Cheng Thak, Lui’s ‘Colour of Taste’ paints the different scenes behind quintessential Malaysian meals in a virtual exhibition
KUALA LUMPUR : Negri Sembilan-born artist, who goes by Cheng Thak, Lui (or Lui Cheng Thak), illustrates typical local food stall/kitchen action as a way of celebrate his love for iconic multicultural cuisines we love in a virtual exhibition, curated by WinSon Loh and hosted by Pinkguy Gallery.
From Claypot Chicken Rice to Hainanese Chicken Rice, Char Kuey Teow, and Nasi Lemak, many popular dishes that make up Malaysia’s melting pot of food fares were featured.
In the artist remarks section of the exhibition, Chen Thak noted: “When I walk around the streets and lanes of a city, there is ‘taste’ that is unchanged among things that are overlooked by most of us.”
“By using colours to record the cuisines, by using feelings to describe time, by using lines to evoke appetite. These are used to describe the memory of ‘taste’,” added the 54-year-old.
Known for his works detailing historical buildings, culture and heritage through paintings, all of his masterpieces are painted on small-sized canvas, roughly the size of A3 for the present series.
Flavours and flair
Cheng Thak is said to have used a total of 12 different colours and techniques to meticulously paint the different layers and lighting effects.
This is what makes Cheng Thak’s work special as his paintings offer different visual effects when they are admired under different lighting conditions. It gives birth to the different feelings and sensations his paintings are able to resonate across.
One could almost hear vividly the sounds and scents, a comforting nostalgia, that each painting is trying to depict.
No doubt, the profound fascination that we have (growing up in this country) hopping from stall to stall, appeasing our Malaysian cravings of both sweet and savoury is what makes the nation greatly treasured.
The fact that it is now being immortalised through brush strokes thanks to artists such as Cheng Thak is an ode to how Malaysia’s amalgamation of culture and tradition has withstood the test of time and remained firm favourites among both the young and old.
If anyone is set to make themselves feel homesick, then the artworks under the ‘Colour of Taste’ series will certainly do the job well.
Have a look yourself and share with us your take!