8 Nov 2016 Ferado

LAB 2016 Sculptors’ Night of Discoveries

November 6

The Langkawi Art Biennale 2016 Exploration Journey continues. This time, with a group of sculptors from various parts of the world.

Tonight fifteen sculptors from Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Japan and the Philippines gathered at Breakfast Bar, Langkawi Island. They discussed plans for the sculptural projects they will be making for for the upcoming celebration of Langkawi Art Biennale 2016.

They will be sourcing materials from Langkawi Island. Some of the materials to be used are marble, stone, wood and materials from scraps.

Sculptors representing Malaysia, Philippines, Australia
Sculptors representing Malaysia, Philippines, Australia
Nepal meets Australia: Raju Pithakote and Lawrence Dinesh Wilkes
Nepal meets Australia: Raju Pithakote and Lawrence Dinesh Wilkes
Helen Crawford (Australia) and Fumihiko Sano (Japan)
Helen Crawford (Australia) and Fumihiko Sano (Japan)
Mr. Liew Kian Yap welcomes Mauritius sculptors led by Jean Lewis Dick. Jean-Daniel Orion,  Nicolas MAriette, Ryan Azenor and Baliram Ourmila compose the group.
Mr. Liew Kian Yap welcomes Mauritius sculptors led by Jean Lewis Dick. Jean-Daniel Orion, Nicolas Mariette, Ryan Azenor and Baliram Ourmila compose the group.

It was a night of discovery, getting to know one another and planning together for the sculptural projects that will be showcased in the Langkawi International Convention Center during the Langkawi Art Biennale celebration from November 16 to 23.

Mr. Liew Kian Yap, Langkawi Art Biennale Founder led the discussions.
Mr. Liew Kian Yap, Langkawi Art Biennale Founder led the discussions. .
Sculptors shape, mold and fashion with artistry and precision...I wonder what's going on in their minds as we plan for the coming days.
Sculptors shape, mold and fashion with artistry and precision…I wonder what’s going on in their minds as we plan for the coming days.

” As artists, we should not be confined to a place or the materials we are going to use in the sculptural pieces we are making. We are here to explore and express our creativity and resourcefulness as artists, not to be limited with materials or space”, Jik Villanueva of the Philippines shares his point of view in the discussion.

All are excited to execute their respective sculptural pieces.
All are excited to execute their respective sculptural pieces.

Afterwards, Charles Lesquelin performed some of his songs for the sculptors and the public.

The excitement rises as we look forward to seeing more of the artists’ performances in the coming days and seeing their outputs, both from the painters’ group and the sculptors’ group.

Daily, we get exciting doses of more explorations and discoveries as we get nearer to the opening of Langkawi Art Biennale 2016.

7 Nov 2016

Peranakan inspiration

A SNEAK PREVIEW – watch it!

ART and the love of BEAUTY have always been an integral part of life of Nyonyas (Chinese Peranakan ladies) and Babas (Chinese Peranakan men); from their dressing to cooking and presentation of the dishes to spiritual offerings and past-times (from singing the cheeky Dondang Sayang to the fine embroidery of beaded slippers).

This glamourous way of life has inspired many Malaysian artists to paint and represent it with motifs taken from everyday life – the utensils for eating, tools for grinding spices, food carriers, right down to the colourful morsels of Nyonya Kuih (pieces of steamed cakes make from rice and glutinous rice flour, coloured and flavoured with extracts from local leaves and flowers).

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Sherin Ng Lay Hwa is one such artist, painting her own heritage in the lovely “Nyonya colours”, a palette of colours that was painted on crockery (plates, bowls, cups) designed specially for the Peranakan community by makers in China centuries ago. Greatly inspired by fond memories of her childhood, she started seriously painting in 2011. She paints in a variety of media – watercolour, acrylic and even wax (batik).

MALAYSIA is a multi-cultural nation with a rich history and made up of descendants from many ethnic groups, mainly Malay, Chinese and Indian. But we also have indigenous people, descendants from Gurkhas, Eurasians, Portuguese, Armenians, etc.. and the Peranakans. Simply put , Peranakan refers to someone born in the Straits Settlement (Penang, Melaka and Singapore).

