From July 1–16, SGM organised a solo watercolour exhibition entitled “The Magic of Light III” by self-taught Johor artist Lok Kerk Hwang. In his fourth solo exhibition and the first at the SGM Exhibition Hall in Wisma Kebudayaan SGM, Lok presented fifty pieces of his artworks which were created from 1993 to 2017, showcasing his artistic development over the past 24 years.
Lok is an internationally-known watercolourist who found and developed his own unique style and techniques during his high school days. He is famous for his still-lifes such as rusty locks, machines, old tyres and broken door handles with all the minute details painted in with care and delight. He aimed to capture the beauty lying unnoticed among mundane things and remind the viewers to look around them more closely. In this exhibition, Lok has also come up with a new series of artworks featuring vibrant and luscious still-lifes of fruits and assorted tableware, bathed in an internal, softer light – a huge change from his previous “sunburnt” artworks.
In his welcoming speech during the opening ceremony on July 1, President of Soka Gakkai Malaysia, Michael Kok quoted from Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881), “Beauty will save the world” and said, “Beauty, art and culture are the living expression of the human spirit which has the power to connect people, drawing people together in recognition of our common humanity.” He believed that doing so leads to peace.
Artist Lok Kerk Hwang then thanked SGM for its efforts in promoting art and culture. He briefly shared how his journey of art started and how his career took off when Singapore Art Gallery held two of his solo shows.
On hand to open the exhibition was Phillip Wong, board member of the National Visual Arts Development Board. In his speech, touching on the title of the exhibition, he said that painting with inspiration, feeling and experience is necessary for a painting to come alive. He also stressed that for viewers to enjoy paintings, they must interact with the works. He congratulated SGM on its efforts to promote arts and culture and ended by encouraging the audience to dedicating more time to viewing art.