Art of Char­lie Chan

Orig­i­nal art­work ex­hi­bi­tion from the best- sell­ing graphic novel by Sonny Liew makes waves in Sin­ga­pore.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - ART - By Huang Li­jie

THERE seems to be no stop­ping the pop­u­lar­ity of the best- sell­ing graphic novel The Art Of Char­lie Chan Hock Chye by Malaysian- born Sin­ga­porean car­toon­ist Sonny Liew.

An ex­hi­bi­tion of orig­i­nal art­work for the 300- page tome, first pub­lished by Epi­gram Books last year, has seen brisk sales since it opened early this month at Mu­lan Gallery in Ar­me­nian Street.

Timed to cel­e­brate the launch of the in­ter­na­tional edi­tion of the novel by Amer­i­can im­print Pan­theon Books, the show fea­tures some 90 works in­clud­ing orig­i­nal comic pages and paint­ings.

Of them, 39 draw­ings in pen­cil and ink on pa­per are avail­able for sale. The works are priced be­tween S$ 250 ( RM745) and S$ 1,400 ( RM4,173) and in­clude draw­ings of char­ac­ters in the book such as the su­per­hero Roach­man and Sin­ga­pore’s found­ing prime min­is­ter Lee Kuan Yew.

Five pages were sold on the open­ing night and the gallery has re­ceived mul­ti­ple re­quests from col­lec­tors for the artist to sell other comic pages not dis­played in the show.

Gallery owner Pa­tri­cia Liang, 47, says: “We were sur­prised to find clients who pre­vi­ously never bought comic pages, buy­ing works for the first time.

“A client who is away from Sin­ga­pore even got her par­ents to come down to the open­ing to pick out works for her.”

The fine art gallery has been ex­hibit­ing works by Liew, a three- time nom­i­nee for the Eis­ner Awards – the Academy Awards of the comic- book in­dus­try – since 2009. Pre­vi­ous ex­hi­bi­tions in­cluded comic pages from his novel Malinky Ro­bot ( 2011) as well as art­work for the novel The Shadow Hero ( 2014), au­thored by Gene Luen Yang.

Liew, 41, who se­lected the works on dis­play in this show, says he picked both sketches and fi­nal draw­ings to re­flect the range of styles and ap­proaches in the novel.

The premise of the book is the life of the fic­tional Sin­ga­pore comic artist Char­lie Chan Hock Chye, a for­got­ten pi­o­neer of the comics in­dus­try in South- East Asia. Wo­ven into the bi­og­ra­phy is the evo­lu­tion of comic book styles and the his­tory of Sin­ga­pore.

The story in­cludes a left­ist re­vi­sion­ist telling of the life of the for­mer Barisan Sosialis leader Lim Chin Siong and its “sen­si­tive con­tent” led the Na­tional Arts Coun­cil to with­draw an S$ 8,000 ( RM23,846) pub­lish­ing grant for the book.

Of the ex­hi­bi­tion, Liew says: “I’m never too keen to sell art­work. You spend a lot of time cre­at­ing them so there’s a feel­ing of at­tach­ment.

“This book is prob­a­bly the most per­sonal I’ve ever done, and maybe the most sig­nif­i­cant to date, so for me, it’s more about want­ing to share the orig­i­nal art in an ex­hi­bi­tion rather than sell­ing them.” – The Straits Times, Sin­ga­pore/ Asia News Net­work

The Art Of Char­lie Chan Hock Chye is on at Mu­lan gallery in Sin­ga­pore till March 24. Visit: www.mu­lan­gallery.com.sg.

this can­vas paint­ing of the late Sin­ga­pore prime min­is­ter Lee Kuan yew is not for sale, but will be part of the ex­hi­bi­tion.

the ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures about 90 works, in­clud­ing orig­i­nal comic pages.

The Art Of Char­lie Chan Hock

Chye ex­hi­bi­tion in Sin­ga­pore is timed to cel­e­brate the launch of the in­ter­na­tional edi­tion of the novel by Amer­i­can im­print Pan­theon Books.

the Mu­lan Gallery has been ex­hibit­ing Liew’s works since 2009.

Malaysian- born Sin­ga­porean artist Sonny Liew is hold­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion of orig­i­nal art from his graphic novel The Art Of Char­lie Chan Hock Chye at the Mu­lan Gallery in Sin­ga­pore. — Straits times Sin­ga­pore

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