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Hidden Gems: The Life Works of Chong Liew Syn

Hoan Gallery’s 2024 Season opener, Hidden Gems: The Life Works of Chong Liew Syn, launch to large crowds on Jan 19, Fri.

VIPs included Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian, a student of the late great Mdm Chong, who founded the Sarawak Fine Arts School.

Hundreds of guests included those from Sarawak Artists Society, Sarawak Fine Arts Society, land painters like Narong Daun and Leonard Siaw.

The media hailed the show as likely “one of this year’s most significant cultural events”.

Hidden Gems: The Life Works of Chong Liew Syn will run for eight weeks at Hoan Gallery, which is open daily, from 9.30am until 9pm.

Here are media highlights:

Utusan Borneo, Jan 20

Para pelajar kepada mendiang Pengasas Sarawak Fine Arts School, Chong Liew Syn bergabung untuk mempamerkan karya terbaik guru seni mereka di Galeri Hoan di La Promenade Mall di sini, bermula malam Jumaat.


TV Sarawak, Jan 19

Impian Ken Loh menjadi kenyataan selepas berjaya mengadakan pameran koleksi lukisan mendiang ibunya, Chong Liew Syn, sempena memperingati 25 tahun pemergian pengasas ‘Sarawak Fine Arts School’ itu.


New Sarawak Tribune, Jan 20

As a former student of Chong, Dr Sim acknowledged the transmission of values in arts, culture and music. He stressed the need to impart an appreciation for Sarawak’s culture to the younger generation.


Utusan Sarawak, Jan 20

Timbalan Premier Sarawak Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian berkata, mendiang Chong yang telah mewariskan nilai-nilai kejayaan yang juga nilai ‘anak Sarawak’, harus diteruskan.


New Sunday Tribune, Jan 21

“At the time, the art gallery didn’t exist until 2021 when Hoan Gallery was established. They have had a few exhibitions, until recently we all came together and felt that the time was right (for an art show),” Loh said.


DayakDaily, Jan 19

According to Chong’s eldest son Ken Loh, the current pieces on display represent only a portion of his mother’s entire collection of about 300 pieces. Chong’s teaching tools, old palettes, paint brushes, and nostalgic memorabilia such as brochures from decades-old student art shows are also featured in the gallery.


The Borneo Post, Jan 21

All government-linked companies (GLCs) are called to work together in developing Sarawak’s arts and culture so as to ensure that the legacy would continue to be preserved.


Sin Chew Daily, Jan 21


Translation: The Fine Arts School in Kuching's Padungan has produced many prominent figures in Sarawak's art scene today, as well as many heavyweights in fields ranging from politics to scientific research. Hoan Gallery has been preparing for the Chong Liew Syn exhibition for nearly 10 years with the financial support of Hock Seng Lee. Chong Liew Syn’s eldest son Ken Loh has opened the family collection, giving them the privilege of sifting through never-before-seen important works to find true gems of historical significance.


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