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Late Francis Cheong’s artworks should be preserved - Assafal

13th July, 2018


KOTA KINABALU: Creative artworks of the late Francis Cheong could be exhibited and printed on T-shirts as a form of appreciation apart from giving added value to artworks in Sabah.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Assafal Alian said pieces created by Cheong mostly portrayed Sabah motifs that represented the State’s identity which should be preserved.

To immortalize these works, he said, not only should they be exhibited in galleries and stages but also be made into Sabah batik T-shirts so that others could appreciate its beauty.

“When we look at his drawings, most of them illustrated Sabah motifs and what we could do is print the drawings on T-shirts which could then be displayed here or sold to the public.

“Part of the sales could be channelled to Balai Seni while the others could go to his family,” he said to reporters after the closing ceremony of Francis Cheong Retrospective Exhibition at Sabah Art Gallery here yesterday.

A total of 155 paintings and more than 100 pottery wares were put on display at the gallery since May 8 to commemorate the works of late Cheong who was awarded Visual Arts Special Awards in 2009.

It was the second retrospective exhibition hosted by the gallery after the Tina Rimmer exhibition in Aug last year. Earlier in a speech, minister Christina Liew said the government recognizes the contributions of artists in Sabah and praised the effort of such exhibition to uphold local artists.

As a multi-talented artist, she said, Cheong’s passion in art should live through the exhibition and be passed on to future generations.

“As an artist and a visual art leader in Sabah, his participation and perseverance should be an example to young talents in the State.

“His dedication towards art never faded despite his age and declining health; he kept going,” she said in her speech read by Assafal.

Also present were the ministry’s permanent secretary Datu Rosmadi Datu Sulai, general manager of Sabah Cultural Board William Baya, Sabah Art Gallery curator Jennifer Linggi and family of the late Cheong, including his wife Jenny Fung.

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