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Selfless Portraits
by Karin Weber Gallery
Location: Karin Weber Gallery
Artist(s): Charles CHAM
Date: 27 Jun - 24 Jul 2012

‘Selfless Portraits’ is Malaysian artist Charles CHAM’s fourth solo exhibition at Karin Weber Gallery, Hong Kong.  In this exhibition, Charles focuses on one of the oldest themes used by artists in modern painting – self-portraits. But in this series of works, colourful and grey, big and tiny, the artist does not concentrate on his own likeliness on canvas, but rather on who he is inside and subjects that matter to him.  He painted his thoughts, beliefs and opinions in graffiti-like calligraphy and symbols. Faces are reduced to simple lines and forms. The ‘self-portraits’ appear in the form of a silhouette, a shadow, an outline, or just a patch of colour, representing the artist himself. It’s like self-portraiture without the self.  Paintings are done in his trademark style of Yin and Yang – the duality of life and the attraction of opposites. Every painting, like everything in life, he believes, has another side to it whether visible or not.

About the artist

Charles CHAM started painting at the age of five inspired by the first movie he ever saw. It was a story about an artist with a magic brush and everything he painted became alive. When Charles came home that day after the movie, he started to draw a portrait of the painter on the floor with some cake powder belonging to his mother. That was his first portrait.  After working as an editorial artist for a few years in Kuala Lumpur, he went to France to paint. He became a member of the Association des Artistes Indépendants in Aix-en-Provence and exhibited in the Salon des Indépendants in 1990 and 1991. In 1993, he set up his studio in his hometown Malacca, a Unesco World Heritage City in Malaysia, and named it The Orangutan House. In 1995, he mounted his solo exhibition "Yin Et Yang Et Cetera” at the Creative Centre of the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur. Since then he has exhibited in Singapore, Hong Kong, Bali, Australia, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Portugal, Hungary and Malaysia. "I believe that drawing is thinking and painting is feeling. Therefore, I draw what I think and paint what I feel.”

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