ON THE CANVAS Comic Books, Illustration, PaintingON THE GLOBEKuala Lumpur, MalaysiaON THE TEAM無限發掘 FINDARS
In Kuala Lumpur, our couchsurfing hosts
discovered a group of artists who established a gallery and studio, called 無限發掘 FINDARS, to work together, inspire one another, and showcase their creativity. It’s a space that’s open to the community and to different types of art, as well as an independent music label and studio.
It made me pretty damn nostalgic for days spent in the studios at art school, working late into the night with your best mates by your side. We loved seeing the sketchbooks of painter Beng Tze
, who, along with the other founders of FINDARS honed their crafts many moons ago at Malaysian Institute of Art.
We were lucky to interview one of the founders Lim Keh Soon
, who makes some of the freshest (and most twisted!) illustrations I’ve seen.
How old are you?
What brought you to KL?
I grew up close to here and moved to the centre 10 years ago to study.
What did you study?
Illustration at the Malaysian Institute of Art.
So, we are here in ‘Findars’ art space. How did the project start?
I met Beng Tze and Min Lik, we work together with a few other artists and share the rent for the building. We put on shows when we can. The group started in February 2008. There’s 6 of us – Me, Wong Eng Leong, Wong Min Lik, Tey Beng Tze, Bannai Roo, and Rainf.
Do a lot of people purchase your pieces?
We had another space near the central market where people would come in and buy but not so many collectors come to this location because its a bit more off-the-beaten track.
Have you been able to make money?
Not so much. We all have other jobs too. I work a few days a week as a part-time teacher, teaching art to 19-and 20-year old students, the rest of the time I spend here as the studio is good for my concentration. I used to work alone at my house but it wasn’t good for inspiration. Around 3 years ago I made a comic book, inspired by Japanese Manga, and published 130 copies. I sold them by myself, mainly to friends.
Would you say you were more of an illustrator than a painter?
Yes, but I have always been interested in painting so I have been doing a lot of that recently.
What’s the art scene like in KL?
The most happening time is the show opening. They are ongoing but the audience is usually quite conservative.
Are there lots of artists in the city?
Not compared with Indonesia, that’s known as an art hub for South-East Asia.
What is your favourite style of drawing, or thing to draw?
Characters. Not the normal style of character drawing though. Something abnormal, cut-off or something.
What’s the inspiration for your current piece?
Moving here I find I have a proper space to work. I love to see the scenery and sometimes try to include local news. My most recent piece was inspired by the Prime Ministers slogan, “You help me, I help you” I named it “You eat me, I eat you”.
Is this piece, your painting called “You Eat Me, I Eat You” for an upcoming show?
No. I plan to do a solo show and possibly produce another comic book this year.
What materials do you normally use?
Acrylic paint. I don’t sketch or plan, just go straight in with paint. Most of them I imagine and then paint. For some I use real objects and then paint around it.
How long do your large paintings usually take to complete?
Around 2 months.
How do you know when a piece is finished?
Well, this one isn’t. I still need to refine. Sometimes it’s boring though looking at the same piece, so I do some drawing instead.
FINDARS regularly hosts exhibitions and live music at their gallery in Kuala Lumpur. Fore more information, check them out on the web at the following places.
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