Frugal Living – it’s Mulberry Season

Wei-Ling Gallery is pleased to announce our exhibition, ‘Frugal Living – it’s Mulberry Season’ by Malaysian artist Cheng Yen Pheng in her third solo show with the Gallery.

Yen Pheng’s latest works explore themes encompassing nurture, nature, creation, salvation, empathy, wisdom, and that extraordinary range of human experiences which has brought her to where she is now.

This is a landscape of my current life. You will see every day scenes unfolding – depictions of my house, its surroundings, pets, my daughter Cahaya, the plants I grow and how I’ve reached this juncture. This vein of work is only the first chapter, there is so much more to come.”    

Comprising one large scale work measuring 20ft x 2ft and a series of seven works of varying sizes, Yen Pheng uses mostly organic materials. Her canvas is made out of mulberry trees which she planted across her property in Batu Arang, Selangor. Through an elaborate process from selecting the right barks, she then extracts pulp and allows it to naturally dry. It is then “cooked” and stretched unto a silk screen-like frame. The colours she utilises, extracted from Indigo plants, onion peels, turmeric, pandan leaves, mangosteens, balsam and bark from mango trees become pastel hues, which she uses to colour her mulberry paper.

Land Tortoise in Kampung House’, fashioned out of mulberry pulp, plant dyed paper, self-made charcoal, cotton thread and ink pen is that ideal existence most of us can only dream about. The sewn pieces which crawl out of their “frame” yield the sense of an unending pop-up book. It is almost like a fairy-tale. Her house is protected by a wooden fence, her menagerie of pets roam freely on the compound, a banana tree at a far corner symbolises sustenance and sketches by her daughter demonstrates unconditional love.

Her second work, an ordination of lighter-than-air coloured pieces of mulberry paper seamed unto a bigger placement has a unique story. “In a previous work similar to this, I stitched directly on sand paper, and the process physically hurts. The needle cut my fingers. But I felt it was something I had to do in order to come to this point in life. The birth of my daughter signified a pivotal turn, and just like sewing unto a mulberry parchment as seen in this work, I realised that life is no longer a journey of heart-break. I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Through these new works, Cheng Yen Pheng shows us the spectrum of her life; an empowered woman who is unafraid to take on the world, and to boldly say, “I fear nothing.” 

Frugal Living – it’s Mulberry Season’ is featured at Wei-Ling Contemporary from 27th October – 25th November 2022.

Wei-Ling Contemporary is located at 2nd Floor, Wei-Ling Gallery Annexe, 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