An Accidental Discovery

Today I stumbled across this.  We often have artistic displays in my local library’s foyer and I always pay attention to what is hung but I don’t always feel compelled to talk (write) about it.

From the very start the whole display just struck me as truly beautiful.  The colours used, the muted soft backgrounds, the natural subjects.  It was very peaceful to look at – like listening to those cd’s with sounds of the waves on the shore, bird calls and soft winds blowing.

Then, when I looked closer.  I noticed most of the artwork were actual scenes of places near me – my world.

I also loved the style as it reminded me of my food colour paintings (but way more sophisticated) so I became intrigued from a technical point of view.

The limitation I’ve found with food dye is the colours – they mostly turn out bright, gaudy and rather “primary” (except for this one).  This is often ok but, having seen the beauty of the more “muted” and natural colours it got my creativity and curiosity bubbling…

So I took a few snaps and thought I’d share them with you.

Upon returning to my work desk, I realised my iphone had not kept up its end of the bargain in relation to the photography so I thought I’d scoot back down and try again.

As the very best of luck would have it, while I was there convincing my iphone to come to the photographic party, the artist wandered in!!  I love coincidence!  What made me leave my desk at the very point in time that our paths would intersect?

The artist is It Hao Pheh.  He was born in Penang, Malaysia but currently lives in Adelaide, not far from me.  He has studied at the Malaysian Institute of Art, The Institute of Art and Design in England and has worked a a gallery curator in Kuala Lumpur.

Since 1989 he has successfully held more than 100 art exhbitions in Malaysia, UK, China, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia.  He told me this exhibition is the first in Adelaide and he has another two coming up in the near future.

We chatted about his art, art in general, techniques and materials, he was more than happy to share his experience and stories with me – he was lovely and I found myself being most envious of his work and his lifestyle (something to add to my dream bucket!)

With all his experience I wonder what bought him to this little tiny suburb of little old Adelaide?!  I should have asked…

So here’s some pictures – my iphone has not done his work adequate justice in this instance so please visit him here or call in to see them yourself!

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