I alternate between realism and abstraction in my paintings. While the result looks very different, basically the process and the goals are the same. Although I try to work intuitively and spontaneously, I am still so aware of the rules and principles of design that my intuitive decisions are all filtered through my design sensibilities. I love painting abstracts because the spirit of my soul comes out and I truly paint from my heart. I try to paint the subject as I perceive it rather than try to achieve a realistic interpretation. Using an abstract motif is a marvellous way to practice creating loss and found edges; producing a painting that is expressive in its emotional content. When I create abstract art, I normally work with the basic elements of design and colour theories, but I am not limited to rendering an accurate representation. I love to use rich multi-layered surfaces. Layering color over color or material over material builds depth and luminosity. The richness of several layers interacting and the sense of mystery created by successive layers peeking through my painting are the elements that make my work unique. Abstraction and realism are the two finished forms my work takes but from my prospective the similarities far overweight the differences. The common unifying factor is design. 'Art is an expression of your own vision and eventually you will make up your own rules. Inspiration is everywhere. My journey through the world of batik is a continuing adventure and I still find myself learning and discovering everyday. ' said this 22 years old young Batik artist, Emilia.
Biography: My name is Tan Mei Shia ( T.M.S ) , with my surname being Tan. However everyone loves to call me Emilia. I was born in Selangor, Malaysia in 1981 and my obsession with art emerged soon after the age of six. I was doing very well in watercolour painting for more than 10 years during my primary school and high school period before I decided to enter the world of Batik. In 1999, after high school, I decided to travel around Asia in a journey of exploration to find my way in life. I spent two years finding my way, studying about other countries' cultures and humanism. I became very interested in Australian Aboriginal art from the first time I arrived in Australia. I became determined to study more about Aboriginal art staying in Melbourne, Australia for six months. My Journey as an Artist is evolving slowly. My Wonderful Teachers In 2001 with Ms. Fatimah Chik and Mr. Samsuddin as my guides, I was slowly and gently introduced to the art of Batik during my textile and fashion design course at the Malaysian Institute of Art (M.I.A). I have been very fortunate to have so many wonderful teachers and the instruction that I received has been invaluable to my artistic development. Ms. Fatimah Chik and Mr. Samsuddin are recognised as Malaysian's finest Batik artists presently. I studied under them, cultivating an appreciation of contemporary art and experimenting with abstract impressionism. They shared with me many techniques that they had experimented with and devised over the years. I developed a strong interest in batik painting and soon displayed a talent that enabled myself to work as an artist of considerable repute. My Influences The time that I have spent in Australia has been the biggest influence on my work. The influences of my world are Australian Aboriginal art, with its very fine lines and fine dots. I have succeeded to create my own style with a mix of aboriginal art styles with batik technique. The influences of Malaysian batik and European impressionist movements are obvious in my work, where the emphasis is always on technique and the message portrayed is "It's not what I paint, but how I create it, so that it will belong to me, and leads off to my own style". My work, a painting with integrity speaks for itself and prefers to dwell on purity, intuition and integrity. It is a form of painting that mixes traditional impressionistic values with versatility- an honest interest in contemporary batik art. I use influences and symbols from many cultures in my work, rather than painting in a fixed traditional Malay Batik style. My inspiration , concept & composition My inspiration comes from my inner spiritual life, images surface from my ongoing and deeply personal relationship with the surface of life. It also guides my spiritual growth, healing and brings me to a new level of spiritual fulfillment. My innate sense of design and colour and my love of Australian Aboriginal art join together to create a contemporary Batik art form. All my Batiks contain basic aspects of my work: original in concept, imaginative in treatment, brimming with action and life. This is the most critical part of developing my own style. My inner vision emerges from my own life experiences. I trust my own intuition and keep searching for my own vision. There will be times where I may feel totally uninspired. The creative process is not always continuous and the execution of an idea can be interrupted or even grinds to a stop. I tell myself to keep an open mind because the process may still be incubating. I have never been discouraged or afraid to change directions. This may be the time when the birth of new ideas are forming below my consciousness; which does not demand perfection of myself. This is a time to reflect in my journal and try to visualize the direction I may want to go. By keeping the faith, the uniqueness will eventually emerge. It is rare that a situation such as this presents itself - the opportunity for Malaysians to purchase modernist painting of an international standard. My work is characterised by rich and vivid colour with very strong contrast and contemporary batik style.
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