Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Talk cum workshop at UTM (University Technology of Malaysia)

A talk cum workshop held at UTM (University Technology of Malaysia) for the architecture school.

 

 

[caption id="attachment_1372" align="alignnone" width="700" caption="They were doing the "The eye is the Story" exercise."][/caption]

 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="700" caption="Mass practice of the "Eye is the Story" exercise."][/caption]

 

 

[caption id="attachment_1374" align="alignnone" width="700" caption="The " See, hear and feel the lag" Exercise."][/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_1377" align="alignnone" width="700" caption="We all did a jump to commemorate the workshop. We had fun."][/caption]

 

 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sketching Penang

A series of sketches inspired by Penang and its people. I sketched fervently each day as I discovered the unique places and history in this small little town. I had done more that hundreds of quick sketches and would be sharing it in a little book which I am working on now. I would need all the support that I could get from all the readers and patrons of my work. Thank you.

[gallery]

Monday, October 17, 2011

Street Photography - Wide angle

I love to photograph the street with a wide angle lens because of the sharp perspective. It gives immense dynamism and energy to the image, be it people or buildings. It is superb at absorbing the whole scene at very close distance. It intrudes into the space of the subject and forces one to momentarily interact with the subject. My first wide angle, which I traded with the 600mm Sigma, was miracle; every shot is popping out from the picture plane. The closer I get the faster my heart beats. The image gripped me and pounced on me. I would go low on the ground, place it near to foreground object and watch them diminished into the horizon. It is especially intriguing when there are lines or columns with regular intervals in the composition.




I love the setting sun creating a long shadow on the passersby. The back lighting give a subtle differentiation between the subject and the back ground. The clashing of the two central human figure, metaphorically points to the collision of separate cultures, between the dominant and the subservient, a sort of struggle towards the surface in order to gain respect and equality.



I love to shoot manual and give my photographs a little over-exposure. Focusing is usually manual and pre-focus before I raise the camera to my eye and snap. In this case, he was really fast and warned me against photographing their business transaction. My six sense told me to get out of the way fast and I did. I heard some voices saying, ' You cannot take picture'. By the end of his utterance I was already a few meters a way before he could take further action. One thing I always remind myself is that no one could take away my camera and that would be robbery. There is no rule saying taking photograph is illegal in public area and no one have the right to remove my belonging from me against my will. However, get away fast is the best solution rather than getting entangled with the situation, anyway I already got the photograph.

.

He was having such long conversation, ignoring the passersby, staring and insisting a point to the younger man. The younger man was perhaps apologetic with his right hands on his chest. I was glad to have captured his piercing eyes.



I had so much respect for her watching the way she cared for her baby brother. She was proud of him and fondly huddled the boy when he cried. He still look distressed after much huddling. I signaled to her for a photograph and she gladly accepted and posed for me, while an elderly lady excused herself from the photograph. From her I learned that child can help too if we allowed them to contribute.



He was deep in thought. It is a great chance for me to photograph him. I focused, waited for chances. In the background I saw two mans walking on the road towards me. I watched and clicked at the moment when his attention was directed towards the opposite side of the road with his waging finger while the man on the right was still motionless in deep thought.



He was so excited about getting his picture shot with the Little India glitters. He was alone and the only way to do that was requesting the help of other passersby. One kind soul help him and I thought I could help him to take one photograph, with that he would oblige if I take another with my camera. Sure he obliged. That is a way to get willing poser. I spent a little time waiting for an interesting supporting actor to walk into the scene. Voila, I was in luck and this gentleman appeared in my view finder to complete the photograph.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Project 49 – Sands

A consecutive 49 days of exploration and meditation on the subject of creativity with limitation, in this case, painting the SANDS in different styles and expressions. It is also a trial of Meng Foo’s virtuosity. 
To Meng Foo, SANDS signified a new era of being Singapore and Singaporean. From a port and industrial economy signified by the Singapore River lined with bumboats to the creative economy signified by the iconic SANDS with beautiful fireworks, Singapore has matured. It too signified a huge paradigm shift and hence a worthy subject for memorabilia. 

For more details : email Meng Foo
URBAN LIFE
Acrylic on Canvas
27 x 36 inches
6000 SGD (SOLD)

SOFT LIKE PILLOW
Painted with extra soft brush and Hobien Acrylic.
Acrylic on Canvas
3500 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands.

THREE
Acrylic on Canvas
3800 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands. 
IMAGERY TREATMENT
Acrylic on Canvas
27 x 36 inches
Private Collection
THE SUN BRIGHTENS
Acrylic on Canvas
27 x 36 inches
4500 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands.

