Introducing the internationally renowned master of horse painting – James Phua
James Phua was born in Malaysia in 1970.He is regarded as one of most talented painters of horses in the field of contemporary international art. At the age of 5, his talent shocked everyone when he did his first Chinese horse painting as he was self-taught. He won numerous awards in art contests during his school days. At the age of 19, Phua held his first solo Chinese horse painting exhibition with great success and received good reviews. In 1992 he graduated from the Malaysian Institute of Art majoring in Chinese ink painting. He learnt from the famous Chinese painting master Chung Chen Sun and a number of renowned artists during his early years laying a solid foundation in traditional Chinese ink painting.
James Phua served as the Principal of the Malaysian National Art Gallery’s Creative Centre mentoring thousands of students and dedicating himself to art education. He is a very distinctive artist who has really mastered both oriental and western art and has a lot of experience in teaching both these two main streams of art. He is the founder as well as the Principal of the James Phua Art Centre. He was the lecturer of the Malaysian Institute of Art. In 1994 he was appointed to be the Secretary of the Contemporary Research Society. James Phua was also the art consultant cum lecturer to several foreign associations such as U.K., U.S.A, Aus etc. He was invited by television stations to conduct art demo programs. He has been active in judging art competitions.
Recently the internationally renowned master of horse painting James Phua cut down his art activities and reduced his busy schedule .This crucial decision was made as he wanted to give his full concentration to horse paintings with the aim of producing his best work for his art collectors. As an artist, James Phua has captured the real spirit of horse and has a profound knowledge of horse anatomy. He emphasizes the study of real horses instead of following other artists’ styles. The revolutionary techniques, conceptions and style employed in his Chinese horse paintings have opened up a new horizon and perspective on the development of Chinese horse painting. As for the subject matter, he has adopted themes that other Chinese horse painters have never depicted before such as his series of horse racing, polo, show jumping and flying horses as well as his amazing a- single-stroke-horse paintings. James Phua was the first artist who forwarded the idea of using “Qi” to paint horses. James Phua ,a forward looking artist whose perception is ahead of his time ,has given new life to the world of Chinese painting with his advanced ideas and views clearly demonstrated in his horse paintings. His breakthroughs in horse painting are significant and remarkable in horse painting history.
What a co-incidence, the birth year of James Phua is exactly the same as the birth year of the greatest horse of the Century: Secretariat. Yet, his birth date also falls on the most important and historical date for Secretariat as it was on this date that this horse won the celebrated Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes. These co –incidences have helped make James Phua even more of a marvelous one-of-a kind horse painting master.
James Phua’s artworks are collected by state leaders, prominent figures and international art collectors. Recently his unique artworks have attracted many art collectors and investors’ attentions.
James Phua created the world’s largest Chinese horse painting (12m x 6m) at Suria KLCC (beside the world’s tallest twin towers) in Malaysia on 16 January 2014.This giant masterpiece which was incredibly completed within 35 minutes has been recognized as the longest horse painting by the Malaysia Book of Records. The special miniature version (70 x 138cm) of the ‘Longest Horse Painting’ is now a collection of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.