KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — A highly regarded self-taught Balinese artist, Chang Fee Ming was born in Terengganu in 1959.

He began his career in the early 1980s and has since become one of Asia’s most highly regarded artists working mostly in watercolour.

Chang’s works are acclaimed, exhibited and collected throughout the world and have appeared regularly on auction at Sotheby’s and Christie’s since 1995.

On what initially drew him to Bali as a place to create art, Chang said: I came across an article featuring a revered senior artist from Singapore who had journeyed to Bali to nurture his artistic vision in the early 80s.

“This narrative ignited a spark within me, prompting my own pilgrimage to the enchanting island.

“Since my inaugural visit in 1985, I have found myself irresistibly drawn back time and again to its captivating beauty and profound spiritual essence,” he told Malay Mail.

Journey to creativity

From June 20 to 23, Chang is collaborating with Spa Village Resort Tembok on a creativity retreat.

Guests will be able to explore Balinese art centres through guided tours and engage in intimate sessions, including sketching classes and sharing sessions led by Chang.

“In such an idyllic place, YTL Hotels’ intention for the retreat is to inspire attendees, while my aim is to foster an environment devoid of undue pressure,” he said.

“It's important to note that this isn't merely a painting course; rather, it's an opportunity to share a few joyous days together, immersing ourselves in the treasured routines of village life in Tembok.

“Connecting with real people and experiencing the real Bali way of life can be profoundly enriching, reminding us of the magnificence and simplicity found in genuine human connections,” Chang added.

Asked what he likes best about Spa Village Resort Tembok, he said: “The true treasure lies in its remoteness, especially during the night.

“Picture yourself seated tranquilly by the pool, gazing out at the sea or up at the star-strewn sky, their reflections shimmering on the pool’s surface, seemingly dancing with each passing breeze.

“At times, it feels as though the very air carries whispers of ancient folk songs, serenading you in the background.”

Chang gave insight into his artworks and creations, and the inspirations behind them at ‘A Narrative with Chang Fee Ming’. — Picture by William KC Kee

His travel journal

Recently, he graced A Narrative with Chang Fee Ming at The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur where he gave insight into his artworks and creations, and the inspirations behind them.

At the event attended by YTL Hotels marketing and communications vice-president Geraldine Dreiser, Chang also touched on his travel journal Journey to Tembok.

The unique journal - a collaboration with YTL Hotels - showcases a collection of moments, serving as a treasure map to places of inspiration, where the journey itself is as significant as the destination.

“To travel and see and paint is for me a way of learning, part of my life philosophy,” he mused.

Life in Tembok

How has living in Tembok influenced Chang’s artistic style?

“Along the majestic black sand coastline flanking Spa Village Resort Tembok lie vibrant, time-honoured fishing villages.

“I frequently venture to these settlements, capturing their essence through sketches and engaging in heartfelt conversations with the fishermen,” said Chang.

“Their tales and way of life resonate deeply, evoking memories of the east coast of Malaysia I cherish.

Chang’s artwork titled ‘A Fisherman To His Last Breath...’ is inspired by Tembok. — Picture courtesy of Chang Fee Ming

“Notably, one of my creations inspired by Tembok, titled A Fisherman To His Last Breath... attained recognition at my solo exhibition in Christie’s Hong Kong in 2016, now owned by a collector from Singapore.

“This piece pays homage to a remarkable fisherman with whom I shared many insightful dialogues, a local luminary whose spirit endures despite his physical absence,” he added.

What lies ahead

As for his goals for the rest of the year, Chang said: "I intend to persist in my island-hopping expeditions across various parts of Indonesia that remain unexplored to me.

"This wanderlust of mine commenced several decades ago and as some affirm, it may well consume an entire lifetime to traverse the entirety of this diverse nation.

“With effective time management and leveraging the improved connectivity now accessible in Indonesia, I will eventually curate a meaningful exhibition that encapsulates the myriad adventures from my journeys across this archipelago.”

For more on Spa Village Resort Tembok, visit here.

2024-04-15T02:14:38Z dg43tfdfdgfd