Kamwei Fong joins writer Sarah Anne Lee in featuring his painstakingly-inked Furry Things and ceramic adventures.
As a child, Kamwei Fong would spend time scribbling before going off to kindergarten, with whatever he could get his hands on. Scrap paper, walls, and even furniture saw all kinds of adornment with pens and pencils; something most children would be subject to some kind of discipline when caught in this innocent act of domestic vandalism. Fong’s mother however, saw something worth cultivating in the hobbies of her 4 year old. Fong fondly remembers his mother getting good quality art materials for him, and sitting beside him every time he drew.
It set a strong foundation for Fong, and art became a lifelong pursuit.
Fong can’t pinpoint exactly when he decided to become an artist, but art has always revolved around him. From art classes in high school to a diploma in an art/design college, Fong spent almost a good two decades in design consultancies and international advertising agencies before going full-time into artistry in 2018.
While he has an impressive (and extensive!) background in the more formal creative industry as a consultant, branding and advertising designer, and other art-related creations, Fong has happily settled into doing art full time.
He is known to his 176k followers on Instagram for his signature ‘Furry Thing’ cats, being adorable feline characters drawn intricately with strokes of a gel pen, giving his creations a fluffy appearance with painstaking effort. It may take a few long-time, die-hard fans to remember his dabbling in equally adorable ceramic creatures as well under his branding Bo&Friends, where a cute goldfish named Bo is his happiness personified.
His tools are simple 0.05pt and 0.1pt archival micro pigment ink fine line pens, and his patience. The ‘Furry Thing’ artworks demand steadiness and calm (therapeutic, Fong professes), but also quite delicate. A single tiny mistake of a fur stroke going the wrong way and the entire piece could be ruined, and the flow broken. Even his petite ceramic pieces require much attention to detail while in motion, as anything can happen in the firing process. Unpredictable colouring, shape warping and other accidents have the potential to occur, something Fong has noted to be quite challenging.
His inspiration comes from a myriad of many great artists, designers, calligraphers, architects, inventors, and writers, all shaping collective insights towards his personal journey as an artist.
As a professional artist, Fong functions through creating and selling prints of his art via commission or through a set composed for other bigger, well-established brands. His unique art has been featured and sold all around the world such as Galerie Club in Paris, Super Superficial clothing in London, and Isetan, just to name a few. Locals will recognise him through ana tomy’s limited edition run of notebooks with his work as cover art, exhibitions at KLPAC, and sales at local branches of Isetan The Japan Store and Fab Space.
Fong lives in the moment, enjoying everything he does in the present. Like his art-style, Fong goes with the flow. His personal philosophy is that the things he has done today will lead him somewhere tomorrow. Like many of us, thinking of the future makes him nervous, but Fong reverts this as redundant as it has not happened yet. His creativity is self-described to be instinctual, striving to only do what he loves, and collaborate with companies and brands he finds interesting. Very much in line with his zen outlook on life, Fong considers his biggest achievements to be finally be done with works he was never fully interested in and to be doing what he enjoys in the now.
Fong confesses not knowing much about Malaysia’s art scene, most of his personality is active on the globally-reaching platform Instagram. He has however, has some exposure via Art Expo Malaysia 2018, and was amazed by the number of visitors and openness to the different kinds of art, encouraging the many talented artists Malaysia has to offer.
Kamwei’s art can be purchased through his Etsy (@kamweifong). He can also be found on Instagram (@kamweiatwork), on Facebook (@Bo&Friends or @Kamwei Fong). To inquire on availability for certain pieces, reach out to him at [email protected].