Inspired by the first movie he ever watched and using his mother’s cake powder and the floor, Malaysian born (1962) artist Charles Cham, ‘painted’ his first portrait. He was five years old.
Following a stint as an editorial artist in Kuala Lumpur, Cham relocated to France to further his painting. It was here he became a member of the Association des Artistes Indépendants in Aix-en-Provence. In 1990 and 1991 he exhibited at the Salon des Independents.
In 1992 he founded The Orangutan House – his gallery and studio – located in the old quarter of his hometown. Today, it is one of the most recognisable buildings in Malacca.
Cham’s work explores the duality of life and the attraction of opposites - the Yin and Yang. “The Yin and Yang paintings are actually multiple paintings. They are in fact two paintings on one canvas, with each other facing in the opposite direction.
“I believe that drawing is thinking and painting is feeling. Therefore, I draw what I think and paint what I feel. As there is no feeling without thinking, there is also no painting without drawing. Sometimes I feel more comfortable calling my works painted drawings rather than just painting.”
Cham has exhibited in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, France, the UK, Switzerland, Portugal and Malaysia. His works reside with collectors in more than 40 countries.
Want to learn more about Charles Cham?
Charles Cham: Challenging Malaysia from the Orangutan House