Kee Yong Kam

Kee Yong Kam

Toronto, ON, Canada

About Kee Yong Kam

Kam Kee Yong was born into humble beginnings in Penang, Malaysia in 1938 where he grew up in a very talented and musical family. Kam's keen interest in exploring the expression of both visual and aural colour has established him not only as a professional musician, but also a visual artist, with several solo exhibitions of his paintings.

In 1960, Kee Yong entered the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied the violin with Fredrick Grinke and Molly Mack, chamber music with Watson Forbes and composition with Alan Bush. While he was a student there, he won the John E. West Prize for composition and the Gowland Harrison Exhibition Award for violin. At the same time, Kee Yong was also giving art exhibitions of his own art works at the Cathay, Pugh and Carr, and Woodstock Galleries in London.

For Kee Yong, the sensations of the eye and ear are inseparable. He hears the colours of sound in his music as vividly as he sees the colours in his paintings. In both his music and art, Kee Yong draws inspiration from the Orient, Nature and Christianity. An avid researcher of ancient Chinese history, he has drawn upon this rich source to paint and compose. His music has been hailed by the Singapore Straits Times as "moving" and having "unrestrained passion and rhythmic vitality". These ancient tales of war, love, sorrow, joy and courage are told in a unique combination of lyrical melodic writing, harmonies and rhythmic drive that set his works apart as one of its kind in contemporary music. Kee Yong's music brings together an Eastern style of writing with Western instrumentation and still retains the unique qualities of each.

This unrestrained passion and utmost sincerity can be seen once again in his art. On his creation as an artist, this is what Kam said,' God's creation of the universe and all things great and small is magnificent and beyond our understanding. As I create art and music in my daily life, colour and sound make up the media of expression for my concepts and feelings. I also use different means and styles to express myself. I believe so long as we do our best, in utmost honesty share our experiences of this profound aesthetics with others and are able to draw from them their understanding and ardent response, then we would have made life so much richer and more meaningful".

Education

Publications
1963 - Commissioned by Cathay Arts Publications of London to do 13 artworks for publication into greeting cards for international distribution.

1982 - Commissioned by the Straits Times, Singapore, to do a series of over 20 sketches of musician characters for publication in the Straits Times.

2000 - Art book,"Colour and Sound" published.,

Exhibitions

Exhibitions:
1958---Penang arts Council, Penang, Malaysia.
1963---Woodstock Gallery, London, U.K.
1964---Cathay Gallery, London, U.K.
1965---Pugh and Carr Gallery, London, U.K.
1965---Cathay Gallery, London, U.K.
1972---Singapore Art Society, Singapore Conference Hall, Singapore.
1990---Avant Garde Gallery, Oakville, Canada
1994---Sweeguan Gallery, Singapore
1997---Artfolio SPACE, Singapore
2000---Artfolio SPACE, Singapore