Soka Gakkai Malaysia Promotes Local Artists
Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) collaborated with several art societies to introduce the works of local artists at its SGM Perak Culture Center from January 24-31, 2008. The "Chinese Art, Poetry & Calligraphy" exhibition displayed 135 works by 30 local artists, poets and calligraphers. The Shan Cheng Poets Society of Ipoh, Chin Shan Arts and Calligraphic Research Society of Ipoh and the Calligraphic Society of Malaysia were sponsors.
Deputy Minister of Higher Education Datuk Ong Tee Keat, officating at the opening on January 26 attended by about 300 local residents and artists, remarked, "Developing countries or cities may boast of huge and beautiful landmarks, but without passion for art and culture, such places would seem so soulless or lifeless."
In a welcoming address, SGM Perak Chairman Lai Soo Ha commented that SGM's theme for 2008 is "The Year of Capable People and Development" and that SGM has been exploring ways to promote goodwill, humanism and foster capable individuals who can make positive contributions to the community and society at large. Mr. Lai stated the exhibition was in consonance with these goals.
The event included live demonstrations of Chinese brush painting and calligraphy as well as workshops on art appreciation, conducted by well-known local artists Yip Siew Hoong, Tai Ching Yee and Koo Koi.
Geriatrician Dr. Koh Wai Keat, a guest at the event, was pleased to see that the exhibit promoted local Ipoh artists. He said he had loathed calligraphy as a child but later learned to appreciate it for the spiritual enrichment it provides. Another guest, Lee Yit Voon, Youth Section chair of the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia, who has a keen interest in art, hoped SGM would continue to cooperate with other organizations and promote similar exhibitions in the future.
[Adapted from an article by Goh Chang Foo and Tan Pwei Sun in the March 2008 issue of Cosmic, Soka Gakkai Malaysia; photos courtesy of Cosmic]