DISCOVERY - Solo Exhibition of Shireen Lee
will be held from 1st to 30th April 2014 at Lobby Gallery of The News Straits Times Press (M) Bhd., Jalan Riong, Kuala Lumpur.
This is her 4th solo exhibition that will be held for the first time in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2014 marks the 10th year of her career in art circle. For an artist, ten years is relatively a short period of time. For Shireen, it is just another beginning from here onwards in achieving greater maturity in her future artworks.
The one month event will be officiated by Puan Aminah Abd Rahman, Chairman of Malaysian Watercolour Society (MWS), on 12th April 2014 at 2 p.m. The exhibition is a showcase of 30 artworks painted in various media from the series of 'Discovery of Memory', 'Discovery of Nature' and 'Life Is Going On'.
Mohammad Azlan Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of The News Straits Time Press (NSTP), in his invitation letter stated that " Her collection seeks to incorporate a new approach in conventional art. With mix medias, she utilizes her medium to great effect by introducing surrealistic interpretation to flora and fauna. A treat to art aficionados, her great work brings distinct colours and patterns to the fore.......the collection proves that there are more sides to a seemingly fixed matter......".
According to Muhammad Noraznan bin Nayan, Executive Copywriter of NSTP, "Utilising mixed media, Shireen have moved away from her early methods, where she strives for realism, transferring what she sees onto canvas...... Her current approach is all her own, it is a surrealistic portrayal of Nature...... One would come to admire the interplay of colours, patterns and dimensions."
In conjunction with this event, an art booklet is published. Selected paintings printed in this book are representative work of Shireen Lee completed in different period of time. It is through 'Discovery' solo exhibition, Shireen hopes public could discover and understand her different perspective in seeing things and presenting thoughts. Life experience and growth do influence her journey as an artist. For Shireen, she always has new elements to discover, experiment and develop in creating more creative artworks.
Public are welcome to visit the exhibition at Lobby Gallery of NSTP, Jalan Riong, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Exhibition is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from 1st to 30th April 2014.
For enquiry and arrangement in meeting artist,
please call 019-2332565 or email to email@example.com
SHIREEN LEE - Discovery
By : Mohammad Azlan Abdullah
CEO of The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad
On behalf of The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the paintings of Shireen Lee. Her upcoming Solo Art Exhibition entitled 'DISCOVERY' is without doubt, a great introduction to surrealistic art. Scheduled for April 2014, it is a magnificent event that you should not miss.
Her collection seeks to incorporate a new approach in conventional art. With mixed medias, she utilizes her medium to great effect by introducing surrealistic interpretation to flora and fauna. A treat to art aficionados, her great work brings distinct colours and patterns to the fore.
The interplay of colours, perspectives and dimensions is a wonder to behold. Shireen's mastery of it brings a unique quality to an otherwise common depiction.
All in all, the collection proves that there are more sides to a seemingly fixed matter. An open mind and a willingness to break the mold will lead to a greater understanding of the world around us.
In Quest of a Dream Other-World
By : Ooi Kok Chuen, writer and curator
SHIREEN Lee's Discovery is both a record as well as a self- revelation of experiences, memories and expressions of her past and present, that somehow morphed into a personal Shangri-La.
Her real world is idealised by a placedness and nostalgia to a lost Time - principally her growing up in Seri Kembangan in Selangor, then a New Village, where the Chinese worker group was repopulated into cluster zones for easier governance. The villages also acted as a buffer against communist influence and intimidation, during the Malayan Emergency in 1948 and thereafter.
It is from this undeveloped and underdeveloped rural community in her growing-up years that reveals her affinity with Nature. This can perhaps be gleaned in her 1World template where there is no distinction between Sky, Earth and Water and where there is no Horizon.
Her credo is not about the Survival of the Fittest, but that of a happy co-existence of all life-forms - birds both in flight and perched like the Yellow Bird that referenced Paul Klee; creeping and flying insects; marine creatures; wild and domestic and domesticated animals; plants, flowers and trees; the symbolic lotus - each snug and smug in its own private domain, with nary a phobia of any intrusion or distraction.
