Jake Goh: Malaysia’s Sunflower Artist

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The talented Malaysian artist is being showcased in a solo art exhibition at Atria Shopping Gallery in Damansara Jaya starting in mid-July.

Malaysian painter Jake Goh is no stranger to local art aficionados, first capturing our own interest years ago with his beautifully vibrant paintings of sunflowers.

Jake is a self-taught artist who displayed his talent for painting from a young age. He had to wait though until he finished secondary school to independently pursue his dream of becoming an artist, driven by his determination.

For the first decade of his career, Jake specialised in painting vibrant yellow sunflowers against deep blue backdrops, mastering the art of capturing their essence. His colourful and vivid sunflower paintings are a sight to behold. This distinctive style earned him the moniker of the ‘Sunflower Artist,’ and his paintings quickly gained popularity, becoming highly sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. 

One can’t help but notice a resemblance between Jake’s works and those of the famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, who used similar colours and techniques. However, Jake’s fame started almost straight away after he completed his first painting some 30 years ago, while nobody noticed and appreciated van Gogh’s art when he was alive.

We recently sat down with Jake to talk about his work.

What different techniques do you use in your artwork?

One particular technique I’ve delved into is the impasto method, which I find incredibly captivating. I have always found inspiration in the work of Vincent van Gogh. He is renowned for his remarkable brush work and the application of tick, layered paint. This technique is formally known as impasto, a style van Gogh intensified by using a pallet knife or applying undiluted paint.

The impasto technique adds depth and dimension to my pieces, inviting viewers to truly immerse themselves in the artwork. I find immense satisfaction not only in the finished work but also in the process itself. Each stroke is an opportunity for me to bring the subject of the painting to life, infusing it with a sense of vitality and uniqueness that cannot be replicated easily.

I enjoy painting in various styles. I am inquisitive about nature and like to experiment with different colours, themes, and tools. I don’t stick to one style in particular, and all my paintings are different but equally precious to me. I’ve experimented with impressionism, realism, and abstract styles, and I enjoy venturing through all these categories to see how far I can stretch myself. We were born to be adventurous, to be courageous, and we should not be afraid to wander outside our comfort zone.

I love teaching these different styles and techniques to kids as well. In 2021, I almost ended up working for a school in China, before the Covid pandemic halted the application process. I am currently teaching kids from Year 8 and 9 up to IGCSE level at a school in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur. I am very passionate about teaching, because I never had a mentor myself, nor any formal education in art. That’s why I am so happy to be able to share my knowledge, my experience and skills with young people.


What tools do you use to paint?

I use brushes and palette knifes, and I think the knives are my favourite tools. I use it for almost all my sunflower paintings. At the start of my journey, I painted with a straightforward approach, experimenting with various brushes of different types and sizes. Over time, I’ve evolved my technique, and I am favouring palette knives at this stage in my painting career. This shift from brushes to using knives has allowed me to create textures on the canvas that are more intricate and nuanced, with some surfaces even softer to the touch. 

Please tell us about your upcoming exhibition this month.

I’m very happy and proud to have a solo exhibition in the Atria Shopping Gallery in PJ (Damansara Jaya) on the first floor. The exhibition is called ‘Ambulation.’ They will showcase my paintings from July 15th to August 3rd, 2024.

To see some of Jake’s beautiful artwork first-hand, make your plans to visit Atria Shopping Gallery during his three-week solo exhibition. Jake can also be contacted by emailing [email protected] for further inquiries and commissioned artwork.

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