Chinese Peranakan is best known by their delicately embroidered blouses, sarong kebayas, as well as their delicious food! They are Chinese who have settled in Malaya (long time ago) and either by inter-marriages or by living among the locals and the British in Malaya, have generated a unique culture. To further divide, the Penang Peranakans’ and Melaka Peranakans’ spoken language have evolved differently and are quite unrecognisable among the two.

Into the mix, we also have Jawi Peranakan, who are descendants from inter-marriages between Northern Indians and local Malays and Indian Peranakans known as Chitty who are of Tamil origins.

Sherin Ng Lay Hwa’s works will be part of the Cultural Dresses and Costumes segment of LAB2016., together with other works from Efat Amiri (Iran), Rozlina Khairi (Malaysia) and Tomoko Nakai (Japan).

6 Nov 2016 Ferado

“Exploration” Team Meets LAB 2016 Patron

Nov 4-Nov5

Tonight (Nov4) at dinner time, Mr. Azizi surprised our team. He told us that YM Raja Omar Ikram B. Raja, Langkawi Art Biennale 2016 came to see us, inviting us to dinner.

What a privilege and honor to meet our Patron and his wife, Madam Anne Jay!
It’s not everyday, one gets to meet royalties. We are aware they are very busy people but their taking time to meet with us, dine with us and just talk, was so gracious!”

The following day (Nov5), we met with our Patron again; for a sketching session with our “Exploration” Team artists.

Our Patron invited us to dinner at Rasa Warisa
Our Patron invited us to dinner at Rasa Warisa

The next day, they joined us after breakfast for a sketching/Painting session with our “Exploration” Team of artists.

What a privilege!
What a privilege!
While the artists are doing their sketches, I was on the side and talked with them.
While the artists are doing their sketches, I was on the side and talked with them.
We appreciate their taking time to be with us despite their busy schedules.
We appreciate their taking time to be with us despite their busy schedules.

Charly Lesquelin’s interpretation.

Celso Pepito’s’s rendition

Freddy Sofian’s rendition

Am so honored, even humbled, to witness today's sketching session with our Patron.
Am so honored, even humbled, to witness today’s sketching session with our Patron.
Langkawi Art Biennale 2016 is so blessed to have YM Omar Iram B. Raja Abdullah Omar  as our Patron.  With his wife, Madam Joy Anne, we look forward to greater things for Malaysia's art tourism thrusts.
Langkawi Art Biennale 2016 is so blessed to have YM Omar Iram B. Raja Abdullah Omar as our Patron. With his wife, Madam Ann Jay, we look forward to greater things for Malaysia’s art tourism thrusts.
6 Nov 2016 Ferado

Exploring Langkawi Island

November 2

So many places to explore in Langkawi! This is what I discovered today as Mr, Azizi brought us out of ‘The Cot tage” today.

We're all looking fresh and ready for the day's adventures.
We’re all looking fresh and ready for the day’s adventures.

The artists are at it again! Charly gives the sketch he made for Freddy, this time. The three of them: Celso, Freddy and Charly have this "Draw me, I'll draw you" kind of a game and been exchanging sketches since the time we arrived in Kuala Lumpur.
The artists are at it again! Charly gives the sketch he made for Freddy, this time. The three of them: Celso, Freddy and Charly have this “Draw me, I’ll draw you” kind of a game and been exchanging sketches since the time we arrived in Kuala Lumpur.
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Our first stop: Azizi's studio-Beranda Residensi Langkawi.
Our first stop: Azizi’s studio-Beranda Residensi Langkawi.
A collection of artworks by various artist are displayed in this art gallery cum studio.
A collection of artworks by various artists are displayed in this art gallery cum studio.
artists can be good singers too.  That's what Charly showed us when he surprised us with his favorite "Maloya" song inside Azizi's place..
Artists can be good singers too. That’s what Charly showed us when he surprised us with his favorite “Maloya” song inside Azizi’s place..
We had lunch in Zulun Ikan Bakar Resto where I had a taste of the fish caught in the river behind the eating place.  Quite a lot of good food to choose from.
We had lunch in Zulun Ikan Bakar Resto where I had a taste of the fish caught in the river behind the eating place. Quite a lot of good food to choose from.

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And over lunch, I interviewed Azizi while our "Exploration" artists did their sketching of the place.
And over lunch, I interviewed Azizi while our “Exploration” artists did their sketching of the place.
The artists' finished artwork after lunch..very productive time!
The artists’ finished artwork after lunch..very productive time!

