The Gallery’s relationship with Chin Kong Yee is a particularly meaningful one as it goes back more than seven years to when both the gallery and Chin Kong Yee first started out.
For the gallery (then known as Townhouse) it was the second solo exhibition that the gallery had ever had and for Kong Yee it was his first ever solo exhibition!
Those were challenging times for neither Kong Yee nor the gallery had any past performances to go by.The only thing we had was fate, belief and luck.
Fate because our paths crossed, belief because we both believed in one another and as luck would have it we came across people who had faith in us.
When I first came across Kong Yee’s works all those years ago, I was immediately captivated by the way he envelops the viewer through his fish eye lens perspective and draws us into his magical space. I knew at that point that this artist had a gift.
After having spent many hours getting to know him,I also began to understand Kong Yee.Here is an artist who has commitment and dedication to his artistic journey who truly believes in his work.He is passionate to the point of being obsessive and he does not allow anything to come between him and his work. As a result his production of work is slow and arduous, with him making up to only six pieces a year.
Over the last decade, Kong Yee has matured into one of the country’s most promising artists, with a following which spans far beyond the shores of Malaysia.
Through his work he has also had the opportunity to travel the world and this has added a new dimension to the way he sees and paints light.
With ‘Reality in Wonderland’ Kong Yee has expanded his European repertoire to cover all the cities he visited on his last sojourn there. For Kong Yee the need to capture the ‘essence’ of the place still reigns most important and all the works reflect the spirit of what he experienced while he was there. We felt the timing for this publication was right as it marks a decade of Kong Yee in practice and documents his journey so far. After looking at what he has achieved over the last decade, I am confident to say that Chin Kong Yee is going to be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.
We are very thankful to United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) for their continuous patronage of Chin Kong Yee over the years. I would like to say a big thank-you in particular to Mr Francis Lee for believing in and having the foresight to support the rise of this spectacular artist.