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ArtsArt Focus: Contemporary artist Yau Bee Ling takes matters into her own hands

Art Focus: Contemporary artist Yau Bee Ling takes matters into her own hands

Art Focus: Contemporary artist Yau Bee Ling takes matters into her own hands
By Dian Pasquinal Kaur
June 29, 2016

Yau Bee Ling’s By Hands exhibition at Wei-Ling Contemporary focuses on our increasingly digitalised life that is making us lose touch with our senses and reality.

Abide.jpg(source)Abide I & II, Oil, etched acrylic on jute canvas, 84.5cm x 60cm, 2016

Yau Bee Ling’s creative force is impossible to impede. Every single time she produces a body of work, it leaves a lasting impression.

Her works are a cacophony of colour, mood and interpretation. It tells a purpose, a story and is more than mere romanticisation of hands or figures. Her latest exhibition, By Hands, is her third solo with Malaysian contemporary art advocate Wei-Ling Gallery following The Women in 2013 and Portraits of Paradox, 2008.


Reach out II,Oil, charcoal, pastel, acrylic paint and medium on jute canvas,152.5cm x 274.5cm(Triptych),2016.jpg(source)Reach out II, Oil, charcoal, pastel, acrylic on jute canvas,152.5cm x 274.5cm (Triptych), 2016

While working on her first exhibition with the gallery, she was a new mother and her multi-layered paintings became a mouthpiece to express herself while depicting how superficial some relationships can be. In The Women, one can see how at ease she is with juggling her role as a women, mother, wife, daughter and all that she can be.

In her latest exhibition By Hands, she seeks to “communicate” our increasing dependent on social media and electronic gadgets. “Tech addiction will be our downfall if we let it rule our lives. Parents are the biggest culprits in this rapid digitalisation of everything. They fail to teach their children the importance of developing motor skills first before handing them a gadget to occupy their little minds,” says Bee Ling when met at Wei-Ling Contemporary, The Gardens Mall where her exhibition is currently taking place.

Click,Oil, charcoal, pastel, acrylic paint and medium on jute canvas,152.5cm x 244cm (Diptych),2016.jpg(source)Click, Oil, charcoal, pastel, acrylic on jute canvas,152.5cm x 244cm (Diptych), 2016

This mother of two is very hands-on, be it raising her kids or teaching young children art. She is rekindling what is lost in the younger generations’ childhood. “I teach them how to use their hands the best way I know how. As a child, I was wild, very much in tune with nature and I enjoy making things from whatever I could find.”

She stresses the importance of basic skills which is really lost among the young these days because parents just don’t have the patience and determination to teach their children. “Domestic activities are important, my son is only 10 but he loves art & crafts and he helps me to cook and even plant paddy. My younger daughter is the same. I tell them it’s okay to get their hands dirty, especially in the natural because it teaches them perseverance and basic survival skills. Through hands, we connect with others and our surroundings.” 

Intimate Study I,Oil, charcoal pastel, acrylic medium on jute canvas,75cm x 100cm,2016.jpg(source)Intimate Study I, Oil, charcoal pastel, acrylic on jute canvas, 75cm x 100cm, 2016

Life is an art and art is her life, both are intertwined and impossible to divide. Her latest works are also reflective of her vertical existence, which she explains is the spiritual aspect of her life. “Through art and my children, I have found myself. I know my purpose in this open-ended environment. I can accept imperfection and I know it’s okay to not have the answers to everything. I  am at total peace with myself and with my creator.”

Her exhibition at Wei-Ling Contemporary, The Gardens Mall ends July 8 and you can also feast on her works, both old and new here. For more information, please call 03-2282 8323/03-2260 1106 or email weiling.shaz@gmail.com. 

Another contemporary artist you should know iscritically acclaimed social comentator Anurendra Jegadeva

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ArtsMalaysian contemporary artcontemporary artistweiling galleryart focusweiling contemporaryby handsyau bee ling

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