It was a long time in the making but finally Chong Fahcheong’s latest sculpture, Hey, Ah Chek! has found its home. You will find Ah Chek, Ah May and Ah Boy on the departure level of Changi Airport’s Terminal 4.
When commissioned to create a local, Peranakan sculpture for Changi’s latest terminal, fahcheong typically dipped into his memories of old Singapore and came up with this vignette of grandmother (or mother, it matters not) and a young boy hailing a trishawman to take them home after a morning’s marketing. (No guesses as to who fahcheong was thinking when he sculpted Ah Boy!) The challenge of this sculpture was to create a trishaw that was true to the 1950s and 60s as the trishaws you see today, mostly tourist attractions, are more modern in design. So fahcheong scoured the streets of Singapore and searched Malacca and Penang (two other centres of Peranakan culture) for a trishaw of that era. He finally found a dilapidated one in Singapore, had it rebuilt, and used it as a basis for his sculpture.
fahcheong having fun with Ah Chek
Working on Ah Mah in the studio
If you are travelling through T4, head to the right side of the departure level where the shops are. Climb aboard Ah Chek’s trishaw for a photo shoot, take a closer look at the intricate detailing of Ah Mah’s sarong and peek into the basket to see what she and Ah Boy are taking home to cook for lunch.
Ah Chek at T4 departure level. He has a young passenger on board.
— in Landmark magazine, December 2017, publication of Far East Organization
This is an alert telling all who are looking at my website that my email address is currently compromised. I am trying to sort out this problem, but in the meantime, you can get in touch with me through my Facebook page, Chong Fah Cheong, Sculptor. You can also email me at my new email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE on 30 Oct 2017! I have recovered my email address, and you may now resume contacting me at email@example.com. However, beware scammers and hackers everywhere, and never open anything that looks suspicious. If in doubt, please contact me to confirm that my email is genuine and comes from me.
Well, that’s what The Guardian calls this gallery of pictures, From Ai WeiWei’s Dog to Indian Wall Painting, and I am pleased to see that my kampong kids aka First Generation are in such great company. This is the link to the Guardian webpage.
So pleased to be able to say that there is a new addition to my public works — this is Moongate, installed at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay. The Moongate has been in my blood ever since my youthful sojourn in Penang when I saw it in the botanical gardens. I have worked and reworked the idea over many years. Why?
It speaks to me of journeys, circles of thought, cycles of life, thresholds to cross … a simple form that belies the complexities conjured.
Well, here are pictures of some versions of mine, including the Moongate at the Gardens by the Bay that was just installed.
Moongate II at Boulevard Vue
Moongate in teak, at NUS exhibition
Moongate at Gardens by the Bay
Got a phone call that illustrates how small our planet is becoming, thanks to the internet. Tony wants my views on public art. Click on the link for the interview.
Fahcheong is giving a talk on Friday, March 13, 2015, at the Centre for Southeast Asia Research at the UBC Institute of Asian Research. Click on the poster to see details.
After the excitement of the Cultural Medallion award and all its attendant attention that Fahcheong received, he came back to Canada to the winter.
Being no bear, he did not, could not hibernate. Instead, it was a little quality time to enjoy being with the family over the holiday period. and some winter activities like snowshoeing, x-country skiing, and yes, even shovelling away the snow from the driveway.
But now, he’s gone from cold to hot — he’s in Thailand, beginning work on another exciting project. Here’s a sneak peek:
Looking at 2013 in retrospect, it was a busy and very productive year. It began with preparations for the big exhibition at the National University of Singapore’s museum in February. No sooner was that done when a bronze sculpture needed to be finished for the Interlace condo at Alexandra. But it was fun making Good Fun!, as we finally called it. It recalls a time when children created their own games instead of relying on store-bought toys and technology.
Fahcheong with Good Fun!
Good Fun! is about two young boys playing with an adult-sized bicycle. One boy has obtained this bicycle (maybe belonging to his father or older brother) and is pedaling it as best as he can. He has his younger playmate in tow. This other boy is just about to fall off his improvised skateboard when the moment is captured forever in bronze.
Good Fun is the latest of a trio of sculptures that establish Chong Fahcheong as the artist who best and most succinctly captures the good old times of Singapore and keeps them alive in our memories. Fans of the sculptor will know of First Generation, those five naked boys jumping into the Singapore River. And if you visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens, look for another bronze sculpture depicting six boys playing Chang Kuda, a game of piggyback and who’s first to the post!
The power and presence of stone
No sooner had he finished this work than Fahcheong had to switch gears and turn his attention to a very different and demanding task – the creation of a non-narrative work this time, to be achieved in stone.
The result: a deceptively simple sculpture which Fahcheong called Granite Gate. Fahcheong resists the temptation here to do “too much” to his material. Instead, he allows the two large pieces of Vietnamese black granite to impress their monolithic presence upon the viewer, who is invited to walk through this “gate”, to be a part of the sculpture, to enjoy its elegant flowing lines, different textures and polished internal surfaces.