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Date: Mar 18th 2014 4:10p.m.
Contributed by: cityweekend

As warmer days penetrate Beijing’s winter, and our moods shift with the changing seasons, it's surprising how fast we forget the gloom of dongtian in the northern capital. But in a show on at the Grace Hotel in 798, Malaysian painter Perngfey Wong brings the notorious season back to life in a series of abstract paintings of winter cityscapes.

Walking into the Grace Beijing, two chaotic abstract paintings from the artist's early days in Beijing, Suspended and Gathering of Distinctive People hang on the left and right walls, introducing the viewer to the chilly realm of “The World Known and Unknown.” The most emotionally evocative pieces, however, are the expressionist paintings on the back wall.

Light and Shadow and Before Dusk II effectively convey the melancholy of winter in a large, bustling city. Light and Shadow contrasts blurring motion in light reds and cream on the bottom of the canvas with simple treetops and branches against a gray sky above. Before Dusk II uses yellows, whites and dark browns to investigate the somber feelings of a still life scene—a tree next to a building—in frigid Beijing.

Perngfey Wong

Perngfey Wong

Wong says he doesn’t start out with a clear direction or a concrete idea he wishes to convey in his artwork. Instead, he examines deep, subconscious feelings that transcend transient moods and emotions as he works. “Exploration is a very important part of my work,” he says. “It’s almost as vital as the images or the material.”

Wong graduated from the Malaysian Institute of Art in Kuala Lumpur in the late 1990s where he subsequently made a career for himself. In 2011, he spontaneously decided to move to Beijing for a clean start, he says. Though he has lived in Beijing for three years now ...


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