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THIS CONTEMPORARY ARTIST FROM MALAYSIA HAS MADE A NAME FOR HERSELF BY PUTTING HER OWN THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS ONTO THE CANVAS.
Jaee Tee’s passion and artistry can be found through her artwork. Using various mediums such as oil, acrylic, Chinese ink, charcoal and more, Jaee is able to use masterful techniques to express deep and meaningful thoughts. She is able to use impasto, make gestural marks and dribble paint in order to explore relationships between nature and human. Her compositions often tell a story, and her experimentations on the canvas often reflect her daily preoccupations. This means that the subject or inspiration for her art are rather diverse, resulting in fresh, vivid and imaginative pieces.
While based in Kuala Lumpur, Jaee’s works explore and reflect a more universal sentiment, which is why collectors from overseas enjoy her work too. Her art has been showcased in places such as a contemporary art museum in Milan, Italy, as well as the National Art Gallery of the Maldives, just to name a few. Her work has been praised locally too, of course, with her latest local appearance being the CIMB Artober 2021 and the Telur Pecah Exhibition at GMBB KL. “My work is filled with strong emotional content,” Jaee says in her artiste statement. “Texture is my language. I lay it down in a dance with the surface and watch it take shape and form.”
Jaee’s art is very much informed by her own experiences and memories. Having grown up in a remote village in Malaysia, she often draws from her childhood memories of being intimately connected with nature and earth as inspiration. Jaee even uses unconventional materials such as turmeric, coffee grounds, salt, sand and more to make sure her work authentically reflects herself. Other than nature, inspiration for Jaee can come in the form of many things, such as her Chinese culture and heritage or the books she reads. “For me, painting is equally a practice of catharsis, innovation and discovery,” she says
Because her art is so personal, Jaee considers her work to be a form of self-inquiry and self-exploration as well as a form of a visual diary to capture fleeting moments of everyday life. Art for Jaee is both a reflection of self as well as a reflection of the world at large. The meaning of her art goes beyond the physical and visual results – there is much more to explore than what is obvious. Most artists have a signature style, and for Jaee, bold and expressive texture is key. Texture can be created through techniques such as the traditional impasto method, where a thick layers of paint is used. But there is also unorthodox approaches as mentioned, which is to use materials from nature like soil, root, grass, tree bark and more. Texture gives a more dimensional experience for viewers to immerse themselves into.
Some of her paintings this year include “Awake to Gladness,” which depicts a rooster in all its glory with intricate, overlapping and textural strokes of black and gold. Another animal that can be found in her artwork is the ox. “Ox(idation)” is one such painting, depicting an ox with magnificent horns and a mysterious, strong aura and a charcoal body. Landscape paintings can also be found, such as “Seeing Beyond,” which is separated into two and carries a moody, atmospheric mystique to it. In the eyes of Jaee Tee, art is liberation. It allows for an honest, genuine and freeing sense of expressivity found nowhere else.