Art Talk

Aura - A Solo Art Exhibition by Lum Weng Kong
By Nikki Liaw

Aura: A Solo Art Exhibition by Lum Weng Kong
@ PINKGUY Art Gallery 

Exhibition view of Power of Life (2012), Mixed Media on Rice Paper, 31.5” x 31.5”
Any Chinese brush painting enthusiast ,and horse lover, will surely appreciate the contemporary touch that artist Lum Weng Kong has bestowed upon his equestrain subjects. 'Aura – the field of Qi' is a study of speed and power, encapsulated in grace and fluidity of form, achieved in broad brushstrokes and accentuated in striking colours, placing them beyond the classical interpretation of Chinese brush painting into the realm of abstract expressionism.

Inside the gallery, from left: Braveheart (2012), Mixed Media on Rice Paper, 37” x 70”; Grand Vision (2012), Mixed Media on Rice Paper, 37” x 70”; Stallion of Energy (2012), Mixed Media on Rice Paper, 54” x 27”; Dance with the Dragon (2012), Mixed Media on Rice Paper, 63” x 28”

Little surprise then, that Aura is curated by none other than Suzlee Ibrahim, who just had a show at PINKGUY in January (if you missed that, see ArtMalaysia Magazine issue 9!) Aura was officiated on 5 April 2012 by the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Malaysia, H.E. Chai Xi. This is the 13th exhibition by Seremban-born Lum, for whom Dragons and Horses, after the Chinese zodiac animals, are his favourite subjects to paint, as his brushes “simply dance with them”.

From left: WinSon Loh of PINKGUY, H.E. Chai Xi, Lum Weng Kong
What I find interesting is how Lum uses vivid blue brushstrokes to give a sense of structure  to what is otherwise a whirlwind mass of energy and colour; for example in 'The Astonishing Power of Energy' (2012) and 'Together We Strive' (2012), the horses are (quite literally) reined in by powerful blue strokes that transform these chargers into fantastical creatures of legend. Just as in photographs of passing cars at night, where bright red lines are traces of its tail lights, what we see is the brilliant trail that is the life force of Lum's horses.

From left: The Astonishing Power of Energy (2012), Mixed Media on Rice Paper, 44.5” x 84”; Together We Strive (2012), Mixed Media on Rice Paper, 54” x 27”
In this collaboration with Lum, PINKGUY has produced a method of framing that not only looks impressive but also lengthens the lifespan of Chinese paintings on Shuan paper, or rice paper. PINKGUY art gallery is noteworthy as an exhibition venue; utilizing the water feature in the MARC Residence outdoor lobby area for an atmosphere of tranquil exclusivity. The display extends into the reception areas as well, giving an idea of how the paintings look in an indoor setting. And to have these galloping stallions presiding over home or office is impressive indeed.

Exhibition View with Crowd

A Closer Look
Aura is on until 21 April 2012, so please visit and refresh your perspective on the Chinese horse painting genre! Also, do read our extensive review of Aura in Issue 19 of ArtMalaysia Magazine, out in June 2012!

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely the current opinions of the author and should not be construed to reflect the opinions, policies or positions of any entity other than the author's.