Art

Conservation through Art

Christine Das

Artist Profile

Christine Das received her formal arts education in graphic design at the Asian Academy of Arts Penang, before working in the field for several years. She was also part of the team who worked on creating scenic set design in 1999, for the Hollywood movie–­­ Anna and the King. Painting was more of a hobby for her, but soon it became a bigger part of her life, and she decided to pursue it as a career.

Title: Drawing the Lines of Coexistence 2017. Medium: Acrylic on canvas. Size: 8ft x 14ft.

Christine said animatedly, “I worked in graphic design for 18 years, including publications, animation, multimedia, and as an in-house artist for a hotel. I might have been going through a mid-life crisis, but I started searching for my life purpose, asking myself who am I, and what I am doing here. I realized that if I was going to leave the world of graphic design and go full-on with my artist work, I needed to do it for a worthwhile cause.”

Title: Emerging Wild 2 2017. Medium: Acrylic on canvas. Size: 18in x 18in.

However, Christine didn’t know what that cause would be yet, and she spent some time trying to find something close to her heart. “Nothing clicked at first, so I continued embarking on my art journey while exploring for a cause. In 2013, I was struck by an incident in Sabah where several pygmy elephants were poisoned to death, leaving behind a baby orphan elephant named Lil’ Joe. I was so affected by this incident that it connected everything for me. I then realized this is what I’m meant to do, and this is the cause I believe in. I have not looked back ever since.”

Title: One Magical Night 2018. Medium: Acrylic on canvas. Size: 24in x 24in.

Recently, Christine collaborated with WWF to produce two beautifully designed t-shirts, whereby proceeds from the sales will go towards the foundation. This is just one example of the type of ‘artist conservation’ that she does, and she works with several other NGOs who also advocate for wildlife conservation.

Title: Trunks of Love 2018. Medium: Acrylic on canvas. Size: 36in x 24in.

Christine has always been a nature lover with her main source of inspiration being Mother Nature. “How she operates, her essence, and the beauty of nature has always been the driving force behind my work. However, I’m currently at a transitional period. Previously my work was my expression of the beauty of nature and I have always painted when I was happy and joyful. Recently, I am beginning to see that the pain and grief I feel when working closely with elephants and wildlife conservation has been resurfacing when I paint.”

Title: Wild Emergence No.3 2018. Medium: Rubber paint on canvas. Size: 30cm x 30cm.

When asked if she finds it therapeutic to express these emotions through her paintings, Christine said it’s something she is questioning herself about. “I believe so, but currently it is only for me, and I haven’t shared that part of myself fully with the public yet. I keep my ‘angry art’ in a private sketchbook for now. But I do think with my latest series, with its grey and dark tones compared to my previous work which was more vibrant, some of the melancholy that I have been suppressing over the years was expressed. I do find it therapeutic and feel that it is necessary for me as a way to get my anger and sadness out of my system, as working with such an emotional cause close to my heart is not easy.”

Title: Enchanted Kiss 2016. Medium: Acrylic on canvas. Size: 36in x 36in.

As a self-taught painter, Christine always loved art and expresses herself best through her work. Her painting style ranges from vibrant line drawings to more subtle and fluid paintbrush strokes. Her contemporary artwork is hard to define as her style is unique and doesn’t quite fit into one category, but it doesn’t really matter as her work is simply stunning and evocative to anyone viewing them.

For more information about the artist and her paintings, please e-mail [email protected]

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