Tan Wei Kheng

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It is Tan Wei Kheng’s destiny to draw attention to the beauty and specialty of the people of his country. For him there exists only one medium to do it: the portrait. As self taught artist without any formal training- Tan Wei Kheng studied art only by reading art books-he achieved a level of artistry, comparable with the technique of the old masters that filled people with awe. It is not only the perfectionism of his old master technique connected with the high realistic effect of his paintings which affects the viewer. It is furthermore the expression of the portrayed people which touch us. Tan Wei Kheng is able to catch the character and the soul of the people in his paintings and to bring them to life. A collector of his works said: “You want to walk towards the painting and touch the people, they seem so real."

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  • 1. Situated along the northeast coast of the island of Borneo, Sarawak has an area of 48,250 square miles (approximately the size of peninsula Malaysia) and shares a common border on the south-west with Indonesian Borneo. The population of Sarawak is just over one million and this comprised of the various races of various cultures and religions in the country; the Iban, Bidayuhs, Chinese, Malays, Melanaus, Kayans, Kenyahs, Bisayas, Kelabits, Muruts and the Penans. The large expanse of rainforest in Sarawak’s interior is criss- crossed by many winding rivers. To travel form the interior to visit the other tribes who inhabit the lower plains, it is necessary of negotiate the rapid, in the interior of Sarawak the river and the longboat provide the alternative means of transport.
  • 2. Tan Wei Keng was born on 10 sep 1970 in Marudi of Sarawak in east Malaysia. He uses media includes Acrylic, Pastels, Pencil, Oil and Watercolor. He travels into the dense interior of Sarawak in east Malaysia where he spends his time studying, photographing and painting people from the tribes of the Orang Ulu ( People of the Interior) such as the Kayan, Kenyah, Penan, Kelabit and Iban “I am a self taught artist who specializes in portraiture of people from ethnic tribes who live in the interior of Sarawak Malaysia”
  • 3. “I travel into the dense interior and spend time time with the people of the interior known as the Orang Ulu. I study and photograph them and paint people from theKayan, Kenyah, Penan, Kelabit und Iban communities.” (Tan Wei Kheng, Sarawak Kaleidoscope, 2002)
  • 4. PortraitofIbanGirl
  • 5. Iban man (Lemanak River) 2008
  • 6. Iban Man with Fighting Cock
  • 7. TheIban,formerlyknowastheseaDayaks
  • 8. The Iban, formerly know as the sea Dayaks, comprise the largest group of native people in Sarawak. They are a sociable and gregarious people, and the longhouse- their communal home-reflect this quality in its inhabitants. Their longhouses are dotted along rivers and streams, which play an important part in their lives.
  • 9. The Iban, formerly know as the sea Dayaks
  • 10. Bisayah Girl
  • 11. The artist Tan Wei Kheng is specialized in portraits from the indigenous communities living in the interior of Sarawak. Sarawak is situated along the northeast coast of the island Borneo and is beside Sabah, the second state which belongs to Malaysia. The large expanse of rainforest in Sarawak’s interior is crisscrossed by many winding rivers, which are often the only way to the places where the natural tribes are living. Tan Wei Kheng had his first contact with the natural tribes from the interior in his early childhood when he lived in Marudi, which was visited by them from time to time. He developed his fascination for these people, because they were so completely different in the way they looked. Some of them were tattooed on arms, hands and feet or had elongated ear lobes sometimes stretched down to the shoulders or had completely shaved eye-browns. He started very early to make his first drawings and drafts of them. Since that time, he has traveled into the deep of the dense interior to photograph the people in their natural surrounding and to make portraits of them.
  • 12. Iban Man
  • 13. Man of Penan, 2009 Penan Man Long Akah Even the other native groups considered the Penans to be more primitive and elemental than themselves. The Penans, the Rain Forest, Those who lived and hunted there had a deeper, more intimate knowledge of the forest, and for the Penan, it was home.
  • 14. The exaggerated false image of the Penans existed because they were so remote from urban settlements and frequently their only contact world outside of the primary jungle was through bartering with the Kayans and Kenyahs.
  • 15. Hunter–BuloEngan
  • 16. PenanManWithBlowpie(LongAkah) PenanoldMan-AbunBetelit
  • 17. Penanboy
  • 18. Penangirls
  • 19. Penan hunter They are the earliest indigenous race in Sarawak who persisted in a nomadic life style, wandering through the primary jungle in search of wild game, edible plants and fruit. A traditional nomadic Penan community usually comprises about 50 people. A base camp is first set up. The Penans then move into the jungle.
  • 20. Our Jungle, Our Home (Penan) After they have collected enough food, they return to the camp and stay there till the food supply is depleted. They then move on to another site. All the Penans had to do was to go hunting, bring back the food, eat the food and then move on.
  • 21. PenanManofLongKevok PenanManofSungaiAsap
  • 22. Penanoldchief–SidenJemele
  • 23. Penanoldchief–SidenJemele
  • 24. Penan old chief – Tawi Sega
  • 25. Penan Woman With Child (Long Luteng)
  • 26. PenanWomanwithchild,2009 Hunter–YatAnuh’
  • 27. Penan woman with Grandchild’s.
  • 28. Hunter – Beraok Limun Penanoldchief–AganPolisiJeluan
  • 29. Penanman
  • 30. Henan Art Centre Art gallery located in Zhengzhou, China Penan Man
  • 31. The Gallery Avanthay Contemporary, Zurich Kenyah Woman from Long Tugan 2008
  • 32. Kenyah Grandmother's Love
  • 33. Kenyah Woman with child
  • 34. Kenyah Grandmother's Love (waiting)
  • 35. Kenyah Woman
  • 36. Kenyah Woman
  • 37. KenyahWoman(Long Palai)
  • 38. KenyahWoman(SugaiAsap)
  • 39. KenyahWoman2003Pencil
  • 40. Kayan Girl
  • 41. KayanWarrior
  • 42. Jun Brim with her shirt UkitWomanwithchild2008
  • 43. Kelabit Man With Brass Earrings
  • 44. Kelabit Man (Bario) Kelabit Pencil on Paper
  • 45. Kelabit Woman 1994
  • 46. Jungleboy–SuamiLesana
  • 47. Folk Art Forum Kuching 2008
  • 48. Malaysia Kuala- Lumpur
  • 49. Malaysia Putrajaya waterfront
  • 50. Text and pictures: Internet Copyright: All the images belong to their authors Presentation: Sanda Foi oreanuş www.slideshare.net/michaelasanda Sound: Song for Everyone - L. Shankar - Zakir Hussain - Trilok Gurtu - Jan Garbarek