Last weekend was one of the best weekend of my life! Though I didn’t travel far away and have my passport stamped, but I travelled from South to North via MRT to reach one of the best event of the year, and one that I traditionally been visiting for the past 4 years.
It was a gloomy Sunday, but that didn’t stopped me to grabbed my weekend blogging gear, and head to SM North The Block to attend this year’s Chan Lim’s exhibit.
If you aren’t familiar yet with this splendid exhibition then hopefully after you read my post, you will be dragging your feet together with your family and friends to see this!
For many years, I’ve been so passionate in learning and promoting the East Asian cultures, and sharing many stories and experiences here in my blog. I find it so interesting and beautiful, full of colors and life that last for many generations.
And if you are been here in Asia (or even visited some Asian communities) one of the most celebrated annually is the Chinese Lunar New Year. Yes, we celebrate the annual New Year in many different ways, and even partying until dawn to welcome another year. But for me (and I think some Asians do) celebrating the Lunar New Year marks the completeness of welcoming the true New Year.
One of the things I did every Chinese New Year is to visit the remarkable Chan Lim Family of Artists annual exhibition that was traditionally held in SM Malls. This exhibition showcased many Chinese brush paintings created by the Chan Lim’s family and their students for the past many years. One of the best one I’ve seen is during their exhibit in SM Aura were they shared to the public their collection of hand-painted porcelain plates and wares, created by their family and students and am telling you it was a very breathtakingly sight. All those porcelain plate are enclosed in a tight glass case that are visible to the audience, and I was one of them who can’t stopped staring at these precious artworks, that even my friend said, I was teary-eyed with joy just by watching the exhibit.
Yes, I did. The only sign that I like it deeply in my heart and by whole being. And I vowed that someday I will attend one of their offered workshop, or even at least get to see them doing their work.
And that day was granted last Sunday, when I attended their exhibit at SM North The Block Atrium.
This exhibition is more fantastic than the previous exhibits that they had for the past 22 years, because this year the founder Mr. Chan Lim celebrates his 80th birthday. Together with his whole family and friends, the Chan Lim Family of Artists are happily and proudly showcased and welcomed the Chinese New Year with their new exhibits of hand-painted porcelain plates and Chinese brush painting scrolls created by the family and their students for many years.
As the family’s way of saying “xie xie ni” or “Thank You” , Chan Lim Family of Artists have traditionally sharing their skills and works to the public by conducting numerous art classes, workshops, seminars and on-the-spot painting demonstrations.
And I was one of the lucky ones who had an opportunity to attend their workshop last Sunday. Headed by Mr. Alex Lim (the eldest son of Mr. Chan Lim) and the rest of the members of the family and their students, shared and taught us how to create our own Chinese brush paintings.
Like a good student listening to their Shifu, we listened and take notes how to properly hold a Chinese brush, the materials that we are going to use which includes the watercolours, Chinese black ink (for the basic brush paintings) and some rice paper, learning the basic brush strokes, and most of all – how to have fun creating our first Chinese brush paintings.
We were also treated with a live on-the-spot painting demonstration by Dr. Alex Lim. By using his tools and his creative prowess, Dr. Lim amazed us with his talent of creating 2 paintings – one is a Chinese hanging orchid painting, using a black Chinese ink and finished for the span of 3-minutes.
The other one which actually made me breathless, is his mountainscape artwork using the combination of chinese black ink and watercolours. Dr. Lim magically stroking his brush and for the span of 8-minutes, we couldn’t help but awe with his creation. My heart is truly leaped with joy, as I’ve witness how the Master shows us his power.
Seeing their scrolls of artwork, some of you might think that water color painting is so easy. Using a white rice paper, some Chinese brushes, and watercolours and ink – you might think that those are just few strokes of hand and make an abstract work – but it’s not.
We were provided with materials for the workshop, and I feeling inspired as usual started to wet my brush and dipped it to the ink. As I am about to start my first stroke, I stopped for few minutes and wondered “What should I paint?” My right hand was shaking with anxiety, and for the first time in my whole creative life, I felt worried. Worried about the “what if” thoughts.
Yes, I tried learning the Chinese brush paintings and it’s hard AF!
I put down my brush, and walk around the for few minutes to catch my breath, until I have managed to pulled-up myself again and told myself “Yes, you can do it!”
Having a more relaxed thoughts (despite of many distraction around me) I dipped my brush, mixed the colours and started stroking my brush on my paper, with a free mind and imagining this scene in my head, with flowers near the river bank, waters are calm and free-flowing – one of my favorite place where I want to spent my time reading a book, and enjoy the morning breeze.
And here’s my painting – LOL, well I tried and it’s hard. I realized that I can’t paint with many distractions around me, and I think that I can do better and I need to practice more!
We were patiently guided with our teachers from Chan Lim Family of Artists. They’ve taught us how to create our first leaf, flower petals, bamboo shoots, and even a crab! It was a fun experience for us that day!
While we are getting too busy with our workshop, Chan Lim Family of Artists have spoiled us with some Chinese dances performed by Sindaw Dance Troupe – a Philippine dance troupe that won in the Best Folklore Performance Award in Busan International Travel Fair in 2013.
We’ve also enjoyed the energetic Chinese Dragon and Lion dance as Chan Lim Family of Artists have officially opened the exhibit to the public. The family have joined several art exhibits locally and internationally. For 22-years of sharing their works, and nurtured the talents of the third generation, Chan Lim Family of Artists and Students are one of the few known Chinese brush painting artists here in the Philippines today and throughout Asia.
The family that paints together, stays together.
This year 2017 is the great milestone for the family and their students as they are celebrating the founder Mr. Chan Lim his 80th birthday, an auspicious celebration in the Chinese culture.
It was an honor to meet the founder, Mr. Chan Lim who celebrates his 80th birthday this year.
The family and students are also sharing all their works by having an art exhibits to 8 different venues nationwide. Here at SM North EDSA The Block Atrium, audiences can enjoy the beauty of more than 300 artworks created by 43 artists started from January 15 to February 12 for FREE!
I recommend you to drop-by at their exhibit venue and feed your mind and your art persona with these marvelous and magical creations. If you are also interest for their art classes and workshop, you may contact Chan Lim Family of Artists via email at email@example.com or view their other art pieces online at www.chanlim.com.
Complete your Eastern traditions of celebrating the prosperous New Year by visiting this exhibit, and to nurtured and share this arts to the next generations.
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