David Chew

It’s going against all that i have learnt, should i do it?'

"People are going to criticize this painting!"

"What're you doing? It's breaking all the art’s theory that you had learnt!"

"It's going against all what I had learnt, should I do it?"

These were all the voices that I had when I was working on this painting. On the other hand, the feeling of freedom, fun and engaging with the moment was real.

It's not easy for a professionally trained painter like me to create such a painting, although I am already into abstract expressionism. Our mind is always judging ourselves and does not want us to go beyond the boundary, so we are safe.

This painting was inspired by a 5 years old boy's drawing that I had come across. "Try going out to the garden and play like a 5-year-old kid". I think most of us will start to wonder, think and plan what to do and how to do so. Recalling our 5-year-old selves, we were so naturally engaged in the moment and played creatively.

There was a 5-year-old girl who asked her father to draw her a flower, the father said, "I don't know how to draw." The little girl looked at her father with an unbelievable expression and asked "Daddy, do you mean you have forgotten how to do that?" Everyone does sketching or "expressive drawing" when we were kids. There wasn't any judgment and fear, we were just simply expressing what we felt and we drew happily. We have all been there, but why when we grow up, we have so much knowledge and skill, yet we say we don't know how to draw. I would say we lost the courage to imagine, create, express and feel our emotions. Because we are afraid to be judged and criticized. Because we were told to draw “correctly”, we have been judged by the degree of accuracy of copying what we visually see; for the cost of suppressing our feelings, emotions and imagination.

The intention of this painting is to create awareness that if we can live without judgment and fear, there is so much potential to be unleashed, we are able to imagine, feel and create just like we used to. By going deeper, if we can align our passion, core values and purpose, going back to your inner-self, the 5-year-old you; be a person who is truly alive with your passion, core values and purpose; have the courage to imagine and create a meaningful and magnificent life for yourself.
David Chew