7 Unique Paintings by a Malaysian Artist

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1) I’ll Watch Over You


2) Sipadan Sunset


3) Abstract Blue Lake



4) Solitude


5) Girl Under the Cherry Tree


6) Rubber Plantation


7) Girl with Bunny



About the Artist

Our May artist, Elaine Chang, definitely fits the talented, passionate, and unknown criteria. Unlike most of our formerly unknown artists though, she holds a senior corporate position and also unlike most of our former artists, she only started painting a few years ago. Although born in Ipoh, Perak, she spent her childhood and teenage years in Klang, Selangor. There, she excelled in school, but never thought about art, instead pursuing a university degree in Australia that prepared her for the business world when she returned to Malaysia. “My overriding passion when I was growing up was reading books almost to the exclusion of any other hobby or interest,” she said, laughing.

Now at age 45, Elaine is able to look back at her earlier adult life with wisdom and maturity. She, like so many of us in our middle age, thought she had the “perfect life” with the perfect man, the perfect job, home, etc. But their relationship of 12 years ended and she was left grieving, seemingly bereft of all hope for ever attaining the same level of happiness. However, she met someone who became her mentor and advised her that tragedy can be seized upon as an opportunity for an entirely different kind of life. She took his advice to heart, moved to a different city, changed her job, and due to having extra time in the evenings, started to attend a small art class. The teacher, Mr Yap Poh Sim, a graduate of the Kuala Lumpur College of Art, freelances as an art tuition teacher. Elaine soon asked him to privately teach her how to paint using the medium of acrylics which she had been drawn to immediately once starting the classes. Very soon after she became a prolific painter using acrylics on canvas and deriving inspiration from the European Masters, then photos on the Internet, and finally her own photographs.

“Through art, I see beauty in many things around me and discovered many more hidden passions,” she explains. “I browsed galleries and attended art exhibitions on my own, oblivious to others around me. I ate at fine restaurants alone and marvelled at the exquisite presentation and tastes of the dishes presented before me. I go for shows, plays, theatre, orchestra, often flying solo to Singapore to get my fix of the more liberal performing arts scene there. I enjoy a good cup of coffee or wine, with friends or without. I am liberated by art. I never knew what I missed until that part of my life ended. I live my life to the fullest and don’t have time to wallow over bad past experiences.”

Painting is now a central part of Elaine’s life. “I paint a few hours each week, usually on the weekends,” she smiles. “I miss my canvas whenever I have to travel for work. My subjects range from still-life to landscape to abstract to native art. I dabble in a little of everything, as my life now revolves around noticing the infinite number of wonderful sights and precious things all around me; something I was never aware of in my life before discovering art.”

Elaine’s talent is obvious and I’m struck by how unique her various flourishes of colour and subject are. She has a formidable talent I think you will agree. I wish her the very best for her future and feel honoured to feature her paintings in the May issue (our 200th!) of The Expat.

If you are interested in purchasing any of her paintings, or in seeing more of her work, please contact me at [email protected].

Source: The Expat May 2014

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