Chew FangChin's paintings are synonymous with the colorful lifestyle of the Sarawak indigenous people.
He has great love for their distinctive cultural heritage, and his specialty is to lively depict their customs, traditions and unique lifestyles through his creative brush using a mixture of watercolour and Chinese ink.
To get a deeper insight into the daily activities of the Ibans, Bidayuhs and Orang Ulus, Chew, a law graduate, has ventured into their longhouse settlements in the interiors, lived with these friendly natives and learned about their ways of life through personal touch.
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 up Baram River and the Melanau heartland in the Rejang Basin.
Chew’s untiring efforts to portray and promote the rich cultural heritage of the various ethnic groups has won public recognition when the Sarawak Tourism Ministry chosen his “Ethnic Impression” Series for its 1993 and 1994 tourism calendars.
The traditional longhouses and the culture of Sarawak indigenous people are Sarawak’s key attractions for foreign tourists, especially Americans and Europeans.
The Sarawak Tourism Ministry has sponsored Chew’s trips to take part in cultural exchange programmes in Australia, South Korea, Taiwan and China. As Sarawak’s “cultural ambassador”, Chew has also participated in an artist camp sponsored by the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory of Australia.
Chew did Malaysia proud as the country’s first artist to exhibit his masterpieces in Qingdao Museum and Jinan Hall, China. Chew is also the first Malaysian artist to exhibit his artwork in the Academia SINICA Taiwan, R.O.C.
The National Art Gallery, Malaysia has recognized Chew’s passion on culture and art by inviting him to participate in the Science Inspired Arts Camp “Alami II Puncak” in 2002 and “Alami III Puncak” in 2005.
Chew’s paintings are well sought after, and have added to the collections of art galleries and museums around the world in Malaysia, Australia, China, Singapore and Taiwan, as well as art lovers in the United States, Europe and Asian countries.