Depth and Deception

Danish artist Charlotte Donvang Parks and Pakistani photographer Ahsan Qureshi are scheduled to open a joint exhibition at the Westin Kuala Lumpur on Jalan Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur on 3 October 2013.

 

Depth and Deception is the name of the exhibition, which Danish artist Charlotte Donvang Parks and Pakistani photographer Ahsan Qureshi are putting up from 3 October to 31 October 2013 at the Westin in Kuala Lumpur.

Charlotte Donvang is not afraid to touch upon the obvious differences between herself and her fellow artist.

“He is a muslim Pakistani and I am an atheist Dane – at least in the sense that I do not tie myself to one single religion,” she says.

The two met incidentally in a coffee shop, brought together by an entrepreneurial friend.

“From my side I will contribute with 12 paintings in the exhibition,” Charlotte explains.

“We have also talked about making one of the exhibits a combined creation. It would be one of his photographs that I will be painting on. We would create this piece of art together, bridging our two different backgrounds both culturally and artistically, two artists – Danish and Pakistani – far apart, yet open for cultural exchange,” Charlotte explains.

To further bridge the differences, the exhibition will be officially opened by the two ambassadors – the Danish and the Pakistani.

The Depth and Deception exhibition this October is special to Charlotte as she is increasingly experimenting with combining her art with other forms of art. When ScandAsia visited her in June, she was going through a series of art jamming sessions with friends who would create music taking inspiration from her paintings while she would paint based in inspiration from their music – simultaneously in a mutually interactive creative process.

An intuitive artist
“I am an intuitive artist. I download what comes to me. Then I ask the painting “Who are you? What are you here to tell us?” It is an inspiration, a help to stop and relate to what they see.”

“Ultimately, art is about making people stop and think,” she continues.

“A painting can be seen in as many ways as there are people looking at it. You tend to think you can describe a painting because we think we are dealing with data like the combination of certain colours, certain symbols, a certain form. A painting is all that as well, but it is also energy. Energy influences us as individual beings because we generate our own energy. Then the energy of the painting merges with your inner energy. You as an individual will always perceive a piece of art differently from any other individual.”

Plenty of artistic example
Charlotte started her artistic career a bit late in her life, considering that he mother is an artists and that her grandfather taught her how to paint from childhood. But instead of following the example she decided to study economics at Copenhagen Business School and made herself a career in the field of advertising and marketing. She helped launch the Sprite brand in Denmark and also worked creatively with major international companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, Kodak and Skoda.

Later she fell in love with a British Engineer and got married. He was working for one of the biggest engineering consultant firms in the world and had to travel a lot, which suited Charlotte well since she loved to travel and had always dream of working and living abroad. First they moved to England and since Thailand.
During her years living in Thailand, Charlotte established one of the first companies selling jewelry online and as a board member of Danish Thai Chamber of Commerce she helped the Chamber establish a presence online.

Eventually, she and her husband David in 2007 moved to Kuala Lumpur, where he had entered a 4 year contract. Charlotte closed her business in Thailand and became attracted to the health and wellness industry before she eventually followed her real “calling” to become an artist.

Self deception
“I grew up in a family of artists, yet I believed that I was going to be a businesswoman. The self deception stayed with me throughout my adult years. I was also successful as a businesswoman, but I was restless, unsatisfied.

“I like to think of it as “a calling” as the religious people call it. This was in 2007 and I was on a path that in 2008 led me to become a Reiki Master. That was when the word “acrylic” repeatedly came to me.“

“Eventually, I felt I couldn’t continue ignoring it. It coincided with the flop of a business venture that I had gone into. When I started painting in acrylics, it all came rolling like a wave. Two month later I had two of my paintings decorating the walls of a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur,” Charlotte recalls.

“Shortly after, former Danish foreign minister Uffe Elleman Jensen visited Malaysia and at a dinner in the Danish community I could present him with a portrait of himself. It was a turning point for me, because it was the first time I had “come out of the closet” as an artist,” she adds.

The next year, Charlotte opened her first major solo exhibition in Kuala Lumpur. Since then a series of solo and group exhibitions in Malaysia and overseas have followed. Her latest solo exhibition “Colours of Life. A Celebration of Life, Art and Culture” took place in 2012 in Kuala Lumpur.

This year, Charlotte participated in the “Aalborg in Colours” exhibition in the city Aalborg in Northern Jutland in February together with 40 participating artists. Charlotte was there as a member of a group of artists known in Denmark as FurKunst.dk – named after the island Fur, where Charlotte’s family has a summerhouse and she has many fond memories.

Now she is back in KL again after a energizing summer break in Denmark, where she also conducted training courses in creativity for individuals and groups. Colourful as always.

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