Chang Fee Ming Kampung Village Scene
Chang Fee Ming was born in 1959 in Dungun, Terengganu, Malaysia. The artist is best known for his watercolour pictures that depict idyllic rural scenes. Chang is one of the most successful and highly regarded contemporary watercolourists in Southeast Asia. A self taught artist, he began his career in the early 1980s. He started his international travels at the same time visiting Nepal, India and Indochina, spending a couple of months in each place. Painting to Chang, 'throughout the journey, the things you see, the people you meet, even the air you smell can give you so much enjoyment. I don't count how many paintings I can do every trip - this way each trip is full of potential and surprises. In the 1990s he used to spend 4 months each year in Bali (where he has a studio) as he feels that the island gives him good 'chi' to paint.
However, his favourite place to visit is the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, from Eastern Johor all the way to the end of Kelantan, where he is most happy as he knows the region well, and feels strongly connected to its people and culture, making it easy for him to paint the subjects related to the area.
Asked about his choice of watercolour as his medium for painting, he said: "It all began as a practical choice as it is non-cumbersome and easy to pack and use, and also odourless and easy to clean. But artistically, I was moved by the works of Malaysian East Coast watercolour painters such as the late Mat Zain and the great Khalil Ibrahim. Their watercolour paintings seem to capture the tones and moods of the region so well, convincing me that it was the medium to use for these subjects."
Despite his many travels to Indonesia for the past 30 years, it remains a favourite travel destination. His dream is to complete a thematic body of work for an exhibition called "Taman Mini Indonesia", to show his sketches and drawings on envelopes as a documentary of this beautiful multi-cultural country.
The Work of Art
Kampung Village Scene was created in watercolour and was painted in 1986 . The picture is very detailed showing a number of traditional thatched buildings close to each other surrounded by palm trees. The specific location is difficult to describe as Kampung literally means 'village' and it is a term used throughout Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Having said that, the image is realistic in the portrayal of the traditional building types as shown by the image below of a Kampung Village in Java.