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Dr. Choong Kam Kow 锺金钩 博士

drchoong kam kow profileDr. Choong Kam Kow (锺金鈎), was born in 1934 in IPOH, Malaysia, obtained his BA Degree in Fine Art from the National Taiwan Normal University in 1961 and Master in Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute, N.Y. USA in 1968. He is a senior artist of international fame and a well known academician in the field of art and design education.

In mid 1965, he received a Fulbright Grant to study modern art in USA and another Fulbright-ACLS Fellowship in 1980 for research in contemporary art of the U.S. In 2001, he received The Most Outstanding Alumni Award from his alma mater, the National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan. In 2006, he was conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts by the Robert Gordon University, Scotland for his achievements in fine arts and contribution in art and design education. In 2017, he received “The Lifetime Achievement Award” from The Chinese Cultural And Art Consultative Council, Malaysia. In 2018, he was again awarded “The Outstanding Global Alumni Award” by the Ministry of Education, Taiwan.

To-date, Dr. Choong has held 19 solo exhibitions in art museums and galleries at home and abroad including the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan, Guangdong Museum of Art, China, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, the Frederikshavn Museum of Art, Denmark; and participated in more than 150 major local and international art exhibitions. In addition to solo exhibitions, he has also held two major retrospective exhibitions in Malaysia and China respectively. In recognition of his contributions in visual art and art education, the National Visual Arts Gallery (now National Art Gallery) of Malaysia has honoured him at his 80th year of age to hold his first retrospective exhibition titled with ‘Choong Kam Kow Retrospective : Cross Culture • Trans Era’ from 17 November 2014 to 9 June 2015 at the museum premises. In August 2016, he was offered to hold his 2nd retrospective exhibition titled with ‘Choong Kam Kow Retrospective : Cross Culture • Trans Region’ at the Guangdong Museum of Art in China lasting for four weeks during he made impacts and offered creative innovation insights to the visitors and fellow artists in Guangzhou in particular and southern China in general.

Currently, he is the Chairman of Federation of Asian Artists Malaysia Committee. He was appointed as a member of the National Art Gallery Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2009 and also a member of the Acquisition Committee from 2002 to 2006. Dr. Choong has served: as Head of Art Department, United Nations International School, NYC (1966-1968); as lecturer, Head of Fine Art Dept. and senior lecturer, University of ITM (Formerly ITM) from 1969-1989; as Dean of School of Fine Art, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore from 1989-94; as Vice President (1995-1999) and as President/CEO (2000-2009) of Malaysian Institute of Art, Kuala Lumpur.

Dr. Choong has been exposed to, and influenced by modern and contemporary international art movements during his stay in New York in the 1960s and early 80’s. In his creative journey, he has never cease to explore, experiment and search for new ideas and discover new methods for artistic expression.

“His art reflects his ceaseless probes into culture and history, theory and practice, humanity and matters, techniques and media and the mastery power of these aspects . He has possessed the intellectual spirit of the present era and beyond and used it to probe into his cultural surroundings, integrated and synthesized, to define new meanings and values”, wrote Wang Huangsheng, Director of Guangdong Museum of Art in ‘The Art of Choong Kam Kow - Manifestation of Culture and Nature’, an exhibition catalogue published by Guangdong Museum of Art, China, 2004.

His works are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, USA; National Visual Arts Gallery (now Natioan Art Gallery), Malaysia; Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan; Singapore Art Museum, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan; Frederikshavn Museum of Art, Denmark, Guangdong Museum of art, China, Kyushu Sangyo University Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan, Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in University City, Guangzhou, China ,etc. and numerous public and private institutions at home and abroad. The acquisition of his works by art museums across Asia and Europe denotes the international recognition of his achievement as an artist.

The methods of his art making have always been unconventional but innovative. Over the years, he has engaged in indulging himself in combining two or more techniques, media and working processes to create works of his own style with unusual effects and specific manifestation. He insists that contemporary art works should not only possess the senses of contemporary spirit but also must reflect the meanings and essence of culture and traditional values.

In his creative journey, he prefers to work series by series which enables him amble space and opportunity to innovate so that he can produce high quality works. During the six and a halve decades of engagement in creativity, he has produced 17 series of very comprehensive and mind provoking art works based on his personal observations, responses and reactions toward the changing world he lives in.

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drchoong kam kow
Dr. Choong Kam Kow is a well known
senior contemporary artist,
a leading art & design educationist and
an independent curator in Malaysia