New Straits Times Malaysia. Life & Times Wednesday 2003 / 01 / 22
and Vitality in Hui Ling’s works
Ooi Kok Chuen
truly astonishing that in a space of a little over a year,
(Liberal Arts) art student Lee Hui Ling has developed a palette with a maturity belying
her 20 years.
couldn’t have been the exposure she got at the Sarah Lawrence College in New
York alone or her frequent trips to the battery of cutting-edge art galleries
and museums, especially the Met.
as it may seem, it is this newfound “freedom” and independence that she,
with a discipline honed from her champion swimming regime during her schooldays
in Klang, that probably make the difference.
the personal guidance of her parents, both titans in local art in their own
right, have its advantages, the distance from this “shacking” shadow does
have its merits too.
parents are virtuoso painter-sculptor-printmaker Lee Kian Seng
and the mother
Shoko LEE, with her celebrated Diary series and highly imaginative children’s
sci-fi icon, Sunny Boy.
to Hui Ling’s first Solo and farewell show, in August 2001, at J.W. Marriott
in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) no less, before she left for New York, where she
displayed works of varying degrees of quality, warts and all.
back- to- the- present to her three-day solo at Art Folio Gallery at City Square
I Jalan Tun Razak,KL(Malaysia), and you could almost hear audible gasps of wonder at an
almost professional-like finesse in her works.
reason is not how well she has mastered the techniques of water-colours and oil,
but an infectious, refreshing re-romancing the ideals of what painting is all
about—the verve and vitality, the spontaneity and innocence that are often
lost in all the twin commercial tactics of shock and show-off.
her re-visiting of the subject of trees in oil in her first experience of
autumn, with the” insistent intensity of the leaves, deep viridan green,
turning golden, red, purple, rich browns” of the same stark contrasts against
her 1997 Harlequin trees of mish-mash colours of flaming passion.
the “window view” still life of her college’s 33 Titsworth, with its
elegant tonal daubs wet-on-wet and draftmanship, to her brisk Restoran Bismillah
II pre-SL (Sarah Lawrence)
way she approaches sunflowers, with an unrestrained growth akin to dance
movements with the bulbs and petals dishevelled or in more regal flourish reveal
an affinity and sensitivity in recapturing a mood, a spirit rather than shape
Bodhisattva series, in oil and watercolours, reveal one that is sentient and
graceful, playing on one colour tone and the other, an astute handling of
overlapping colours and “quavering” brushstrokes.
is inspired by the rich abundance of Buddhistic relics at the New York Met,
which, in her works, have become a source of palliation from all the antagonisms
stemming from 911, the World Trade Centre devastation in and at the heart of New
York that changed the world.
These 23 pieces of works in charcoal, pen-and-ink drawing, watercolours and ink, and oil in Hui Ling’s Little Book of Days is another creditable bookmark in her fledging career to fulfilling her parents’ dreams of a virtual Von Trapp of professional artists--younger sister Hui Lian, an ASEAN scholar, is also pursuing Art studies (Art Elective Programme) in Singapore.
Ooi Kok Chuen
Ooi Kok Chuen and Lee Hui Ling 2003 / 01 / 10