Trilogy
Acrylic on Canvas
20 x 30 inches
6500 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands.


Painting as a process, of a trilogy, of tripartite, of patience, smoothly transverses from conception, execution and eventual waiting, waiting for it to take its permanence. Here I am, it was already two and a half hours, waiting for the paint to dry, because, in order, to have fluidity, the paint was mixed with abundant water, and now, it's taking its time to dry up. If, for some reasons, it is moved, the painting would start to flow, and thus paint again, taking a life of its own, with gravity and the misjudgment act of movement, conjuring an unforgiving image of itself, calling out for patience. Paint can cry. And it will cry, it will look awful. Have you seen a painting cry. I would not want that to happen. I sat and watch over thé painting. At some point, explaining, to myself, to my soul mate, to stranger, imagining, imagining. As it dries. I watched. Pondering about work, about the world, about the lives of passerby, about the importance of waiting. I wouldn't had waited, if the paint is solid and impasto, as in most days, I would have left for the office, and left it to dry, standing vertically on my desk. But this one, fluid as it is, demands immense patience after painting, the post process is crucial. Living the tail end of one's life is crucial too, after we had gained experience and knowledge, wouldn't we be more joyous and artistic? We learned to be patient with ourselves, our deterioration, our desire, our needs, and our inadequacy.


For more details : email Meng Foo

DIMINUTIVE GRANDEUR.
Acrylic on Canvas
20 x 30 inches
private collection
 — at Marina Bay Sands.
VIBRANCY
Inspired by the floating white balls on the Singapore River
Acrylic on Canvas
27 x 36 inches
9500 SGD (SOLD)

For more details : email Meng Foo
PEARL AND GOLD
Two is enough, why three? Three is myriad things?

Acrylic on Canvas
20 x 30 inches
7000 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands.

For more details : email Meng Foo
Three (#2)
Acrylic on Canvas
3800 SGD

A great symbol of wealth symbolized by the golden swirl, forming the backdrop for the MARINA BAY SANDS. The mirage looking water firmly supporting the dreams of many people. Many will see the reflection in gold too. Is MBS a symbol of hope or the symbol of attitude for exchange. Singaporeans are a practical group of people. We need to survive and we like hope.
— at Marina Bay Sands.

A dynamic day

Acrylic on Canvas
20 x 30 inches
4500 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands.
Where do I get water when I paint outdoor?
Is there a lot of people painting together?
Where will I be, when I paint.
Gosh, I don't know. I get out in the morning, take the first bus that can help me get nearer to Sands. Some days, I alight at Singapore River and walk towards the bay area. Some days, I alight at Raffles place when I rode the MRT. Always, take bus, or bus then MRT, and finally walk to the spot that i felt ready to paint. Sometimes I am indoor or outdoor with easel or outdoor with canvass on tables, chair or floor.
It is an experimentation of feeling the moment. I wouldn't know until I stop walking and set up a place to paint. So don't ask me. I don't know too.
As if we can predict what is going to happen the next day. Do you plan for your future and is your future plan always what you had visualised? Do you hate your future or present? I could not plan. I would not know how my painting is going to turn out until I had completed my painting.
Some time water can be GOD sent. He plans for you and me! Or was it just a coincident today, when I found a nice place to set up my easel and paint, and I found half filled mineral water in a bottle. So amazing. So blessed. I took it, mixed three different colours using small jam bottles that I had collected from restaurant and started to paint. Do I need to plan and prepare water? Guess I can try my luck again tomorrow.
Each time I planned how my painting would be the next day, but every day when I completed painting, it was never what I had envisioned. Strange. But I like the spontaneity and surprises that I found as I follow the first stroke that I had created. I appreciate the first stroke and continue from there. And as I made enough stroke, I could then see the complete picture. It is a style-less approach towards expression. As Bruce Lee had once said, flow like water.


LOOKING ACROSS THE ROAD.
Acrylic on Canvas
27 x 36 inches
Private Collection
 — at Marina Bay Sands.
PASTEL DREAM
Inspired by Chinese Brush work.
Acrylic on Canvas
27 x 36 inches
5000 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands.
BLACK GOLD
The sun have been the symbol of life and light. MBS is a symbol of recovery and accelerated economic recovery.

Acrylic on Canvas
20 x 30 inches
4500 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands.

For more details : email Meng Foo
SANDS DESCENDING. SANDS
in futuristic succession.

Acrylic on Canvas
7500 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands.

