Arts preview: qi who must be obeyed

Vanessa Yung

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 May, 2013, 10:53pm


Rhythms of Creation
Alisan Fine Arts


At the age of 84, New York-based artist Chinyee knows age can work to her advantage. The abstract expressionist attributes her vibrant and colourful works to her education, personality and experience.

"We Chinese believe that in creative work like calligraphy and paintings, there must be qi," says Chinyee. "That's why my training in calligraphy, and my knowledge of qi helps my work. My lines have to have strength and my drawings have to have qi."

Close to 40 of her works - from oils to watercolours to collage - are in an exhibition titled "Rhythms of Creation" at Alisan Fine Arts. Chinyee prefers abstract expressionism because it is more challenging than realism.

"Everyone has feelings and emotions, but for artists there's this urge to express them. If I see a blank canvas, it excites me," she says.

Initially, Chinyee thought the more abstract approach was easy but she soon found out that wasn't the case. That is when age and life experience came into the picture.

"People used to say when you learn to paint, or to live your life, the challenge is how to erase what you don't want. You're not going to burden yourself with everything. But when you're young you don't know what to leave out," says Chinyee.

"As I grow older, I become more confident and my experience tells me how to simplify a work by eliminating many things that burden them. I'm still healthy, I don't feel that I'm that old. As long as I'm still alive and have feelings, I'll always paint."


Alisan Fine Arts, 2305 Hing Wai Centre, 7 Tin Wan Praya Road, Aberdeen, until May 18. Tue-Sat, 10.30am-5.30pm. Inquiries: 2526 1091