Gloria Fu Keh and her beautiful paintings full of prayer

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Written by :  Maria Concetta Cefalu’

It will take place in Taipei City, from 01 to 30 April next. at the Art Gallery of Tri-Service General Hospital 2F, No.325, Sec.2, Chenggong Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei City, 114202, in TAIWAN ( R.O.C.) the personal exhibition of the famous international painter Gloria Fu Keh . The exhibition curated by Wu Hui -Lien is organized by the World Cuture Exange and Commerce Association, WCECA  世界文創產學經貿協會 , and will be available to the public from Monday to Friday  from 09:00 to 17:00 and on Saturday  from 09:00: 00 to 12:00 .

Gloria Fu Keh
Gloria Fu Keh lives in Singapore. She has participated in more than 100 exhibitions and won more than 18 international art awards. Gloria Keh is a daughter of art and started painting in her childhood. Her late father Martin was an oil painter and was her first art teacher. She studied mandala art and symbolism at the Theosophical Society in Melbourne, Australia for over 10 years and did a short postgraduate course in art therapy at La Salle Art College in Singapore. Gloria Fu Keh studied oil painting with P. Gnana of Gnani Arts in Singapore, and acrylic painting under the watchful eye of her mentor, Gregory Burns. In 2008, Gloria founded Circles of Love, a non-profit charity program, in order to use her artistic gift in the service of humanity. He has participated in over 100 art exhibitions around the world, including:  Art Expo in  New York,  Shanghai Art Fair, Affordable Art Fairs in Hong Kong and Singapore, Art Basel Red Dot Miami, Contemporary London, Paris Art Fair 2021, Tokyo International Art Fair 2021 and various biennials in Italy and the MEAM in Barcelona. Her works is bought by collectors in Singapore, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Italy, Russia and the United States. She is a member of the International Culture & Arts Federation (ICAF). The artist has  received the Andrea Mantegna International Prize Award in 2017, in conjunction with the Mantova Biennale of Contemporary Art, in Mantua, Italy. Further news on the website :https://www.gloriakeh.com

Our newspaper interviewed the painter  Gloria Fu Keh 


Gloria Fu Keh great Singaporean artist raised in a family of artists and daughter of art as her father Martin Fu was an oil painter, lover of classical music and European opera. When did you start painting? and what ‘s the most beautiful memory of  her father?

I began painting when i was a child. Around age five. I remember watching my father paint a still life of my toys – a little  red wooden piano and an inexpensive rag doll. And him explaining to me that as artists we must love what we paint, and me saying why did he love my toys then? His reply was that he loved me and hence loved what was precious to me.   His love was very unconditional even up to his death.

 

What artistic movement are your works inspired by?

I am more an abstract  expressionist artist but do enjoy painting in the contemporary vein. I do not follow rules. I live in a country with enough of rules. I was raised in a home where mother ruled the roost and had very strict rules. So in art, I find my freedom. I make my own rules in art. That said I love Picasso, Klimt and Rothko.  I appreciate the various movements and am inspired by the late French painter of black art, Pierre Soulages.

Vasily Kandinskijin in his essay on aesthetics, published in 1923 and which still today constitutes an impressive contribution to pictorial technical analysis entitled: “Point, line, surface”, writes: «Art goes beyond the limits within which time would like to compress it, and indicates the content of the future.» What ‘s the message that do you want to communicate with your art for the future?

My artworks are my meditations, my Painted Prayers. Most of my works are spiritual in content but there is a fun side to my art too and every now and again, I will be compelled to paint something naughty, whacky. I hope my art will  tug at the heartstrings of the viewer, and make him or her think, question, even disagree with what he/she thinks I am trying to express. At least there is a reaction – even in a dislike. We are all different and the reaction to any art depends alot on the current state of the viewers minds at the time of apprehension. I also hope my art will help with the healing process. That in my work, the viewer can see beauty. And beauty in itself is a form of healing.

As  the music is expressed with  the notes, so the  painting is expressed with  the colours. What ‘ s the color that best represents you and at the same time,  which expresses your inner world more than the others color?

Black . To me black  is white . Black is all colors.
Split a white light through a prism, and behold the seven colors of the rainbow.
Combine all those seven colors and what a beautiful black unfolds. Black is the color of The Void.
And to me God, for want of a better word or should I say The Creative Principle came out from The Void. The Void has always held great fascination for me.

Does  your work born  at first in the heart and then in the mind or on the contrary?

I paint by intuition. I am only a servant of the painting that as Picasso said is far more powerful than the artist. I always make ritual, honoring the canvas, annointing it with paint before the actual painting begins. I believe in blessing the painting. I only hold the brush and take instructions and guidance from my heart and soul. Then I have to clean up, as servants do. Intuition is The Master, the teacher, the painter. And then as my husband says he has to pay all my art bills because the invisible painter has no contact details. This is why unless the curator requests, I rarely sign my paintings on the front of it. I prefer and sign on the back of the canvas. The painting came through me. I was its channel, its medium.

Have you ever dedicated any of your works to a loved one?

As I do not earn any money from the sales of my artworks, I do paint and as such dedicate some works to my husband, friends. As gifts. The person I have most dedicated my artworks, artbooks to is my late mandala teacher Georgina Fode from Melbourne, Australia. I also dedicated my artbook and commentaries on the 10 Ox Herding Pictures, a Zen teaching, to the late Joy Mills of the Theosophical Society of New York.

From April 1st to April 30th 2023 in Taipei City in the state of Taiwan her personal exhibition entitled “Sadhana” will take place . What does  mean the word ” Sadhana” and why you  choose it as the title of your  personal exhibition ?

Sadhana means a personal spiritual practice in the Sanskrit. My artworks are my painted prayers. All 15 paintings expressing the components and emotions associated with one’s practice, have been donated to the organisers in Taiwan, that’s a charity foundation.

You were born and raised Catholic, then you first studied mandala art and symbolism for over 10 years in Melbourne, Australia, and later with the Dalai Lama and Indian Vedanta monks. What is the connection between your  artistic works  and your spiritual dimension?

Yes, my late mother was a very pious almost fanatical Catholic. She drilled me and I was certainly raised Catholic. Although one of my favourite prayers is still the The Lord’s Prayer, I am now a believer in just simple Oneness. As the Dalai Lama said, when asked what was his religion: he replied that his religion is Kindness. I too believe this and try my utmost to practise metta, loving kindness. I see no use in invoking the gods or saints, when after worship one is mean, dishonest and disrespectful.  I once attended a vedanta satsang, spiritual gathering, and a devotee asked the monk what was the most powerful vedic mantra she should chant. The monk said there was no need for powerful textbook mantras – just practise saying four simple mantras: thank you, i am sorry, forgive me and please. Most find these four mantras hard to utter. I draw and paint almost every day – even on airplanes, when warded in hospital, on public transport. I thus am praying, meditating very very often as my artworks be these in my art journals, on the back of a restaurant napkin or on a huge canvas, are all my painted prayers.

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