CHANG FEE MING
b. Terengganu, 1959
Signed 'F.M.CHANG' (lower right)
Watercolour on paper
53cm x 72.5cm
Private Collection, Selangor.
ESTIMATE RM 100,000 - 150,000
PRICE REALISED RM 112,000
Chang Fee Ming seeks solace by painting his surroundings in the East coast and during his travels around the Southeast Asia region, producing captivating scenes of fishermen at the beach in his hometown Terengganu; detailed illustrations of vibrant tangerine fabric worn by monks in Myanmar; and bountiful offerings in Bali.
Focusing on the solid hips, strong arm and feet of perhaps a consumer and a trader at a local farmer’s market, this compositionally sound piece captures the rear of the former bending forward to reach for the fresh produce on offer while the latter crouches on the ground front facing the viewer - in the act of perhaps preparing to display some chillies over a white cloth – which doubles as a mat and is later used to store leftovers from the day’s sale. Suggested by the abundance of fruits and vegetables laid on the ground, this piece illustrates the economic activity still prevalent till this day. It also depicts the postures of the mature women conveying steadfastness, endurance and hard work.
The artist employs batik in most of his Terengganu series to celebrate the simple way of living. Intense hues of black, brown and red on the batik floral motif are applied in harmony with the multicoloured fruits and vegetables creating a wealth of visual experience for both the artist and the audience.
Chang Fee Ming is an accomplished watercolourist known for his unique renditions and interpretations of peoples, traditional societies and their cultures and the often exotic, remote places he visited in Indonesia, Nepal, Africa, the Indo-Chinese communities along the Mekong right up to its source in Tibet. Since his first foray to Bali in 1985, he has etched his place in Indonesian art history, especially in Bali. His array of awards include the Malaysian Watercolour Society award (1984 and 1985), the Sime Darby Art Asia gold award (1985) and the PNB Malaysian art award (1985). He also won the Minor Awards in the Young Contemporary Artists competition in 1986 and 1987. He won distinction awards in the Rockport Publishers USA in 1997 and the Dom Perignon Portrait of A Perfectionist Award (Malaysia) in 1999. He was a co-winner (Malaysia) of the Winsor & Newton World Millennium Painting Competition in 1999. In 2009, he was selected for the Singapore Tyler Print Institute project in 2009 which resulted in his solo exhibition Imprinted Thoughts.
The World of Chang Fee Ming , Essay: Ooi Kok Chuen, Edited by Garrett Kam, 1995.
The Visible Trail of Chang Fee Ming , Christine Rohani Longuet, 2000.