Ditto, her verisimilitude works of broken but stout tree branches embellished with parasitic ferns and creepers, showing her adeptness with watercolours despite her being self-taught and her relatively short time of art practice.
In one series, typical New Villages makeshift homes are placed in camera focal zones, hinting at a flashback to a time when life was simpler perhaps, though much tougher - without all the material comforts of this globalized present.
There is another strand in Shireen Lee's art narrative - that which she uses more contemporary idioms - in still-life collage and in a hodge-podge composition of symbolic images. Here, the veracity of printed text and images is nuanced with the painted images both as symbolic and designing elements. Her neat uncluttered and near-meticulous compositions in her still-life works and the New Villages are the only clues of her training in town-planning and urban design.
While Shireen Lee herself professes to being much influenced by Tan Tong (1942-2013), much to her credit, she has taken her mentor's strictures on aesthetics and philosophy only as guidelines to create new vistas and vision of expressions and self-discoveries. Her earlier mentors were Tang Hong Lee and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts-trained Tan Sik Yaw she had been keen on art since her primary-school days right up to her studies at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. But it was her exposures to Japanese arts and culture, during her stay in Fukuoka from December 2009 to March 2012, that add a new maturity of concept and handling in her works.
This landmark solo exhibition, her first in Kuala Lumpur, marks Shireen Lee's 40 years of age and more significantly, her 10 years since actively being involved in the art circle, but it is by no means a destination or her having arrived. More so, it is a breathing space and important transition, and a tantalizing glimpse of what she has to offer. What is most edifying is her spirit of adventure, a single-mindedness to strike out on her own, to find and fulfill her own identity and destiny.
Shireen Lee’s Solo Art Exhibition
By : Muhammad Noraznan bin Nayan, Executive copywriter of NSTP
Passage of time often becomes the precursor or arbiter of change. This resonates clearly in art as time acts as the agent of transformation, aiding in the maturing process of a painter and his or her creative process. Breakthroughs, the ebb and flow of inspiration, these came when we least expect and after much reflection and experience. A decade in the making, Shireen Lee’s career started in 2004 and her newest collection is the sum total of her evolution as a painter.
DISCOVERY is a culmination of a lifelong journey; one that is dominated by experience and influence. Shireen’s mentors and a stint in Japan have transformed her perspective and approach to art. Her craft has evolved to the point where she is no longer confined to any medium and fixed interpretation. Utilising mixed medias, Shireen have moved away from her early methods, where she strives for realism, transferring what she sees onto canvas.
Nowadays, composition and research took much of her time. This in turn, brings about a considerably more nuanced interpretation, a synergy of her composition and analysis based on the subject matter at hand. Her paintings reflect her emotions and unique interpretation. Her art takes a significant departure from realistic conventions. She no longer mimics real-world perspective and dimensions. Her current approach is all her own, it is a surrealistic portrayal of nature.
Nonetheless, Shireen’s work is still rooted in the real world. The subject matter has always been nature and the places she have visited. Upon research and composition, she proceeded to experiment with angle, perspectives and colour. Among her unique touch, she employs double rectangular lines to simulate viewing from a camera. The edges of the paintings are also blurred so as to drive audience’s focus to the centre, again, mimicking the way one utilizes camera to capture the environment.
Her surrealistic approach is more apparent in her portrayal of a natural setting. For instance, she portrayed tsunamis and fishes in distinct colours and patterns. Their dimensions are heightened, the scene above and below the surface are thrust to the forefront. One would come to admire the interplay of colours, patterns and dimensions.
Amid the complexity, Shireen’s command of the medium is clear. The interplay of colours, the arrangement of the scene evokes an admiration for her skill. At the same time, the surrealistic approach implores the audience to ponder and reminisce.
However, Shireens’s collection shouldn’t be taken at face value. While it’s artistic merits are undeniable, it also speaks about the diversity of interpretation. Art, in essence, is a lense through which we view the world. Take a step into Shireen’s creations and we will experience a journey like none other.