Animating fantasy with reality

 |Jan 20, 2017

 

An artwork titled Malaysia Indian culture by artist Chong Fei Giap displayed at 'Anime Fantasies' exhibition at G Art Gallery, G Hotel Penang in George Town.
An artwork titled Malaysia Indian culture by artist Chong Fei Giap displayed at ‘Anime Fantasies’ exhibition at G Art Gallery, G Hotel Penang in George Town.

Malaysian artist Chong Fei Giap, 30, is an illustrator best known for his detailed creative water colour illustrations of Malaysian cityscape and scenery.

Greatly influenced by his childhood growing up in his father’s hometown, Kuala Pilah, Chong was enthralled by the stories his father and grandfather shared.

Elements of a small town with closely knitted buildings built in wood and corrugated metal roof feature prominently in his renderings.

As a digital artist, Chong uses a digital drawing tablet and his laptop to draw a dreamlike painting of a Malaysian streetscape.

The old shophouses, back lanes, corrugated metal roofs, hanging telephone wires add a multi-coloured translucent feel that looks deceivingly like a water colour painting.

Chong uses a 3D software to render wire shapes into buildings and later fill in the colours with another software – photoshop.

The renderings on digital medium add a new dimension to his paintings.

Chong in his own way has managed to stretch the feel of traditional art pieces.

The computer rendering is time consuming and meticulous.

Chong is detailed in producing his artwork as close to the actual scenery as possible.

Artist Chong Fei Giap and G Hotel Penang’s general manager Michael Hanratty posing next to an artwork titled Merdeka 2014 Petronas during the launch of 'Anime Fantasies' exhibition at G Art Gallery, G Hotel Penang in George Town.
Artist Chong Fei Giap and G Hotel Penang’s general manager Michael Hanratty posing next to an artwork titled Merdeka 2014 Petronas during the launch of ‘Anime Fantasies’ exhibition at G Art Gallery, G Hotel Penang in George Town.

In his travels to several small towns in Malaysia, he records and files away the photographs he takes for reference.

Chong’s favourite places are his father’s hometown of Kuala Pilah.

He has also journeyed to parts of Kuala Selangor, Puchong, Seremban, Ipoh and Penang to take pictures.

In his formative years, Chong was a self-learner who looked to magazines and other artists’ work for inspiration.

I am inspired by Japan’s celebrated animation director, Hayao Miyazaki. His compelling plots and the breathtaking animation found in his movies move me to create similar backgrounds with fantasy elements,” he said.

Chong Fei Giap graduated from The One Academy of Communication Design and worked in the creative industry for 8 years.

Later he co-founded Running Snail studio, an illustration production studio.

Chong Fei Giap is behind ‘Loka Made’ a creative brand which conceptualise the discovery and re-assembling of local elements to promote local culture and design in souvenir items.

His dream-like world fantasies in his illustration works are sought after by corporate clients which included Petronas, Toyota, Panasonic, KFC and others.

Artist Chong Fei Giap, Penang Assembly House Speaker Law Choo Kiang and G Hotel Penang’s general manager Michael Hanratty in batik colouring at the launch of Anime Fantasies exhibition at G Art Gallery, G Hotel Penang, George Town.
Artist Chong Fei Giap, Penang Assembly House Speaker Law Choo Kiang and G Hotel Penang’s general manager Michael Hanratty in batik colouring at the launch of Anime Fantasies exhibition at G Art Gallery, G Hotel Penang, George Town.

Chong was awarded with Malaysia’s Top 10 Outstanding Creative Youth Award 2016, The Top 10 Digital Artists awards and TallyPress Top 10 Talented Malaysian Artists for his talented work; a hybrid of sketching, manga, animation, and digital art.

The earlier artwork images featuring the schoolgirls under the ‘Color of Scenery’ series has since been posted and reposted around the world in website and on social media.

Chong Fei Giap’s popularity is evident in the 29,000 followers he has on his Facebook account.

Chong Fei Giap’s art exhibition, a fusion of anime characters and local elements under illustration series named ‘Anime Fantasies’ which will run until May 2, 2017 at G Art Gallery, Link Bridge at Level 1, G Hotel, George Town, Penang.

Entrance to the exhibition is free and his artworks are all available for sale. 

Those interested in his art pieces may approach the G Hotel reception counter for inquiries.

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Doris Lim is a Malaysia Outlook contributor with a keen eye for details developed form her background in architecture and design. Her affable personality and passion to celebrate life is captured in her stories of the community. Doris’ love for all things beautiful and quirky is tempered by her love for writing, photography, food, art and travel.