14918771_10210876799666342_672102806557254852_oThe Muslim temple where Azizi prayed.![/caption]

Jetty Port
Jetty Port
The beach!
The beach!
Cable car at The LAngkawi Geopark
Cable car at The Langkawi Geopark
Art in Paradise at the Langkawi Geopark.
Art in Paradise at the Langkawi Geopark.
Lagoon at the Langkawi GeoPark
Lagoon at the Langkawi GeoPark
Faizy Crystal Glass blowing demonstration
Faizy Crystal Glass blowing demonstration

A visit to Langkawi wouldn't be complete without seeing this eagle sculpture
A visit to Langkawi wouldn’t be complete without seeing this eagle sculpture[/caption

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Highlight of the day was the dinner we had at the House of Lamb, owned by Azizi. We were served special Baryani rice cooked with 24 spices, usually served during weddings

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Lamb out is a piece of art by itself; the final touches done by Juan, brother of Azizi. Lamb out is a piece of art by itself; the final touches done by Juan, brother of Azizi.

It was a fun time dinner and we learned a lot of things in our one-day tour of Langkawi and delicious dinner graciously provided by Azizi.  We are so grateful for the many delightful surprises for the day. We look forward to more discoveries in our explorations in the coming days before the 2016 Langkawi Art Biennale event.
It was a fun time dinner and we learned a lot of things in our one-day tour of Langkawi with delicious dinner graciously provided by Azizi. We are so grateful for the many delightful surprises for the day.
We look forward to more discoveries in our explorations in the coming days before the 2016 Langkawi Art Biennale event.

6 Nov 2016

Artists’ home away from home

SELAMAT DATANG _ Welcome!!

Some of the artists who have already arrived to setup their installation artwork, sculptoring on site or explore the island..
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Standing, from left is Angelico “JIK” Villanueva (Sculptor: Philippines), Liew Kian Yap (Founder of LAB), Fumihiko Sano (Installation artist:Japan), Mohd Hairul Azizi (Programme director). Seated, from left is Charly Lesquelin (Painter:Reunion Island), Freddy Sofian (Painter:Indonesia ), Laxman Bahadur Gharti (Sculptor:Nepal)

Life in Langkawi is idyllic…a slower pace…allowing one to be more in touch with nature.

Here, artists will get to experience the Malay ‘kampung’ (village) life.. complete with crowing roosters!

Located a bit further in from the buzzling, tourist hot spots of Pantai Cenang (Cenang Beach), the group of accommodations provided for artists are clean, comfortable and quiet…. and the beach is just a walk away…

Occasional rain.. but cool and fresh, right after the rain
Occasional rain.. but cool and fresh, right after the rain
Coconut trees swaying in the wind
Coconut trees swaying in the wind
Outdoor resting spot
Wakaf – outdoor resting spot
Chenang Inn, one of the accommodations  provided
Chenang Inn, one of the accommodations provided
The Coconut!
The Coconut!
A wooden chalet, rustic but complete with modern amenities
A wooden chalet, rustic but complete with modern amenities

Malaysians love their food. We have everything, from Asian (Chinese, Malay, Indian) to Western style restaurants, wth some open 24 hours a day!!

More participants from Phillipines, Nepal, Reunion Island and Indonesia...sharing a meal and laughter!
More participants from Phillipines, Nepal, Reunion Island and Indonesia…sharing a meal and laughter!

We have local foods like the roti canai (prata), tosai, nasi lemak, nasi campur to more Western-style foods like BBQ and grill

An Indian 'pancake' that is now common in Malaysian food stalls
Tosai, an Indian ‘pancake’ that is now common in Malaysian food stalls

So, Langkawi eagerly awaits the arrival of 140 participating artists from 33 countries (ALGERIA, AUSTRALIA, AZERBAIJAN, CANADA, COLOMBIA, CUBA, DENMARK, EGYPT, FRANCE, FINLAND, GERMANY, GREECE, HONG KONG, IRAQ, INDIA, INDONESIA, IRAN, JAPAN, KOREA, BRITAIN, MAURITIUS, NETHERLANDS, NORWAY, OMAN, PAKISTAN, PHILLIPINES, REUNION ISLAND, SINGAPORE, SOUTH AFRICA, TAIWAN, TURKEY, VIETNAM and MALAYSIA)

(Photo credits : Liew Kian Yap and Celso Pepito)

6 Nov 2016 Ferado

An exciting ferry ride to Langkawi Island

November 1, 2016

Come, Join us as we take our ferry ride to Langkawi today!
We journeyed together in this “bumpy” ferry ride, united in this dream of seeing Langkawi Island as a premier destination for art tourism.

