Friday December 28, 2012
Tribute to organic forms
By VIJENTHI NAIR
A long-time Greenpeace activist and passionate environmentalist, it comes naturally for young contemporary artist Lee Hui Ling to draw inspiration from Mother Nature in her artworks.
Her ongoing exhibition comprised 15 pen-and-ink drawings titled Subterranea in support of environmental causes, which included 19th century botanical illustrations and subterranean sea creatures, fossils, bones and other organic matter.
She is also emotionally involved in this series as it is a tribute to her mother’s family farm in Fukushima, Japan, which was destroyed on March 11, 2011 whereby the land was rendered useless by radiation from the Daiichi nuclear plant.
“Nature fascinates me because of their chaotic yet structured growth patterns that continue to surprise in fresh ways. Much like the uniqueness of every person’s thumbprint, I seek peculiarities that make each tree, rock crevice, leaf vein and gnarly root different.
“This series of line drawings bring attention to the underlying patterns of organic structure and the abstractions derived from organic forms,” she said.
Lee explained that Subterranea ex-plores the growth patterns created by plants in search of water and forces of nature which interact with planet Earth.
“I work by observing nature photographs and documentaries, interpreting what I see in an intuitive manner.
“I feel black and white best expresses the intricate beauty and the forms of the organisms that I am drawing.
“I used a free associative drawing which is a method whereby whatever comes to mind is written down, much like doodles and expresses the artistry of my work.
“It is like tapping onto your subconscious mind which has greater warehouse of creative material,” she said, adding that words can only describe a fraction of what is experienced.
“This series of work is a visual metaphor for the subterranean psyche.
“It is a branch of thinking that there are certain things that can only be felt and I like to give form to such feelings,” she added.
Born in a family of artists, Lee nurtured her artistic talents from a young age.
She pursued her undergraduate studies on scholarship at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and is currently pursuing her MFA Creative Practice at the Transart Institute.
Part of the proceeds from the exhibition will go to Greenpeace International and the Philippine Red Cross in aid of typhoon Bhopa victims.
The art exhibition — Subterranea ends on Sunday at Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan, off Jalan Ipoh.
It is open daily from 10am to 10pm. Admission is free.