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Gems of Heritage

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The 11th Solo Exhibition of Chin KonYit
Title:    Gems of Heritage
Date:    Oct 17 – Nov 30, 2008  
Venue:  Shalini Ganendra Fine Art - The Private Gallery
            PJ, S'gor, Malaysia 

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Gems of Heritage

In this exhibition, I have shifted the focus onto the cultural artifacts and objects from our multicultural society in Malaysia. I have first explored the same theme in 1992, painting only a selective range. The ingenuity of thought and craftsmanship behind these objects evoke the brilliance of the past, compelling me to investigate further into this subject matter, a valuable extension of my main passion in heritage architecture and the nostalgia of street life.

In the many years of my career, I have explored the streets of small towns, visited the various state museums and observed the many facets of life in a community, in search of inspiration. In the process of sketching and documenting my favourite subject matter, I have also accumulated a pictorial archive consisting of cultural curiosities that I have discovered, and has since been a source of delight in my many trips across the country. 

Using watercolour, I have depicted the delicate metalwork of traditional Malay jewelry and ornaments in gold, silver and bronze, fine Nyonya porcelain urns, the Chinese auspicious guardian lions in wood and stone, and the Hindu Lord of Success, Ganesha, giving them a new lease of life. Within the scope of the theme also includes everyday objects such as a brass kettle from Terengganu, the carved wooden bangau (crane) on the fishing boats, carved bird cages and traps that are practical yet beautiful and the coconut scraper with an unusual form. 

These objects are borne out of the merging of supreme artisan skills and the arts. Their existence and preservation gives meaning to the way we lead our lives today. But most of all it best represents the beauty and aesthetics in everyday life of each individual ethnic group present in our society.

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