For more details : email Meng Foo



Reflection

Acrylic on Canvas
20 x 30 inches
5000 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands.
It is meditative to paint in the most simplest way. Using a single stroke, horizontal, with a chisel like brush which I had bought many years ago from a shop in Fuzhoulu in Shanghai, China. The colour is a mixture of three fresh colour, white, black and magenta. You could see a tinge of yellow, which was left over paint,from the day before, that got stirred together. Although the pictorial landscape looks multi-layered and seemingly complex, it was produced by layering acrylic paint over each other in quick successions, layered again after it was slightly damp, and with the last few layers of white. The final layer was multiple strokes of white with sharp brush. The brush was kept sharp by constantly cleaning it by stirring in a bottle of water, dried slightly by gliding it on a damp cloth and dabbed lightly on white paint than brushed in horizontal movement on damp paint. It created a soothing layered paint with blurry edge for each stroke of paint.
A singular thought and action, with the correct timing in applying paint as it dries, and a mixture of three different colours can create such romantic and impressionistic image. It says a lot about the need for accumulating effort in doing a single task, sometimes repetition in such quantity and detail is needed to complete the whole picture. I could have done thousands of strokes, long or short, quick or slow, thin and broad in order to create such a tapestry of colours. Singularity of concentration is important in life. We always get distracted, by tiredness, by boredom, by repetition, by lack of discipline, by familiarity, by comments, by our desires, by friends, by family members, by the society, however, the worst of all is the lack of faith in ourselves to complete what we had set out to accomplish. We should remember to love a good game, we do not need a reason to act out our frivolity for great fun. We need to be seriously having fun. Start painting! It cures our ills.


For more details : email Meng Foo
Duality
Inspired by Calligraphy
Acrylic on Canvas
27 x 36 inches
5000 SGD
For more details : email Meng Foo
RISING TO THE SKY
SWOOPING CURVE AND DYNAMISM.
Acrylic on Canvas
5500 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands.
SAILING

Painted like Chinese Brushes with a scrapper. A few stroke and I had finished Sands on canvass. I was quite thrill about it.

Acrylic on Canvas
3500 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands.
Glittering NIGHT

Acrylic on Canvas
27 x 36 inches
5000 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands.

For more details : email Meng Foo
GOLDEN PILLARS
The sun have been the symbol of life and light. MBS is a symbol of recovery and accelerated economic recovery.

Acrylic on Canvas
Now hangs in Raffles Institution lounge. Purchase by Dr Chuah and donated to RI.
 — at Marina Bay Sands.
In the Dream

Dreamy scene. 
Was it real or a mental landscape.
Acrylic on Canvas
3800 SGD
AUTISTIC FRENZINESS
Inspired by reductionistic Neo Expressionism
Acrylic on Canvas
27 x 36 inches
6450 SGD
email : choomengfoo@gmail.com

For more details : email Meng Foo
THE BOAT WENT UP THE ROOF
As the Taxi driver once told me, "the strong waves brought the ship up to the roof".
I am so thrill with my new soft brush. It glides above the canvass and the paint below it. It needs a light touch unlike the palette knife.
Sands in futuristic succession.

Acrylic on canvas
8828 SGD

For more details : email Meng Foo
MOON LIGHTING

Acrylic on Canvas
20 x 30 inches
Sold to Donald C L Lim.
 — at Marina Bay Sands.
For more details : email Meng Foo
THE RISING SON.
SYMBOL

The sun has been the symbol of life and light. MBS is a symbol of recovery and accelerated economic recovery.

Acrylic on Canvas
3200 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands.

For more details : email Meng Foo

UTOPIA

Acrylic on Canvas
20 x 30 inches
5000 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands.

Where have utopia gone? Vanished. Kaput! We are sucked into the trend of global capitalism and its momentum, we had boarded their train and unaware that we can alight from it and start walking our own way as we so please. We are seduced, immersing in her scintillating caress, sucked into her wonderfulness, forgetting where we are and where we want to go, neither denying nor concurring, just remaining on the ride, not thinking any thoughts. Dazed. Or we might be aware, but lack courage to get off the train and walk our own path, as a powerless small country, a myth we should debunk and slash into pieces, that we have to take the safe path of being a follower. Absurd if we could see how insignificant single individual can make great changes to the larger majority. We need that courageous creativity. We need to express ourselves. Hit your own path and express yourself, seize that courage and perseverance.

FURY DASHES OF TRINITY

Acrylic on Canvas
20 x 30 inches
5500 SGD
 — at Marina Bay Sands.

For more details : email Meng Foo

Fury dashes of trinity.
Some days I am so disturbed by happenings around me that they are reflected in my paintings. It is not necessary that I have to paint in calmness. Should we pour out our anxiety or anguish whenever we felt them or should we control them so that they are curtail? Why would we have emotion?