Monday, December 28, 2009

Painting from their hearts

Friday November 27, 2009
Painting from their hearts
Story and photos by CHRISTINA LOW

THREE friends with no formal education and knowledge in arts came together in an exhibition to share their love for the strokes and colours.

“None of us here went to an art school, we all had different jobs and we graduated in other fields that are not related to art,” said computer science graduate Bennylita Nasution Ramlee at the launch of their first naive art exhibition entitled Zig Zag Zoo.

Happy days: Loh’s ‘Bright the Elephant’ series features a happy yellow elephant’s trip to the park.

Ben, a name which the 35-year-old artist is fondly known by her friends and collectors, embarked on a journey of soul-searching.

She decided to take up naive art, not because it looked much easier and less complicated but it was a form of art where she found originality and sincerity in presenting it, as she believed it was one of the most honest ways in sharing art with her fans.

“Naive art is very much associated with young children who usually draw what they see and feel with all honesty,

“We love children and some of us even have kids of our own,” said Ben who enjoys drawing pictures of owls.

Abby Zain and Felicia Loh, who both teach art to young children, have their own favourite subjects to share at the exhibition, too.

Winding roads: Abby’s ‘KL Ku series 4’ of her home within the city.

Living near the National Zoo in Hulu Kelang, Abby chose to share her life story in colourful pieces, all of which incorporated animals in it.

“Getting older, I saw how my life resembled the things I see and work with every day, from my children, parents to animals,” said Abby, a mother-of-three who refers herself as the giraffe of the family.

Her pieces also show a lot of how her neighbourhood looks like in naive style, winding roads and lush green trees just like how one would remember Bukit Antarabangsa in Ampang for.

While Loh, who worked in the IT industry for the past 10 years, said she never regretted giving up her job for the love of arts.

In her pieces, one significant insect could be spotted and she was quick to explain when it was pointed out to her.

The artists: The three friends who got together for their first naive art exhibition (from left): Loh, Abby and Bennylita.

“Ladybird has always been with me since young, although I don’t keep it as a pet but I like buying things connected to it and drawing different pieces of the tiny beautiful insect,” said Loh,34 who grew up in Johor.

At the exhibition, Loh takes up the corner space of the hall where she turned it into a little garden and a living room feature giving ideas to guests on how to decorate and hang her colourful pieces.

Guests can get first-hand advice from the artists at the exhibition hall before it ends on Dec 6.

Zig Zag Zoo is held at Dewan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Zoo Negara in Hulu Kelang, Ampang from 9.30am to 4.30pm daily.

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