An early morning ride to the port to catch the 8 am ferry.
An early morning ride to the port to catch the 8 am ferry. Thanks to Alyssa for bringing us to the port.
Making sure we have our tummies full before we embark the tough sea travel.  We have been warned the waves could be that strong in the middle of the sea.
Making sure we have our tummies full before we embark the tough sea travel. We have been warned the waves could be that strong in the middle of the sea.
That's us getting into the boat.
That’s us getting into the boat.
Well, the sea looked calm enough, despite the heavy rains.
Well, the sea looked calm enough, despite the heavy rains.

It’s a totally different story when we got to the middle of the sea! The ferry bobbed up and down and swayed. The ferry crew started giving out black plastic bags for those who wanted to throw up.

Black bags were given to those who are already feeling drowsy.
Black bags were given to those who are already feeling drowsy.
Charly was seated in front, while the res of us were at the back.  By God's grace, all of us survived the bumpy ride.
Charly was seated in front, while the res of us were at the back. By God’s grace, all of us survived the bumpy ride.
This time, nobody was able to sketch!  :-)
This time, nobody was able to sketch! 🙂
As we got nearer to Langkawi, The sea calmed down.  Charly and I were even able to have our photos on the deck, while others rushed for the toilet.
As we got nearer to Langkawi, The sea calmed down. Cahrly and I were even able to have our photos on the deck, while others rushed for the toilet.

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Finally, we arrived safe and sound!

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Our first meal in Langkawi: lunch in an Indian restaurant
Our first meal in Langkawi: lunch in an Indian restaurant
Mr. Azizi welcomed and picked us up from the port.
Mr. Azizi welcomed and picked us up from the port.

Dinner time at Happy Happy Restaurant was a sweet bonding time as we celebrated our safe arrival to Langkawi. Even then, our sketching/drawing journey continues.

Celso sketches the people having dinner on the other side.

Tonight, is our first night here in Langkawiand we celebrate life.  Yes, we came from different parts of the world but we are united in this goal of seeing Langkawi Island as an art tourism destination.
Tonight, is our first night here in Langkawi, and we celebrate life. Yes, we came from different parts of the world but we are united in this goal of seeing Langkawi Island as an art tourism destination.

6 Nov 2016 Ferado

More Exploration Discoveries in Penang

October 31

Here are some of our “Exploration” team’s discoveries for today, in photos:

"The Small Inn where we stayed overnight is very near to interesting places around.
“The Small Inn where we stayed overnight is very near to interesting places around.
The Georgetown World Heritage Incorporated Building could be one good subject for painting.
The Georgetown World Heritage Incorporated Building could be one good subject for painting.
This Chinese Restaurant is another interesting subject.
This old House Restaurant is another interesting subject.
Night lights make this Old House Restaurant even more beautiful.
Night lights make this building even more beautiful.
I would have loved to visit this Upside Down Museum, But we didn't have much time.  ;re staying here in Georgetown only for one night.  I believe there are still so many things to explore around here.
I would have loved to visit this Upside Down Museum, But we didn’t have much time. We’re staying here in Georgetown only for one night. I believe there are still so many things to explore around here.
One has to look closer to see important landmarks like this historical Chinese structure.
One has to look closer to see important landmarks like this historical Chinese structure.

Another interesting discovery: Jejak Warisan: Sun Yat Sen Heritage Trail and as the marker says, It is the former permises of Li Tek school.

But a visit to Penang wouldn’t be complete without one trying it’s street foods at night.

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Great tasting sauteed/stir fried noodles has become our best choice for our dinner.
Great tasting sauteed/stir fried noodles has become our best choice for our dinner.
I personally chose laksa, because it looks and smells so yummy while it's being cooked.
I personally chose laksa, because it looks and smells so yummy while it’s being cooked.

The best part of this street food adventure is the company we have for enjoying these street foods.

