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Meet The Artist: CHEW FANG CHIN

Born in 1947, Mr. Chew graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree from National ChengChi University, Taiwan ROC in 1972. In 1983, he became a full-time professional artist, specializing in a painting style which is a mix of Classical Chinese and Modern Western art. His works represent a sensitive and highly perceptive impression of the indigenous people - a characteristic and hallmark of most of Mr. Chew’s works. His paintings illustrate an excellent understanding of his human subjects and their culture, thereby contributing to the artistic authenticity of his works.

 

Mr. Chew's paintings are synonymous with the colorful lifestyles of the indigenous peoples of Sarawak in Malaysia. To get a deeper insight into the daily activities of the Ibans, Bidayuhs, Malays, Melanau and Orang Ulus, Mr. Chew, has ventured into their longhouse settlements in the interior of Sarawak, lived with these friendly natives and learned about their way of life through personal touch.

“All of my paintings tell a story - the lifestyles of the different ethnic groups (of Sarawak)”

- Chew Fang Chin

(source: The STAR News)

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Such frequent trips have taken him to the hinterland of the Kelabits and Muruts in Bario Highlands in northern Sarawak, the Penan settlements up-river of Belaga in central Sarawak, the Kayan and Kenyah Longhouses on the Baram River and the Melanau heartland in Rejang Basin.

 

Mr. Chew's untiring efforts to portray and promote the rich cultural heritage of the various ethnic groups won public recognition when the Sarawak Tourism Ministry chose his "Ethnic Impression" Series for its 1993 and 1994 Tourism Calendars.

 

The Sarawak Tourism Ministry also sponsored Mr. Chew's trips to take part in cultural exchange programmes in Australia, South Korea, Poland, China and Taiwan ROC. As a Sarawak "Cultural Ambassador", Chew has also participated in an artist camp sponsored by the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory of Australia.

 

Mr. Chew did Malaysia proud as the country's First Artist to exhibit his masterpieces in Qingdao Museum and Jinan Hall in China (1991). Mr. Chew is also the First Malaysian Artist to exhibit his artwork in Academia SINICA, Taiwan R.O.C. (1999).

 

Malaysia’s National Art Gallery has recognized Mr. Chew's passion for culture and art by inviting him to participate in the Science Inspired Arts Camp "Alami II - Puncak" in 2002 and "Alami III - Alun" in 2005.

 

Malaysia Tourism in Singapore has recognized Mr. Chew as “Cultural Ambassador” by sponsoring his "Ethnic Impressions Art Exhibition" at the Suntec Convention Centre in Singapore in 2005.

In April 2008, Chew held a solo exhibition titled "East Meets West” at Luzerne County Community College in Pennsylvania, USA. The exhibition was inaugurated by Datuk Dr. Rajmah Hussain, (former)  Malaysian Ambassador to the United States, and Paul E. Kanjorski, a member of the U.S. Congress. This exhibition not only marked a significant cultural exchange between Malaysia and the United States but also highlighted Chew's contributions to the international art scene.

 

From 2008 to 2018, Chew explored a new artistic direction with his "Two-In-One Series," blending diverse cultural elements into his paintings. This period marked a decade of creative evolution, showcasing his ability to adapt and innovate within the realm of contemporary art. 

In the subsequent years, Chew transitioned back to a more naturalistic representation in his paintings, demonstrating a synthesis of various influences and a free expression of diverse artistic styles. 

Currently, artist Chew Fang Chin is actively creating new collections in his home studio in Sarawak, Malaysia.

 

Mr. Chew has held over 30 solo exhibitions worldwide, and is the first Malaysian artist to exhibit his works in Taiwan ROC, South Korea, Australia and China. His paintings have been shown and collected by art galleries and museums in Malaysia, Australia, China and Taiwan ROC, along with art collectors in the United States, Poland, Italy, England, Japan, Canada, Korea, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Australia, Taiwan ROC and Singapore.

Career Highlights

Since 1987, Chew represented Sarawak in a series of official sponsored international trips to cultural exchange programs (13) over the course of 21 years.​

  • Over four decades of subject focus - Sarawak’s indigenous people.

 

  • Full-time professional artist since 1983

 

  • 30 solo international exhibitions

 

  • 38 group international exhibitions

 

  • 13 international culture exchange programmes and seminars

 

  • 10 publications

 

 

Chew’s works reflect a sensitive and highly perceptive impression of the indigenous people of Sarawak and their colorful life-style.

(source: Sarawak State Library)

Achievements

  • Artist’s FIRST Solo Exhibition was held at the Sarawak Museum in 1986.

 

  • FIRST Malaysian Artist sponsored by the Pacific Cultural Foundation to hold Four City Tour Solo Exhibitions in Taipei, Tainan, Taichung and Kaohsiung in Taiwan in 1987.

 

  • FIRST Malaysian Artist invited to hold a solo exhibition in China in 1991, at Qingdao Museum and Jinan Hall Museum.

 

  • FIRST Malaysian Artist invited to hold a solo exhibition in the Academia SINICA Taiwan, R.O.C. in 1999.

  • Malaysia National Art Gallery recognition with invitation to the "Science Inspires Art Camp (Alami II - Puncak)" in 2002 and "Arts-Science Creativity Camp (Alami III - Alun)" in 2005.

 

  • Sarawak-Malaysia Tourism Ministry selected his “Ethnic Impression” Art Collection for its Official 1993 and 1994 Tourism Calendar.

 

  • Chew’s first USA Solo Exhibition “East Meets West”at LCCC (Luzerne County Community College) in 2008 was inaugurated by Malaysian Ambassador to the USA, Dr. Rajmah Hussain.

 

  • Chew’s paintings can now be found in the National Art Gallery of Malaysia, the Sarawak Museum and the Sarawak State Library.

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