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Exploring timelessness

YEANNI KOO crafts unconventional images promoting Malaysian art and culture through her exquisite, self-taught embroidery artwork, instead of typical flora and fauna motifs.

Intricate, with impressive details, Koo’s artwork takes four days to complete, and the end result is simply gorgeous. “I thought of breaking this tradition with my own ideas in a different way,” declared the 26-year-old.

“I found out that not many artists in Malaysia use embroidery as a medium to express their artwork. So, I decided to break out of the traditional style of using canvas and paper,” said Koo, who admires the works of famous painters such as Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh.

A diploma in art graduate from Dasein Academy of Art, Koo discovered the embroidery medium through a textile art exhibition at Youth Square, Hong Kong.

Although at the time she used oil painting to express her creativity, she decided to begin exploring art using embroidery.

“My inspiration flows out of my mind to create the embroidery. Besides, embroidery culture is popular among Asians,” she said.

“I like its tactile impression, techniques and skills,” she added, although she admitted that embroidery is difficult as it takes significantly long hours to stitch, as well as a high-level of concentration and precision. It is particularly hard on the eyes and fingers.

“My artworks mainly focus on vintage patterns, and promote Malaysia’s authentic culture. I am inspired by the naïve, as well as the pure and innocent qualities found in folk art and children’s art.

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“I embrace everyday life, history and tradition, and various cultural aspects of Malaysia through a series of vibrant paintings, collages and embroidery pieces.”

She masterfully turned her ideas for oil paintings into embroidery art.

“My inspiration for embroidery actually is similar to oil painting. The only difference is the medium. I do a lot of research on textiles, Malaysian culture, local folk art, aboriginal art and primitive art, and combine them into my embroidery.”

“My creations are unique as they look like [images from] a storybook. Even though they are small, they tell a story and convey a message.

“They attract viewers with vivid, sharp, colour combinations and fascinating composition full of details,” said Koo, who has won several local art competitions.

One of her more memorable embroidery pieces is called Rabbit Lantern, made during a community project in Johor.

“I joined as a volunteer artist to guide local residents to use the traditional ‘Zhizha’ (Taoist paper art) as a medium to make two-level high lanterns during the mooncake festival.”

In the future, she hopes to be involved in community projects to educate and influence others about art.

“Bringing love and fun to art, and expressing the beauty of Malaysia through art, is what I intend to do.

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“Personally, I wish to collaborate with a brand or corporate company to create fun and interesting artwork that no one has done before.

“I also plan to explore the international art market and participate in various international exhibitions.”

Source:Entertainment & Lifestyle

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