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Soon Lai Wai

About Soon Lai Wai

Soon Lai Wai is an exquisitively elegant artist and if you have the good fortune to meet him in person, the same two adjectives are most apt to describe him too. Wai Soon was born and grew up in a historic section of Penang Town. He studied Chinese painting for 7 years before turning to oils and acrylics and their mixture as his medium of expression. He has exhibited in various parts of Asia such as Korea, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia. He has become internationally acclaimed for attractively combining the bold, colourful strokes of Western oil paints onto a background of Chinese style smeared water colours.

Lai Wai became famous 15 years ago for his inspired reworking of the culturally laden lotus flower. He rendered the classic lotus flower with liberated strokes into a lush, tropical feel with the broad leaves of the lotus arch freely supported by their long elegant stalks.

On Lai Wai’s canvases, standing tall in their natural habitat, the lotus petals radiant greens and yellows, which hint at a tinge of romance and idealism. The leaves and succulent petals allowed him to demonstrate their beauty using vibrant colours and a wide range of compositions. Soon was attempting to break away from traditional art painting, adding wild and energetic brush strokes to enliven the works.

In recent years he has moved from literal portrayals to a more expressionist approach.

After viewing some local and overseas natural scenes and beaches and mountains, he was deeply energized by semi-abstract expressionism. The rockscapes series here on these pages, absorb the influences of Chinese art painting, especially the technical mountain stroke, expressed on the canvas with oil paints. The powerful stroke play with the empty spaces abstractly symbolizes the scenery and landscapes. Deeply inspired by Chinese art sensibilities, philosophy and layouts, he presents the waterfalls and rocky scenery on the beaches in Vietnam, in all their natural splendour.

His luxuriant, sensual and evocative oil paintings are mesmerizing. Their heavily worked textures radiate vibrant reds, blues and oranges exuding a contemporary Asian aesthetic.



1991     Saito college - graduation art exhibition
1996     Three Man Show, Bukit Unggul Resort, Kuala Lumpur
1997     The 14th  Chinese ink painting Exhibition open show 97

Philip Morris Group of Com “Asean art Award 97”,National art Gallery

Malaysia bakat muda fine art sellected show, Penang
1998     The 15th  Chinese ink painting exhibition ,Kuala Lumpur
Open Tang Lung Group Show, Melaka
1999     99 artists Chinese ink painting art exhibition, Kuala Lumpur
Philip Morris group of Com “Asean art Award 99”, National Art Gallery
2000     The 1st Chinese Young Artist fine art exhibition, NN Art Gallery
Bintang Walkway opening art show, Mariott Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Gallery “ART on Plus” Opening Art show, Melaka
2001     “The Pallete” East and West art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur         
“Colour Expression” ,Art Deco Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
“Open show 2001”, National art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
2nd Conference by MII, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur
The Asean Contemporary Art show 2001,Jakarta,Indonesia
2002     Malaysia Open show, National art Gallery 2001 to 2002
Group Show at Metro Fine art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
Chinese Ink painting annual art show, Kuala Lumpur
“Balik Kampung” Group art show, Elle Six Art Gallery 
2003     “Entitled Resonance of 5 Voice”, Art Deco & Frame
Mutiara Hotel, ”Mutiara Cares”, art exhibition
Charity Art Show 2003, Elle Six art Gallery
Malaysia Merdeka  group show’03, City art gallery
            “Light Of Asia”, All Season Place, Echo Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand
Asean –Japan Art Exhibition  2003, Japan     
“Oriental Spirit”, All Season Place, Echo Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand

2004     Solo Exhibition, Sensuous Oriental Balai Seni Hall, NSTP Daily Newspaper, KL

“Five Inspiration” Art Deco & Frame ,Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia Merdeka  group show’04, City art gallery
“Joyful Moment” Malaysia Artistes Association, blue wave hotel group        
Asean-Japan Art Exhibiton 2004, Amarin Plaza, Echo Gallery, Bangkok
Miao Hua 7th Anniversary Grand Art Exhibition 2004, Singapore
International New- Salon Exhibition, Korea New Art Festival, Korea
International Chinese ink Painting exchange Show 2004, China Mainland, London, Mongolia        “Oriental Spirit 2”,The Heritage Club,Echo Gallery Bangkok, Thailand
“Melody in Harmony “, Dynasties Antique & Art Gallery Singapore
Singapore National day’04, Dynasties Antique & Art Gallery                                         
2005     Tsunami charity art show, national art gallery Malaysia
“” art exhibition, starhill kl, artseni gallery
National day art show’05., cityart gallery, 1 utama, PJ
Central art gallery group show’05, kuala lumpur
“Too much flavour avant-garde” metro fineart gallery, KL
Sri Cempaka  international school - Charity art show, Kuala Lumpur
            Flower Festival -ChiangMai 2005, Laluna gallery, ChiangMai Thailand
“Fairytales” on March - Laluna gallery, ChiangMai
Asian invitation Exhibition International Seoul 2004, Seoul, Korea
Spirits of oriental – Echo gllery, Bangkok, Thailand.
7th International art exhibition, Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok Thailand
2006     Solo Exhibition, Garden of Paradise, XOAS Art Gallery, PJ
Art +Earth charity art show KL Pac, kuala Lumpur
Asian invitation Exhibition International Seoul 2005, Seoul, Korea
2nd Anniversary art exhibition, laluna galeery, chiang Mai, Thailand.
Sawadee-malaysia,- Malaysian comtemporary art exhibition,
laluna gallery, chiangmai.
1+1+1…Malaysian artists art exhibition, Jiiva fine art, Jakarta
2007     Solo Exhibition, A Joyful Moment Alpha Utara Gallery, Penang
“Still life” citra art gallery, KL
Buddhist Culture & Arts Festival 2007, MIECC, KL
7 small paintings art exhibition 2007, artseni. KL.
Black & White Group Show, A2 art gallery, P Pinang.
Four petals play. Art accent, bangsar Village II, KL
Passion magazine international art competition show, Kuala Lumpur
3rd Anniversary artshow Laluna  gallery, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Asian invitation Exhibition International Seoul 2006, Seoul, Korea
Comtemporary art exhibition in Asia, Seoul, Korea

2008     Solo Exhibition, A Joyful Moment 2, Momentous Art Gallery, Singapore

“HONG/RED” art show, A2 gallery, Penang
”blossom” group show, A2 gallery PG
“That is me” group show, artaccent, Kuala Lumpur
ICIF china 2008“crossover artistic Malaysia, Shenzhen, china
S’pore Artfair 2008, Suntec City, laluna gallery, Thailand
The 70th Annual Exhibition of Mokwoohoe, Seoul Museum of
Art, Seoul Korea 
2009     Malaysia-China painting and calligraphy group exhibition Melaka, Malaysia
31 Artists Group exhibition 2009, Artsalon@Seni, Kuala Lumpur
 Reborn- A2 Art Gallery, Penang
 Forte-Mere Beauty, The Gallery@Starhill Kuala Lumpur
Scent of A Garden, Momentous Arts, Singapore
ICIF China Auctions 2009 Shenzhen, China
2010     Fresh Decade-ReGroup exhibition, The Gallery@Starhill Kuala Lumpur
Tempo art exhibition, The Gallery@Starhill  KL
            Natural Six, Laluna Gallery, Chiang Mai Thailand




1997     Consolation from national art gallery in bakat muda art competition
2000     Formula Malaysia open art competition award

Phillip Morris art competition