What do you do?
I make naive, colourful and playful abstract paintings.
What's your background?
I was born in Penang, Malaysia. I am a second-generation Malaysian with South Indian heritage. My mother tongue is Tamil. I received primary and most of my secondary education in a government-run Malay-medium school. I completed secondary education in Australia with a Victorian High School Certificate under an international student exchange programme. I went on to obtain a bachelor's degree and professional qualification in the United Kingdom. I lived and worked in Kuala Lumpur before moving to Melbourne.
When did you decide to pursue a career in art?
I've always been creative and dabbled in making art throughout my life. As a teenager, I was keen on pursuing a fine art degree but family obligations took me in a different direction. About 7 years ago, I threw caution to the wind and gave up my chosen profession to go on an inward journey of self-discovery and to fulfil my teenage dream of being a visual artist.
Have you had any formal training in art?
I am primarily a self-taught artist. I have had a modest amount of instruction during a short course at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne.
Why do you make this type of art?
The artworks are an integral part of my quest to discover 'Who am I?' beyond the body, mind, and emotions. Each piece captures a moment in time along my journey.
What inspires you to paint?
Mostly, inspiration comes from within. Sometimes, I am moved to experiment by artful images or interesting works by other artists.
How would you like the audience to respond to your work?
The artworks are intended to speak to the inner child in the audience. I would be pleased if those who come into contact with my work took a little time to contemplate these three questions without over-analysing: 'Does this art engage my attention?'; 'What do I see?'; 'How do I feel?'
What art do you most identify with?
I love all forms of artistic expression. The artwork could be realistic or abstract; it's not so much the genre or level of skill, but how an artwork speaks to me that really matters. I like some artworks for their aesthetic qualities and others for their imaginative or intellectual content.
What is your attitude towards creativity in society?
Creativity is woven into everything that we see, hear, and do. Art is creativity in its purest form. By making time for art, one can find relief from the tedium of everyday life and seek balance in a world unduly focused on material success.
Do your artworks have titles?
The artworks are untitled and referenced by sequential numbers, for example, S261/2018, S262/2019 and so on.
Why don't you give the artworks a name or title?
Most people have a tendency to view artworks through the lens of the artist; often, they are influenced by names and titles. By abstaining from descriptions, I invite my audience to have subjective visceral experiences and arrive at their own conclusions as to what they see and feel.
There is a discernible repetition in your work. What is the purpose of this theme?
In my work, the underlying theme represents rhythm and movement in what is seemingly a random juxtaposition of shapes, colours, and lines. Some artists might find any form of repetition a challenge because they consider it uninspiring and boring. However, I am of the opinion that it's not possible to explore the furthest depth of creativity without keeping your focus in one direction.
What’s integral to the work of an emerging artist?
I believe it's consistency. Artists who consistently produce artworks that exhibit focus, personal voice, and aesthetic sensibility show a strong commitment to their practice; they have the potential to gain a devoted following and pique the interest of serious collectors.
What’s your favourite memory of childhood?
I grew up in Taiping, Perak, a small town that is known for its natural surroundings: tropical jungle, hills, rivers, waterfalls, and lakes. We lived in a working-class neighbourhood where most parents could hardly make ends meet; so, children were left to their own devices for fun and entertainment. My fondest memories of childhood are mainly of times spent outdoors playing and having all sorts of adventure. Those who are close to me know I am still a fun-loving, playful and mischievous kid at heart.
How much has your lifestyle, beliefs, and outlook changed since you began this journey?
My lifestyle has not changed much. I still enjoy all the pleasures that life has to offer and have my ups and downs like everyone else. My beliefs and approach to life are much simpler now because of certain realisation along this inward journey; it's actually easier to find your true self than what we have been led to believe. As a result, I am becoming increasingly detached from the everyday drama of worldly experiences. I do not believe spiritual awareness leads to a stoic path in life; on the contrary, it has the potential to liberate us from the shackles of misconceptions and renew our sense of freedom and playfulness.
What's your approach to a happy life?
Happiness comes from within and not without. Everyone is creating their own reality either consciously or by default; it's a subjective experiential reality. There is no objective reality because no one can independently verify what another is thinking, feeling, or experiencing.
Attention is what keeps something wanted or unwanted in our personal experience. Pay little or no attention to unwanted people, things, or situations and they will either morph into something pleasing or be removed from your personal experience. That is the key. You cannot change anything unwanted by force or resistance. Your continued attention to an unwanted person or situation - regardless of your intention or desire for change - will cause them to remain in your experience in one unpleasant form or another. You can only affect change by shifting your attention away from them; it's the only way. The inherent duality of physical existence will always throw unpleasant experiences our way. We can't avoid them but we can certainly learn to reduce their impact.
What does being an artist mean to you?
To me, being an artist is experiencing inner peace, joy, and contentment through creativity and self-expression.
What are your aspirations and goals?
As an artist, I hope to consistently produce and exhibit new works. Personally, my aim in life is to be inwardly focused and remain joyful in the knowledge of my true nature regardless of what manifests in my worldly experiences.
Click HERE to read Artist Statement & CV.