Negaraku: A Place We Call Home

‘Malaysia is not an easy country to live in as it is a unique place that comprises of many races, various religion and multicultural character. For the past 57 years, this country has survived its ups and downs but ultimately the majority of people in Malaysia are those that have held this country together to achieve a peaceful and harmonious society.’

That was part of a foreword by president of the Penang Art Society Ch’ng Huck Theng who spoke about the origin of the exhibition's theme ‘Negaraku’ during the art society’s 61st anniversary celebration. Every year, the Penang Art Society will take on a theme for their annual art exhibition.

In conjunction with Malaysia's 57th Independence Day, the Penang Art Society took on the theme 'Negaraku'. 81 homegrown artists and members of the Penang Art Society participated in the annual exhibition this year and they collectively produced artworks and sculptures that reflected their thoughts about Malaysia, a place they call home.

The artworks included ‘Komtar’ by Loh Moh See; ‘Peace and Prosperity’ by Oon Bing Shen; ‘Negaraku – We work together for a better tomorrow’ by Ooi Seng Chai; 'Phuah Hin Leong Road' by Koay Shao Peng; 'Penang Second Bridge' by Khoo Cheang Jin; ‘Anak Malaysia’ by Ch’ng Huck Theng; and ‘Hope’ by Cheong Mei Fong.

Speaking on behalf of the society members, treasurer of Penang Art Society and artist Cheong Mei Fong believed that the artists had raised the standard and quality of the exhibition compared to the years before. For Cheong, the theme Negaraku was more than just patriotism and the national flag. ‘The theme 'Negaraku' was about how you express your love for your country, ranging from the places we love and the beautiful heritage we have,’ she said.

As the nation look forward to the upcoming Independence Day, Cheong reminisced about the Merdeka celebration back in the days. ‘When Merdeka came, we would go to a huge field to catch kampung movies like P. Ramlee’s,’ she shared. ‘We didn’t care if it was a Malay or Chinese film. Back then we didn’t have television, so we appreciated any type of films shown.’

Catch 'Negaraku 2014 - Penang Art Society's 61st Annual Exhibition' at the Penang State Art Gallery from 14 - 31 August 2014. The exhibition's opening hours is 9.00am - 5.00pm daily. For more information, check out this link.