KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Self-taught painter Sylvia Lee Goh’s current exhibition, Sylvia Lee Goh – Then and Now: The Enduring Heart, presents an insider’s view of Peranakan culture rarely seen anywhere else. The well-received exhibition held at the National Visual Arts Gallery has been extended till October 25, 2015 so art lovers have another chance to enjoy Lee Goh’s paintings.
Lee Goh is a Northern Nyonya whose great-great-great-grandfather came to Malaya from China in 1820. Her works revolve around colourful flowers and gardens, Peranakan paraphernalia and kuih-muih, and Nyonya women at rest and at play.
Then and Now: The Enduring Heart is Lee Goh’s second solo exhibition after her first one at the National Art Gallery 17 years ago. She explains, “It takes me a long time to paint each piece as I’m not a trained artist. Usually in a year, I can complete one to two paintings.”
Besides her Peranakan heritage, Lee Goh is also deeply inspired by Nature, something she feels is a legacy from her father, who was an avid gardener and Nature lover. She shares, “I love gardening too. In my garden, I even grow lotus flowers, just like the ones at Tasik Chini that I painted. Lotus is a sensitive plant; it will respond to you. I talk to them every day.”
The soft-spoken and elegant 76-year-old has been painting for the past 40 years. She says, “In this exhibition, I’ve selected more than 50 of my paintings from the 1980s till 2015.” While earlier paintings focus Peranakan culture, her more recent pieces are contemplations on the state of our society today.
Many of the paintings on show have never been exhibited in commercial galleries. Therefore, for those wishing to view Lee Goh’s work through the years, this extended run at the National Visual Arts Gallery is an opportunity not to be missed.
Sylvia Lee Goh — Then and Now: The Enduring Heart
Gallery 2B, The National Visual Arts Gallery, 2 Jalan Temerloh, off Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur
Exhibition open daily from 10am-6pm until 25 Oct 2015