Tan Gaik Hoon: Born in 1970, Tan Gaik Hoon is one of Malaysia’s established fine artist. Gaik Hoon’s work is known to be unique and original as she is known to be one of the few who uses watercolour splendidly. She graduated from the Kuala Lumpur College of Art with a Diploma in Fine Art in 1994 where is a part time artist while teaching art. A member of Malaysian Watercolour Society, Gaik Hoon’s work has been seen around the public and private galleries around Malaysia as well as in other countries.
Her more recent solo exhibition was held at the Aidea Art in Plaza TTDI in a show entitled ‘Nyonya Series’. Apart from that, she has been actively involved with art exhibitions where her works were seen at group shows like the ‘Rural Malaysia’ show at the Shah Alam Gallery, the ‘Pemandangan Malaysia’ show organized by the National Art Gallery as well as the ‘Secretary Day Show’ held at the Metro Art Gallery.
Her work had also travelled to Seoul in South Korea where it was exhibited at the 22nd Korea New Art Festival. Apart from that, she was the Consolation Prize winner of the 1993 Competition organized by Kontena Nasional & the Shah Alam Gallery where he works have been accepted in the collection in Europe and other countries.
Tan Gaik Hoon’s Artwork:
Tan Gaik Hoon’s watercolour techniques are seen as one of the most unique and exemplary. This is where she uses the medium so well to show the expressions of her objects like in ‘Fishmonger’. This painting depicts a certain state of depression and poverty which might or might not be true. The fishmonger here comes with a reddish motif which exudes an impression of old-age and a lifetime of hardwork. Whether or not it is the reality, it does not matter because from the eyes of the viewer, the Fishmonger is seen as a person with years of experience and working to feed the family.
The piece here is entitled ‘Nyonya in the Mirror’. It is an interesting piece where the surrounding objects are used to further establish the message of the Nyonya lady in the process of make-up and getting ready. The colours and texture of the traditional apparel is obvious and clearly demonstrated. Gaik Hoon’s interpretation of the lady here shows a wanton and care-less emotion but one would known that this process is a highly tedious and important stage of a typical day for anyone. The details of the objects seen in this piece of work is also clearly demonstrated as a mean of educating the viewer of about the traditions of the Nyonya heritage.