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Get to know Chynna, an artist discovered on Instagram.

chynna profEditor's Note: We discovered Chynna on Instagram. Her creative style immediately caught our attention, and we are happy to share some of her art and story with you. Check out more of her work and follow her journey here: @chytxy

Who are you?

My name is Chynna Tan (How long did it take you to realise it sounds very much like China Town?). I’m one of those many students you hear about being Malaysian but really identifying more as a Bruneian.

Describe yourself in a few words.

Raised in a home with creative and do-it-yourself mindsets, it was always all about thinking outside the box as well as doing things slightly unconventional. Helpful by nature, I always say yes to helping others before realising that it may be beyond my capabilities but I strive anyway to help as much as I can. Like anyone, I love food and that’s the reason why I force myself to spin every week but I thoroughly enjoy it; both eating and spinning.

How did art find you?

The earliest memory of art that I had was back in primary school. My parents enrolled me in Art as an extra curricular activity in school. I remember my love hate relationship with oil pastels and how patient my teacher was to tell me every single time to clean pastels. I had a very supportive art teacher through out my primary years in PDS (now SMS School) and I joined many local and international competitions. Art took a back seat in secondary however but it found me again when I decided to take Art and Design for A-Levels; the hardest but tremendous two years I had rediscovering and solidifying my passion for art.

Which is your creative medium of choice?

Watercolour is my main medium and I love illustrations; small, whimsy and soft illustrations. I am well versed in hyperrealism with animals always being my main subject. I’m dabbling in typography as well as calligraphy as of recently. My favourite is always when I paint for someone close to me. Painting knowing that it’s for someone significant in my life just makes the piece just that much more special besides the fact that it’s always personalised and tailored just for him or her.

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What's your favourite kind that you do?

Anything watercolour would be my favourite. I thought myself how to play with watercolour whean I was in doing my A-Levels. It's such a fluid medium, literally. There are no right or wrong ways to use watercolour and I’m constantly learning and discovering new techniques.

What inspires you?

I try to take inspiration from anything and everything. But usually it’s nature and patterns I see wherever. The Internet is also a good source of inspiration; IG being the best as I follow many artists with similar interest and practice. I like painting and gifting them. So when I paint, I always have someone in mind and he or she may be my inspiration. My parents are also a great source as they do help me see things from a different perspective from time to time.

You’ve spent some time studying in Germany. Describe the art scene there.

Being in Germany exposed me to the different kind of scenes out there that we unfortunately lack in Brunei. Galleries are just littered everywhere and I was spoiled for choice. It opens your perspective as to what art is. Art has always been subjective and everyone is entitled to his or her opinion upon seeing something intriguing. I’ve seen thought provoking works as well as just silly ones. Art is literally everywhere as you walk down the streets and see graffiti art and murals. It’s very inspiring.

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What is your message to other young aspiring artists?

I hope to see more artists out there not be afraid to share their work and speak about it. I was like that before and I’m still learning to share. It would be great if one day we could gather all the artists together and just talk about the same passion we all share. Also, it would be great to have an extensive art supply store. I bet you all artists feel like a kid in a candy store when in an art store.

What are your immediate and future plans?

I’m always open to trying new things. Perhaps holding a watercolour workshop one day? As a kid, I thought I would be an art teacher just like my teacher back in primary. A collaboration with one or more artist would also be great!

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