[F]ortune of Lives
Wong Chee Meng

Chance or luck (especially good luck) as an arbitrary force affecting human affairs -The Oxford English Dictionary

Wei-Ling Gallery is pleased to present [F]ortune of Lives, an exhibition of new works by contemporary Malaysian artist, Wong Chee Meng.

Featuring paintings on canvas and sculptural works in mixed media, this exhibition is the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

[F]ortune of Lives serves as an exploration of the profound influences of the historical and cultural sedimentation of Ancient China.

Over thousands of years, through their wisdom and imagination, ancient Chinese have created wide-ranging auspicious elements to represent their longing and pursuit of richer, more prosperous lives. This was achieved through illustrations combined with the implementation of metaphors, analogies, homonyms and puns.

Those devoted to this way of life hold firm to the belief that they hold the key to attracting positive changes in their lives through the act of praying for fortune, wealth and health. Sometimes creating imagined ideal worlds to “escape from the real world” (Cao, 1993) and an example of this would be the design and creation of Chinese Gardens which are usually built to imitate ideal worlds, arranged with natural and manmade objects to create immortal scenes. These gardens reveal much information such as values, practices, preferences, beliefs as well as cultural influences. Simply put, “Chinese garden is a visualisation of a spiritual world” (Lin & Chien, n.d.).

“Compositional elements and principles in creating Chinese gardens like ‘spatial contrast’, ‘visible vs invisible’, ‘hinting and metaphor’, ‘scatter vs mass’, ‘twists & turns’, and ‘depth and grounds (layers)’ are techniques we can adopt in painting. Therefore, derived from design principles of the Chinese garden which incorporate design methods, compositional principles and themed settings of natural and artificial elements, virtual settings in the form of paintings using prosperous objects to create imaginary worlds and scenarios accompanied with a set of 3D objects in mixed media will be displayed in this show.

These ‘treasures’ composed of Chinese characters, living objects and elements of nature symbolise luck, blessings, wealth, longevity et cetera. These icons are usually concise, elegant, explicit and artistic, and have been used in various forms found today including sculptures, paintings, posters, furniture, textiles and paper cutting. The characteristics I researched from these forms are reflected in my artworks. Symbolic and iconic auspicious objects can be seen on the surface layer; while underlying layers with juxtaposition and fragmentation of elements can be observed. Each artwork is a beacon of hope, at the same time like a themed setting in a garden with a concept based on the contemporary issues of today’s world.”

Wong Chee Meng (b. 1975) lives and works in Kuala Lumpur. His works have been shown in the Czech Republic, Malaysia, Macau, Singapore, and South Korea.

[F]ortune of Lives will begin showing on 5th May and will continue until 30th May 2015 at Wei-Ling Gallery.
Wei-Ling Gallery is located at No. 8, Jalan Scott, Brickfields, 50470, Kuala Lumpur.
Please ring 0322601106 or email weiling.shaz@gmail.com for more information.