Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tanjong Lobang Creative Encounters - Episode 3

Mr. Voong Kiat Hui ( Part II )
Mr. Voong was an art activist. By this I mean he has the best of intent in challenging us to practice the usefulness of art even at the school level. We were encouraged to take part in open art competitions, art exhibitions, art club activities, and other art-related activities in the school especially in the production of English dramas.

There is one activity of the Art Club which I enjoyed exceedingly. If you are to enter the Tanjong School Hall , on the left side of the stage is a glass mosaic piece. This was done over a couple of months because it involved breaking the thick glass mosaic blocks into smaller pieces and then glued them together by using cement. The composition depicts two fishes among weeds in an underwater scenery. The characteristic ' red sun', a symbol frequently used by Mr. Voong in his modern art painting is reflected here at one corner of the composition.

Glass Mosaic wall piece, done in 1969 by Art Club, under guidance of Mr. Voong. Location: Assembly Hall, Tg. Lobang, Miri.

Mr. Voong's other contributions
Mr. Robert Nicholl relied heavily on Mr. Voong to assist him in the yearly English drama production. This entailed him to design costumes and make-up , construct props , decor and sets. In some sets, he had to paint huge paintings as part of the living room scene. Two examples you can see here is the modern art painting in 'Tamu di Bukit Kenny' and huge portrait in 'Charley's Aunt'.

Adi has fainted! I am helping him to recover. Zainie Ozea, Zakiah and Fatimah in the background. Observe the modern art painting on the wall by Mr. Voong.

The above is an example of 'public sculpture' done by Mr. Voong out of wood. This was located next to Mr. Nicholl's office. I think the title was ' The Owl'. Yah, it's me posing next to it.
The above cover design is of the souvenir programme for the drama , 'Charley's Aunt' shown at the School Hall on 25.7.69. Observe Mr. Voong's very effective caricature of the players.

In the cover design above, note the 'fluidity' of Mr. Voong's Chinese painting style strokes. This play was staged on Friday, 6.9.68. In the above play, I acted the part of Alf Benson. My father, Charles Benson was played by Peli Aron. The play centred on a remote sea port in Great Britain around 1870 .

This is a newspaper cutting of the drama from the' Borneo Bulletin'. In this play I took the role of Colonel Sir Francis Chesney. This is a hilarious drama. I could remember clearly how the audience was kept in stitches the whole evening. Note the huge portrait Mr. Voong did as part of the living room prop. This drama was staged on 25.7.69 to a full audience. For the record, the following day i.e. 26.7.69, the school organised a farewell party for Robert Nicholl.

1 comment:

OWNER said...

I was in Tanjong for Form 6 Science in 1965-66 but enjoyed Art a lot and even sat for Art in Lower Sixth for fun.I remember Mr Voong's Art Club sessions with much fondness. Several years ago I met up with Mr Voong in Miri by chance and was thrilled that he remembered me as a "rather good artists"! In fact he was the artist I admired greatly. Like you, I remember the inside walls of his quarters being painted all over in RED.

Though I have not indulged in Art since student days, I still remember Art as giving me some of the most enjoyable times in school.

Happy to note that you have continued to develop your artistic flairs.

Dr Chong Hoi Hee
practicing in Chong Clinic, Miri

P/S: Sadly, Mr Voong has passed on since that last encounter.