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Lai Yong Hui Jolene and Jeffery Ho Kiat
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Exchange 05: Artists, Artworks & Audiences
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Durian party for MASS members
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Thursday, July 28, 2005


You are invited to the opening preview and reception of

Cerita Budak-Budak (Children's Stories)
Martin Loh's exhibition of storybook illustrations
from the book Malaysian Children's Favourite Stories

Thursday 28th July 2005 7pm
Utterly Art Exhibition Space
208 South Bridge Road 2nd Level, Singapore 058757
Tel: 6226 2605 E-mail: utterlyart@pacific.net.sg
Mon-Sat 11.30 am - 8 pm Sun 12 noon - 5.30 pm
The exhibition runs through to Sunday 7th August 2005.


Martin Loh speaks:

I've always thought that illustrating a children's book would be a very natural extension of what I've done as a naive artist. Children are naturally curious, drawn to and daring in their use of vibrant colours, as well as having a dream-like or fairyworld-like approach to reality. They lose these qualities all too quickly in their haste to grow up. I like to think that I'm one of those who never totally grew out of these childlike qualities. If the vibrant colours of my Peranakan artworks appeal to adults, the colourful illustrations should thrill the young ones.

In both the illustrations and my naive works, the exercise of my imagination and the employment of my own stylization are, to me, far more important than abiding by any set rules of art. This has always been my philosophy. And it is the basis of all creativity. Of course, the illustrations have to correspond to the stories. But which parts of the stories to illustrate was very much a freedom of mine, after taking into account considerations of layout and other inputs by the publishers. The project was an excellent time for me to reacquaint myself with the local flora and fauna. I literally had to go back to our parks to re-familiarise myself with the canon-ball tree as well as pour through books for images of plants (like the Rafflesia), animals and houses which I may have forgotten or were not quite sure about. And invariably I commit the sin common to all naive artists - once I have a fair idea of what the real thing is, I cannot wait to embellish and embroider it. Hence the illustrations, like all too many of my artworks, are not about what the world is, but what I think it is or what I think it should be.

Martinís father was born in Penang. As a child he had gone to visit his paternal grandfather in Ayer Hitam (at the foot of Penang Hill), as well as spent time in small Malayan towns like Taiping and Ipoh. The book was launched in Kuala Lumpur in December last year, and has been reviewed by various Malaysian newspapers and magazines.


08:00