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By KEVIN TAN
alltherage@thestar.com.my

CELINE Wong, aka Lihuà (her Chinese name), 23, didn’t particularly enjoy the Chinese calligraphy lessons her parents made her attend for about 10 years, starting when she was six.

Now a professional illustrator, her skill in Chinese calligraphy has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

“I didn’t really like going for the classes, as I had other tuition classes at the time, so it just felt like more homework.
“After pursuing my studies in illustration, I felt that it would be a waste if I stopped practising Chinese calligraphy, so I started implementing it in my illustrations,” said Wong, whose family has always had a strong interest in the traditional art.

Since she was five, Wong had already began to draw, copying things she saw around her. Drawing was something that was naturalIt was just something that came naturally for her.

Wong is fascinated and inspired by the beauty of the human body, especially the female form, which is reflected in her art.

“I think the body of a woman is very beautiful and attractive, especially their curves. I also love facial features. I pay a lot of attention to the face when I paint, especially the eyes and lips, and all the different expressions,” she revealed.

Aside from the human body, she also illustrates accessories, shoes, and apparel.

Wong uses mixed mediums to create her art, such as watercolour, digital media, and traditional Chinese ink, which makes her art unique. “I usually work by hand on my art, and then scan them on the computer to do some touching up.”

She uses rice paper most of the time when drawing with Chinese ink, as is common in Chinese calligraphy. She explained that the pairing of different types of ink and rice paper will produce different effects.

“I love how traditional Chinese ink spreads on rice paper. It makes my art unique. And applying calligraphy in my work helps to capture the natural flow of the female form,” she explained.

Wong graduated from The One Academy with a diploma in illustration and entertainment art, and is now a lecturer at the institution, teaching the very same subject.

Wong hopes to hold exhibitions in the future to display her art, and is currently working on an art collection on fashion runways.

“As a lecturer, I think that young artists, especially students, need to have more passion and patience. Passion is more than just loving art, and perfecting a skill takes more than a few tries. You don’t normally start and get it right immediately. It took me a year to discover my speciality and what I’m good at,” she said.

Check out Wong’s artwork at behance.net/artoflihua.

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