Malaysian woman gives up software career in Germany, returns to pursue life as artist
BY SYLVIA LOOI MALAY MAIL Monday, August 17, 2020
Elaine Wong Kam Chee was a high flying software consultant in Germany before deciding to return to Malaysia to become a full-time artist. — Picture courtesy of Elaine Wong Kam Chee
IPOH, Aug 17 — She was a high flying software consultant in Germany before deciding to return to Malaysia to become a full-time artist.
Elaine Wong Kam Chee said she moved to Munich in 2011 to further her IT career.
“But after four years there, I knew I had to make a decision, a radical step to change my life to be more authentic before it is too late.”
Speaking to Malay Mail, the 44-year-old Kedahan said she has always been fascinated with painting and drawing.
“In school, my artworks were frequently featured in the classroom’s notice boards. I was also selected to design and paint the school mural.”
As art was not encouraged and also not a favourable profession for a typical Asian family, she pursued a computer science course instead where Wong ended spending 15 years in the industry.
She returned to art in 2009 after she got intrigued by a 30-Day-Artist movement led by a fellow artist.
Deep down, Elaine Wong Kam Chee knew she was an artist at heart. — Picture courtesy of Elaine Wong
Wong said she took a month off from work and began creating relentlessly where she later produced more than 40 artworks.
She could not stop.
“My then day job required me to fly all over for projects but I would always pack a box of colors and small canvases in my suitcase with me so I could spend my evenings drawing and painting in hotel rooms.,” she said
“But to break free from the rat race was hard and I am glad I eventually did it.
“Even though waving goodbye to a steady salary went against everything I was instilled growing up, I knew I had to follow that calling in my head that has been bugging me for years.”
Wong, who owns The Hatchery Place — a conscious creative policing, coworking and co-learning space — in Subang Jaya, said she predominantly uses acrylics on stretched canvas.
“I create vividly colourful images, sometimes incorporating symbols of black cat in the form of silhouettes in my paintings.”
She described her paintings as doodly with whimsical elements and sometimes portraying the silhouette of the black cat which symbolises the shadow side of her psyche.
Being an artist also helped Wong to heal from a leg accident in 2019.
Wong said she broke her leg on Valentine’s Day when she was jumping on trampolines at the extreme park with her coliving members.
“Due to the impact, the fractures were slow to heal, and I had to be in a wheelchair for many months, not able to do everything I have planned and set out to do for the year.”
During the recovery process, Wong painted “Resilience.”
Wong said she learned to build her resiliency through art.
Moving forward, she plans to relaunch her art merchandise online shop with new products.
“In fact, many exciting projects are brewing in the background. I am super hyped now to be walking in this fun journey I have created for myself with my art.”