SMS to Song

“All things carry yin and embrace yang. They reach harmony by blending with the vital breath.” – Lao Tzu

Wei-Ling Gallery presents ‘SMS to Song’, Chen Wei Meng’s mesmerising new exhibition that ventures into unexplored territory, and challenges boundaries. The exhibition’s name, an acronym for “Shan Met Shui to Song Dynasty”, pays homage to the breathtaking landscape paintings of the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Chen Wei Meng’s creative direction entered a new phase in 2019, when he began to emphasise the movement of the environment and the cryptic patterns it contains rather than realistic portrayals. He refers to this as “the crystallisation of his subconscious”, and it is influenced by the core principles of eastern and Chinese philosophy that he is constantly thinking about. His most recent works, an evolution of his earlier ‘Musang’s Words’ series, provide a glimpse into his current thinking and demonstrate his perseverance in exploring the harmony between the two disciplines, shifting his aesthetic orientation

“In the ‘Musang’s Words’ (2020) series, I explored a lot of Yin-Yang, heaven and earth, real and virtual, black and white, expanding and contracting, and the most represented works in this direction were the works from the ‘Shan Met Shui’ series.” – Chen Wei Meng

The concept of “Shan Met Shui” is based on the harmony between mountains and water, as the artist seeks to unite rather than contrast these different elements. This approach involves exploring the meaning and form of the subjects, inspired by the natural tendency for living things to coexist and cross paths without conflict. It embodies the idea of “you have me in you, I have you in me”.

The mountains (Shan), which dominate much of the works, are arranged in a way that defies gravity, appearing to float and creating a mirage-like effect that blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. Chen’s meticulous planning and attention to detail in the terrain express both grandeur and a delicate balance between opposing forces, reflecting his study of Yin-Yang philosophy and paying homage to past masters.

The artist portrays water (Shui) in his current pieces using techniques that avoid harsh lines, resulting in a natural and organic appearance that seamlessly blends with the surroundings. The absence of rigid contours creates a sense of movement, with the water flowing and rippling across the canvas to create texture. This dynamic portrayal captures the essence of water as a constantly changing force in nature, reflecting the artist’s evolving approach to his craft.

‘SMS to Song’ is ultimately a testament to the philosophical concept of harmony. Chen’s emphasis on accepting and evolving differences creates something beautiful and significant, rather than eradicating them in the pursuit of unity.

‘SMS to Song’ is featured at Wei-Ling Gallery from 25th April – 27th May 2023.

Wei-Ling Gallery is located at No 8, Jalan Scott, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Admission hours are Tuesday – Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday 10am – 5pm.

Exhibition is open by appointment only. For appointments and further assistance, please contact +60322601106 or e-mail