Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Mature Years: Mr. Voong's Final Impact

Sometimes when we are just being a student, especially in our early formative years, we do not have the means to know how far our education will advance us in the future. Our fervent hope is to be successful in whatever life's undertakings we chose to follow later in life. But upon deeper reflection, I will not be doing justice to myself , the guidance of a superb art teacher and a very encouraging school environment in Tanjong Lobang School of the late 1960's, if I don't pay a tribute to Mr. Voong. I realised much later in life that the early stirrings of creativity that were instilled in me during the Tanjong days continued to flow in my 'Young Man as Artist' period and right on till 'My Mature Years Period'. Mr. Voong has inspired me in deeper ways than I could imagine. My skills in handling the Chinese brush I attributed much to his training. My early exposure to modern art or abstract art as we used to refer it then was largely through his demanding lessons but nonetheless filled with much fun, wit and laughter and his generosity with knowledge makes me feel that learning knows no boundary. Just as well , my exposure to batik painting, sculpture ( clay ), poster art, mixed media and water colour in 'plein air' were acquired early through his teachings , remains forever a treasured repertoire as I struggled to master the various art genres and techniques over my mature years period. Finally I think I would not have obtained a Principal Pass A in the HSC Art Paper if not for his constant encouragement and my perceptions of him as an excellent model of an art teacher.

Those lessons and learning metamorphosed in a rather unique art exhibition which I held at the Sarawak Museum, Kuching on 14/10/81 , partly to celebrate my 30 th birthday. But what touched my heart now when I thumb through the Exhibition visitors' book was a comment that best described Mr. Voong's impact on me.

" Hello, schoolmate of Tanjong long ago- Those were the days. And the work Mr.Voong gave you to do has borne fruit- congratulations."
Annis Lim, 17.10.81

As a matter of great note to me, about ten copies of the booklet that accompanied the exhibition were bought by Rex Bookstore, Kuching to be sent to The Library of Congress. Today if you are to surf the internet, and visit , and search under 'Books' category, and type Pameran Lukisan dan Puisi Mood you will see mention of the book even after 26 years of the event. Well, all these would not have been possible without an excellent teacher in the person of Mr. Voong. That much I owe him.

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