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First Light
Richard Koh Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur

Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA) is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Melissa Lin.

Melissa Lin will present 17 canvases in First Light, the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery scheduled to run from 17 April – 5 May 2018. The acrylic paintings on canvas depict landscape and interiors of various places in Libreville, the capital of a small West Central African country Gabon, where the artist had spent two years living and painting. The Opening Reception will take place on Tuesday, 17 April 2018 at 330pm.

Known as the ‘Tibet of Africa’ for its roots in old medicinal and visionary ceremonies, the everyday of Gabonese life is deeply connected to nature and the natural world. It is this very quality which prompted Melissa to live and explore her interest in shamanic rituals and practices in Gabon. Through the time spent immersing herself in the cultures and traditions of the Bwiti, Melissa came to appreciate the references and symbolism performed by natives as they unfolded in her everyday. They inform her senses through her exposure to color, forms, gestures and ceremonies so deeply intertwined in the culture.


Having lived and known a fast paced city life so informed by the advancements of technology most of her life, Melissa considers the lack of introduction from childhood into adulthood in which she had experienced – one such ceremony that is considered the most important within the Gabonese community. Having embraced the constant desensitation fuelled by a growing appetite for technological advancement within a hegemonic capitalistic society, Melissa sought to recalibrate and appreciate the traditional rituals in a place also known as the world’s Last Eden, for its ancient rainforest – this allowed her a total immersion in a belief system embedded and in harmony with nature.

Through First Light, Melissa attempts to record her insights and sentiments acquired through this journey on canvas instead of her usual medium of watercolor on paper. Her interiorscapes, often boldly sliced through the middle and flattened out in composition, depicts private and public spaces in which she had immersed herself in rumination, they are her reflection of within and of her surrounding depicted through a symbolic use of colors which heavily informs African culture.

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