“I have brought with me the pieces which I was able to give a Surinamese touch in France and given them a French touch in Suriname. It is a reflection on different periods of my life.” Visual Artist Michael Wong Loi Sing (Paramaribo, 1968) is back in Suriname, and he immediately gives notice of that with an exposition in the French Embassy building. He has lived and worked in France for a number of years.
Recognizable in the paintings are the feminine forms which are melted together with flora and fauna into ‘double’ forms. Wong Loi Sing explains that it is especially about the communication between the objects in his paintings. He takes a napkin which had been laid out for us along with the tea, and with a fineliner he makes an illustration of three women in which the heads primarily stick out. The lips of the youngest woman form a bird’s beak, the other’s breasts serve as bird heads and one of the hips is also the roundness of a fish’s body. He even also shows the origin and the future of the youngest female figure herein. He does this by placing her parental home on the side of the older woman’s head and by her he draws the home which she herself is building. The two other women represent matriarchs who guide her along her path. “What does a bird do ?” he asks already lecturing. “A bird sings beautiful little melodies that can appease you.” This illustrates that the young woman was uttering loving words and had a lot to tell. And so these images appear in many of Wong Loi Sing’s paintings, yet none of the artworks are the same.
The collection of more than fifty pieces that are displayed in French touch contain a few items which differ from the largely colourful framed stories. With the paintings that are not framed, the artist intends to make it easier for the buyer. “They would then be able to utilise a frame of their choice.” It often happens that buyers would prefer a frame other than that which has been made by the artist. And if there is someone who stands for freedom – and who also appropriates it – then is that this artist.
He thinks a lot and out loud about balance in society and in the art world. He would really like to see that the marginalized also have a voice that would be listened to. “Art is an expression of the soul, every person has an expression of the soul. It cannot be that only those who are normally in charge are listened to.” He aches his heart that female artists appear to be in the background and in the minority. “Artists have a major obligation to create art which is uplifting to society.” At another moment he says that women’s voices can be actually soothing in a community. “There is need for balance between various genres and genders in the arts.”
Wong Loi Sing is also a sculptor, is a fusion cook and paints on textile. He has been a lecturer, and utilising art therapy in France, has guided persons who have suffered a deep depression.
Anyone who wishes to contact the artist can do so by mailing to: email@example.com.
Exhibitions in Suriname 2019:
What: Nirvana Pop Up Exhibition. In partnership with Michael Wong Loi Sing, an experienced European artist with Surinamese roots
When: Thursday May 2 & Friday May 3, 2019. Open from 16:00-23:00 hrs
Where: Nirvana Business Hotel, Keizerstraat 101-103, Paramaribo, Suriname
What: French Art Expo Michael Wong Loi Sing – French Touch
When: Monday thru Friday, staring Monday June 10 thru Wednesday July 10, 2019, 08:00-14:00 hrs
Where: French Embassy, Dr. J.F. Nassylaan 23, Paramaribo, Suriname
TEXT Rose-Marie Maître
Rose-Marie Maître is a freelance writer and likes to visit art and culture events. In the past ten years, she has primarily produced news items for television, newspapers, websites and also radio. She also writes poems and now also creative texts for Sranan Art Exposed.
TRANSLATION D.F. Michael
PHOTOGRAPHY Courtesy Michael Wong Loi Sing