Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Batik Artist Michael Lim

ARTIST MICHAEL LIM has been painting batiks ever since I was a student in Kuching. We all looked up to him and Ramsay Ong, they projected and defined art in Sarawak with their observations of life in native longhouses and kampungs. They painted the rich tapestry of life around them, in a medium that was local and suited exactly what they were trying to express.
We used to dye our waxed fabric in dye baths, starting with the lightest color (yellow) and cracked the wax according to create that signature cracked texture that batiks achieve. The days of large trays of dyes are long gone. Dyes are now brushed on, the wax delineates areas of the colours. Large batik paintings and murals can can now be created without dye baths.

Ramsay Ong went on to explore other aspects of batiks and painting, using rice paper, silk, painting on bark and took off to far-flung places like Sri Lanka to continue his quest. Michael Lim has steadfastly stayed with batik techniques and also produced works of art in water-colour and acrylics.

His home in Jalan Mendu, Kuching is his studio. He paints in tropical splendour, surrounded by native bush and durian trees. His works adorn all the walls and and holds regular shows for invited guests and visitors. He has patrons in local dignitaries and tourists come and view and more often than not, commission him to do pieces as per what he has on show. Well how can you resist when he always has spreads of Nonya kuehs and local kopi-o waiting for you, being such an accomplished cook.
Michael Lim finds inspiration in his acute observations of orchids, pitcher plants and the protected bird of Sarawak, the hornbill. A few of his works literally hang from the ceiling or mural-like across the wall. There are a few native longhouse paintings, around around, amidst wooden carvings by the Ibans or antique beadwork by Bidayuh, Kenyah or Kelabit.
Batik Artist
10 Lorong Satu
Jalan Mendu
+60 82 246906

No comments:

Post a Comment