Taking water and colours to new heights

loading Dreams of Missing Roots in the Red Earth Kingdom.

Watercolours are deemed low in the art hierarchy. But it is in that genre that Chang Fee Ming is a game-changer, known for constantly pushing the parameters of medium, form, style and content to levels previously unimagined.

He has turned the typical functions of the medium on its head, and his works have morphed from the obvious transparent washes to more leathery and lush tapestries in his astonishing Road to Mandalay series (1994), which are akin to Zhang Yimou’s cinematic fugue, Judou. Then the tactile brocade-like lace kebaya blouses of his 1990s Balinese works and with a distinct splotchy style for his drawings, and the robust raffish textures of the Tibetan works from his celebrated Mekong Odyssey.

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