris), going into 'installation' with a clear 'intention' and now 'coming back' to painting, I think I am more sensitive about 'time' in my painting. This some how change the norm way of how I paint. Previously, I usually took a short time(compare to the time I spent for research, studies, references) to finish a paint. I paint with more of my emotion, my habit. For my recent paintings, I 'intentionally'slow down the process of making and finishing a particular painting, introducing more space for 'thinking and viewing' in the process of painting, letting more different 'emotion and feeling' happen in a painting.

also, I am now choosing suitable technique(of different technique) for my painting: (Alor Gajah shop houses) flat colour and free-hand straight line on textured surface, masking line for signage, tinting and glazing for daily activities inside the shop and a spraying blue screen background…

Alor Gajah..., Acrylic on Canvas, 122 x 61cm (x 7 panels)

I was in Melaka in December 1994, for almost 40days.
Alor Gajah: Jalan Naning

I first noticed pre war shop houses at Alor Gajah some time in 1997 when I decided not to take my usual way back from Melaka town to KL. I remembered: most of them are off white, showing off their unique decoration and design, sometimes with small plant coming out from corners. Others, standing proudly in their own individual colours, of pastel blue, lime green, yellow ochre, with signage and billboards. They are as they are, allowing some parts being dirty and neglected while containing life and life styles of Alor Gajah.

I passed by Alor Gajah after attending a friend wedding dinner. Almost midnight and I saw Alor Gajah town, in her new dress.

I went to Melaka via Alor Gajah for my revisit-Melaka trip: taking photos for my paintings and meeting some friends.

11 something,
I was in my pagoda t shirt, jean and Japanese slipper, shooting photos with my coolpix885, one house after another, across the street. The locals saw me (as a tourist or a contractor I guessed).

When I walked across the street towards the shop houses, a shopkeeper asked me: 'For What?'
I explained:" Is for my paintings. I am an artist. Since when are these houses painted like this? Last time I passed here, still not like this."
'Year 2000-2001. The Majlis Perbandaran said everybody has to paint.'
"So, they pay or you have to pay?"
'They sponsored the paint and asked contractors to paint. We pay for the workmanship. RM600.00 per facade'
'Ok, they use good paint, ICI, Jotun Paint. Now the houses look new and beautiful.'

Early in the morning, I drove to Jalan Naning again with BeeTee n Shang Qi, hoping to catch the mood when shops close and reopen for business.
I managed to get a closer look at the shop houses this time. They have two sign boards: one by the owners themselves and one by the Majlis Perbandaran. The old one named Jalan Besar and the new one named Jalan Naning and I was confused why their addresses are not in sequence?

While waiting for the shops to open, I drove around. I noticed actually the whole town is painted the same: pinkish orange with bright yellow interspersed with cobalt blue.
Now they are presented as one: 'uniformed' and 'first-look-attractive' Suddenly I saw a shop house with a 'destroyed-by-fire' facade. What a nice contrast!

9 something,
I drove to Majlis Perbandaran to ask for logo.
The girl asked me: 'We have changed the Alor Gajah logo, do you want the new one?'
I said: "Is fine"

left: Pre War Building for Sale Series: Issue 1; House Cracks, Mixed Media on Canvas, 200 x 200cm, 2001.

right: Pre War Building for Sale Series: Anai-anaiing, Mixed Media on Canvas, 200 x 200cm, 2001.

Media Coverage:
1. The Edge - 20th Oct 3002 details... 581K
2. China Press - 19th Oct 3002 details... 161k

you are invited to
and we talk about 'Storeys' and others...
a dialogue together

in conjuction with Chuah Chong Yong 'Storeys'- 1st solo exhibition and open studio

Date: 23 Oct '03 (Thur)
Time: 8-10pm
Venue: RAP
Languague: mandarin + english + malay
Entry: by donation

  • what about a dialogue together?
  • why pre war building?
  • why such a variety of media? of subject matters?
  • why a review?
  • how about the respond?
  • what have you actually observed?
  • any possibilities?
  • how about building up own collection for personal museum?
  • how about state of paint? state of pain?
  • how about an artist?

    * something to warm up your mind before you come. come with questions and opinions. speak out and listen and speak out.

    for further information on chong yong and chong yong's 'storeys', please contact chong yong 013-3614468 or huakhuak8@hotmail.com

  • Photo Gallery:

    click for better view 35k

    click for better view 72k

    click for better view 23k

    click for better view 31k


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