Despite its relatively small size, Sungai Pelek is home to an extraordinary artist, Lee Khip Chick.
I have known Lee Khip Chick for nearly 45 years when we went to school together in Sekolah Mengah Kebangsaan Sungai Pelek.
Lee Khip Chick came from the Chinese-based Wah Lian primary school and so he was already a year older than me as he had to spend an extra year in, what was known as Remove Class.
Even in those years days, Khip Chick was already much admired for his Chinese calligraphic skills and even more so for his renditions of classical Chinese art, especially bamboo.
In fact, when my father built a rumpus room in the old house in the New Village, I invited Khip Chick to paint one of his bamboo works on a door panel re-purposed into an art panel cum wall divider.
Alas, that early work is now long gone and there are probably some very happy well-fed termites around Sungai Pelek.
I have kept in touch on-and-off with Khip Chick over the years and have heard of his forays into the art world with exhibitions and some spectacular sales overseas.
When this website went live, I toyed with the idea of getting Khip Chick to display some of his works here so that a catalog of his works could be made available for others to enjoy.
As luck would have it, I caught up with Khip Chick last night and had a chat with him over coffee at Ri Ye Xiang, a popular local watering hole.
I discovered very quickly that while Khip Chick was very handy with a paint brush, I was going to have problems with him getting used to the digital age 🙂
I mean, the idea was for Khip Chick to take a picture of each piece of his work, write a short description for it, and email it to me for editing and publication.
Now, that is dead-set easy for most of us and in fact, there are 9 year-old children doing just that.
Well, Khip Chick is not a 9-year-old child 🙂
So, I offered to show him some of the basic skills he would need and we made an appointment the following morning to go thru the steps.
Out of the goodness of his heart, Khip Chick agreed to paint a small work for me in exchange for the tuition – it was a crazy idea of a mutual friend of ours, Kenneth Yap, to have Khip Chick do a small study of bamboo on a paper fan.
Khip Chick and I met for breakfast as planned and we proceeded to spend a few hours going thru the steps.
There were several hiccups like a new Gmail account had to be setup because Khip Chick’s Hotmail account had been migrated to Outlook and was being difficult to work with.
Then there was there fact that Khip Chick’s phone was all in Chinese and I don’t read Chinese and it was difficult to reset the language to English so it was fun having Khip Chick translate what I was seeing on the phone into English and getting a literal English translation 🙂
We eventually sorted it all out and Khip Chick sent a few pictures from his phone to me together with descriptions.
As we broke for lunch, I decided to install Malwarebytes on his computer as I noticed Internet Explorer was not working and I did not have a good reason for it not working.
After lunch, we went back to the computer and lo and behold, his machine is scanned clean and everything now works.
As I made my good-byes, and made plans to drop the fan off to him for painting, Khip Chick had a HUGE surprise for me.
I am really really touched by his generosity and kindness.
I will treasure this for a very very long time or until I sell it for a HUGE amount in which case I will divide half the money with Khip Chick 🙂