New Straits Times, 4 June 2008
Bee Ling’s Web of Paradox
by Dennis Chua
“PORTRAITS Of Paradox” at Wei-Ling Gallery in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, marks the first solo exhibition of artist Yau Bee Ling. It takes place from July 14 to August 5.
Yau has an illustrious career spanning nearly 13 years. Born in Klang in 1972, she studied painting at the Malaysian Institute of Art (MIA), graduating in 1995.
Since then, she has exhibited extensively both locally and abroad.
Yau is well-known for her vibrant, expressive works that revolve around the subject of family issues, which are executed in a colourful, layering-on and scrapping-back, oil paint process which has now become synonymous with her.
Over the years, she has remained dedicated to the development of her artistic journey and this exhibition displays just one aspect of the many important phases that her work has gone through over the years.
The new paintings reveal a new level of maturity in the way Yau approaches her works. This has to do with the changes she experienced on a personal level.
In 2006, she became a mother for the first time and had to learn how to juggle life as an artist, wife and mother.
“Portraits Of Paradox” revolves around the artist’s struggle with the superficiality of human relationships and communication, where sincerity and honesty are non-existent values.
The paintings are multi-layered in more ways than one. In the portraits of people emulating that of a photograph, everyone appears at ease with one another, yet beneath that calm facade lies a web of unresolved issues, deceit and jealousy.
In her bid to avoid co-existing within this hypocritical grouping, she finds herself alone, yet when caught up in it she finds herself bound and claustrophobic.
This series of works seeks to express her real feelings and thoughts, for in her struggle to communicate effectively to those around her, the only way for her “voice” to be heard is through these paintings.
Yau’s works have attracted attention overseas and she has been invited to exhibit in Japan, Singapore and Bangladesh. Her works were included in the Second Fukuoka Triennale in 2002 and were exhibited at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan.
In 2004, her paintings travelled to the Hokkaido Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the “Soul of Asia: Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Collection” exhibition and in 2005, she was awarded the Rimbun Dahan, Malaysian-Australian Artist-In-Residence programme.
Her works have been collected by the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan and Galeri Petronas, Malaysia.
Venue: Wei-Ling Gallery in Jalan Scott, off Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Kuala Lumpur. Time: Noon to 7pm (weekdays) and 10am to 5pm (Saturdays). Closed on Sundays and public holidays. Call 03-2260-1106, 03-2260-1107 or 012-302-5302.