Again, our Exploration Team: Charly Lesquelin/Reunion Island France, Freddy Sofian/Indonesia, Celso and Fe Pepito with Mayeth Manza from the Philippines
Again, our Exploration Team: Charly Lesquelin/Reunion Island France, Freddy Sofian/Indonesia, Celso and Fe Pepito with Mayeth Manza from the Philippines

And though we have to be up early for our ferry ride to Langkawi tomorrow, the painter does not stop sketching until late midnight. Perhaps awakened by the sights, sounds and the tastes we enjoyed today.

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5 Nov 2016

Colour Pencil Artist

I have never met Sharon SS Kow but I admired her art work and befriended her on social media. I have always been amazed by those, especially artists, who are diligent and full of patience and passion. It shows in her art.

Her medium is COLOUR PENCIL…Imagine that!… which requires arduous, labour intensive work and a very good eye for details. She usually draws with a few pencils in hand so she can quickly switch from shade to shade.

What’s more amazing is that she takes the time and trouble to blog about her technique and how she felt when drawing the strokes, to give her audience a more intimate insight into the world of a colour pencil artist.

My personal favourite is this of her pet, Sugar in a contemplative mood.
contemplation

profilepic_sharonsskow

Contemplation

To see how detailed is the process she shows us her work-in-progress (click the picture to view the progression)

Of Time Long Past


The following is her bio-data which details her story and achievements :

Sharon Siew Suan Kow

A self-taught coloured pencil artist living and working in Penang, Sharon began seriously pursuing coloured pencil art in 2013 at the age of 43. Her style of art gravitate towards photo realism, paying extreme attention to details, nuances of colour and light.

Her inspirations are derived from simple and everyday subjects. To her, these common subjects reflect her perception of the many human emotions and therefore every piece of her art reveals a deeper meaning than just a beautiful subject.

She has exhibited locally and internationally. Her work has been featured and published in several international publications.

Sharon is the first colour pencil artist in South East Asia to earn the Signature Status with Colored Pencil Society of America in 29th July 2016.

Affiliations:

Member of Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA)
http://www.cpsa.org/

Member of the Australian Colored Pencil Artist (AUSCPA)
http://www.auscpa.org/

Member of International Guild of Realism (IGOR)
http://www.realismguild.com/

She is very excited to be participating in this edition of Langkawi Art Biennale 2016 and I’m excited to be finally meeting her, in person.

5 Nov 2016 Ferado

Delightful surprises in Penang

October 31

These are some of the sceneries that greeted us as we traversed the highway that brought us closer to Penang. Such refreshing views delighted our senses.

Seeing these massive rock formations along the highway connected us to nature.

The regal and impressive Penang bridge embraced us, as in a warm welcome as we got nearer to Penang.

The regal and impressive Penang bridge embraced us, as in a warm welcome as we got nearer to Penang,
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We had lunch at Alyssa;s My Armenian Cafe, owned by Alyssa Khoo. Her dad, Khoo Khay Tat displays his artwork in the inner rooms and there is a souvenir shop on the opposite side. It’s a good place for tourists to buy souvenirs.

We had lunch at Alyssa's My Armenian Cafe, owned by Alyssa Khoo. Her dad, Khoo Khay Tat displays his artwork in the inner rooms and there is a souvenir shop on the opposite side.  It's a good place for tourists to buy souvenirs.

Khoo Khay Tat displays his artworks in Alyssa Gallery.
Khoo Khay Tat displays his artworks in Alyssa Gallery.

We also met two artists who will be participating in Langkawi Art Biennale 2016: Susanna Hernesniemi and Sharon Siew Suan Kow.

Though brief, this meeting with Sharon was productive.
Though brief, this meeting with Sharon was productive.
I also had a short time interviewing Susan, expecting for more time together in the event.
I also had a short time interviewing Susan, expecting for more time together in the event.

The highlight of today’s getting together of these artists is the unplanned sketching time. I was busy talking with Susan, unaware that Celso, Freddy, Charlie and Mr. Khoo were already doing sketches of one another. It was a divine moment to watch these artists work without words with their pens, totally focused on their subjects.

Exchanging of their artworks with one another was truly heartwarming–a sincere gesture of honoring one another!

All fully absorbed in their art.
All fully absorbed in their art.

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This show that art can be a uniting force for common endeavors regardless of nationality or race or even beliefs. Art binds people in unity and am blessed to witness this truth today.