Wei-Ling Contemporary presents ‘Interwoven Terrains’, by established Malaysian painter Yau Bee Ling – this body of work being her fourth solo exhibition in a 25-year career. Her practice has consistently been an extension of her life’s journey, mimicking the twists and turns of her emotional state of mind as she is confronted by the vagaries and challenges of a life lived.
‘Interwoven Terrains’ can be viewed in some ways as a turning point, a critical shift in her life – as she emerges from ‘rock bottom’ for a gasp of air. These works are cathartic – a renewal. They have served to purify and heal her. An awakening. A revival. Through these paintings, layers of colours and effects, each representing a significant feeling or moment in her life, are carefully juxtaposed, forming a map of her inner soul. Symbols for the interlocution of her mental and physical state of mind. The dynamic gestures and textures offer a sense of space and time, transforming them into a deep and convoluted universe of their own.
In The Republic, Plato questioned, “Have you ever sensed that your soul is immortal and never dies?” Through this dialogue with Socrates, he points out that the soul is never stagnant; it grows constantly along with the course of time. Lines are crucial elements in Yau Bee Ling’s paintings, and the spaces between them create paths for the eyes to wander eternally, like a never-ending maze. Seeing life as an extensive journey, Yau Bee Ling’s paintings are open-ended. One can imagine the continuity of her strokes stretching outside of the frame. Thus, there is no limit to the terrains in her landscapes, as there is no end to our metamorphosis; as long as we live, we’re in a permanent state of change.
Although Yau Bee Ling seeks to illustrate the landscapes that emerge from within, nature is still the source of her inspiration. That which has been God-given and created. The paintings borrow nuances from her environment, so as to portray the natural emotions that she feels as a person, a woman, a mother and an artist. Radiating strong and positive energy, the pieces Underneath, Emerging, Flow of Radiance, Alive and Moving, and Explicitly Immersive Light I and II adopt the colours of the light or flame, whereas the variations of green in Living Pond, Contemplating Liberty and Contemplating Garden permeate an aura of calm. On the other hand, the pieces Harness of Joy, Glorious Contemplation (Green Lake), Awaiting in Serenity, Converging, and New Blossom seem to appropriate the colour palette of a garden. This variety of sentiments and ambiences are woven together, all harmoniously through the act of painting.
Born in Klang, Yau Bee Ling graduated with a full scholarship from the Malaysian Institute of Art in Fine Arts in 1995. She has exhibited extensively in exhibitions across Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Singapore. She represented Malaysia at the 9th Asian Art Bienniale in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and at the 2nd Fukuoka Triennale, Japan, where her pieces eventually became part of the Museum’s permanent collection. Her works are part of numerous Malaysian and international collections. She is also the recipient of the 2016 Kuandu Residency Program of Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts (KdMoFA), Taipei, Taiwan.
‘Interwoven Terrains’ is featured at Wei-Ling Contemporary from 25th September – 3rd November 2019.
Wei-Ling Contemporary is located at RT01, Sixth Floor, The Gardens Mall, 59200, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Admission hours are Tuesday-Sunday 11am-7pm.
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