An Exhibition for Malaysian Contemporary Ink Art Pioneer C.N. Liew

Why We Recommend it

Malaysian artist C.N. Liew, disciple of the great Zen master Bo Yuan and the student of Chinese contemporary ink artist Liu Kuo-Sung, showcases his spiritual longing for freedom through his brushstrokes.


Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1975, C.N. Liew is the first artist of Chinese descent whose works are collected by the National Palace of Malaysia. Using the Chinese philosophical concept of Dao (“the path”) as an entry point into analysing Liew’s artistry, the artist establishes a dialogue between traditional aesthetics and abstract expressionism through his unique “writing-painting” technique.

Three of Liew’s metal works from “The Great Form” series will make their debut in this exhibition. The artist discovered aluminium board as a new material during a visit to a printing factory in 2009. “Writing-painting” on aluminium board evokes a different essence than that of traditional calligraphy and Chinese painting on xuan paper or silk. The idiosyncratic attributes of aluminium board as a material are its smoothness and its lack of permeation. With uninterrupted strokes from start to finish rendering the style sharp and sleek, the artist’s focus on the painting board is the perfect manifestation of a union between material and the individual self. To Liew, these works reflect the “true” feelings from his interior world, and the spiritual nature of this material world.

In “The Great Refinement” series, Liew seeks refinement that elevates writing to a higher spiritual realm through deconstructing and reconstructing the process. To Liew, this is not experimental calligraphy, nor an experiment itself. It is an authentic realisation that sets out to break free from traditional frameworks and inspire a new artistic expression, in order to reach a higher realm in its substance. It inspires the viewer to grasp the inexplicability of “Dao”.


When: 24 May 2019 - 29 Jun 2019 Where: Galerie du Monde, 108 Ruttonjee Centre – 11 Duddell Street – Central