CHIN KON YIT      (b.1950   Malaysia)


Solo Exhibition of works by Chin Kon Yit

October 17 – November 30, 2008:     In Gems of Heritage, Chin Kon Yit’s eleventh solo exhibition and fourth show with Shalini Ganendra Fine Art, his mastery as a watercolourist captures artifacts and objects, both regal and common. Kon Yit is recognized as one of SE Asia’s foremost heritage watercolourists and this reputation has supported the heritage cause in an aesthetically convincing way.

He observes: “The ingenuity of thought and craftsmanship behind these objects evoke the brilliance of the past. It has compelled me to investigate further these subjects as a valuable extension of my main passion in heritage architecture and the nostalgia of street life.”

During his many years of researching subject matter for the famed Sketchbook series (Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Melaka, Selangor and Perak), Kon Yit has accumulated a pictorial archive of cultural curiosities.

Using watercolour and pencil, he depicts the delicate metalwork of traditional Malay jewelry and ornaments in gold, silver and bronze; fine Nyonya porcelain urns, the Chinese auspicious guardian lions in wood and stone; and the Hindu Lord of Success, Ganesha. Through the gifts of colour, perspective and detail, he presents each in novel but characteristic depictions.

He also includes everyday objects such as a brass kettle from Terengganu, the carved wooden bangau (crane) on the fishing boats, carved bird cages and traps that are practical yet beautiful and the coconut scraper with an unusual form.

All these objects are borne out of the merging of supreme artisan skills and arts. Their existence and preservation give meaning to the way we lead our lives today since they represent the beauty and aesthetics in everyday life and set standards for our views of the contemporary world.


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Tel +603 7960 4740