‘Storytelling through writing, drawing, painting, marking, singing, dancing, playing with Chinese ink.’
Fuen Chin was born in a small town in Malaysia.
She is a self-taught artist who eventually pursued a fine art research degree at the Royal College of Art in her late 30s.
When Fuen presented her calligraphic painting on the wall to the panel of judges at Royal College of Art, ‘the panel very much enjoyed your proposal and presentation and thought there were a lot of interesting possibilities that may emerge from your works,’ this has encouraged Fuen to continue exploring the ideas, concepts and ‘drama’ embedded in Chinese calligraphy.
Fuen spent most of her childhood in the herbal shop run by her late grandparents. She established the first contact with Chinese writing in the shop. In the shop, each drawer could accommodate 4 different types of herbs and the Chinese name of each herb were written on the outside of the drawers. At that time, those characters were mnemonics instead of words for her. Then, she spent 6 years learning to write Simplified Chinese characters. As a teen, she worked to distribute herbs to each drawer and touched up the fading Chinese characters.
Fuen developed an interest in reading Chinese classical novels, folktales, and fables since she started learning Chinese calligraphy. A Chinese idiom: Shu Neng Sheng Qiao (熟能生巧), it means practice makes perfection. She used to copy stories into exercise books by practicing Chinese calligraphy. The more Chinese calligraphy practices she did the more stories she read; and, the more fascinated she became towards the variety of Chinese doctrines.
The motifs of Fuen's calligraphic paintings change from time to time. She introduces the paintings as a way to communicate, to disseminate ideas and to invite imaginations. The art of her paintings derived from Chinese calligraphy, she proposes that the uniqueness of calligraphy is the multidisciplinary applications: writing, drawing, painting, marking, singing, dancing and playing.
Apart from the subject and method of painting, ownership is the most important reality for an artwork. It involves the inheritance of narratives, messages, intellectual properties to be sustained or continue to develop in the future.
A public showcase of the five calligraphic floral paintings at Vintners Place, London is an important milestone for Fuen. It is the first project of corporate art and it is an honor to work with the place and the curator.
Fuen feels thankful for the messages in the paintings:‘My late grandmother loved flowers, especially loved admiring blossoms in the morning. However, her vision started to decrease drastically in her early 80s. The ever-changing scenes in the blossoming garden became blurry to her. This series of paintings are the epitome of the complex visual conditions of my late grandmother’s eyes. It aims to channel the deficient images to the aesthetical direction and to encourage respect, bravery and a confession of the imperfect conditions of human eyes, such as aging, obscurity, and impermanence are innovatory artistic direction,’ being accepted and visually published in the 1980s classical-style office building in the City of London.