Eric Quah’s early works, like those of his contemporaries in Penang in the 1960s, has a style and content which was romantic, because like most young Malaysian artists, they love the land. He did his fair share of these village scenes, portrait of villages, street scenes and houses, albeit in a romantic and somewhat impressionistic manner.
From Malaysia, Quah went to live in Australia, New York and China. He also traveled extensively to Europe and Asia to gain international perspectives and recognition. His visualization of many global and social events produced some of his finest collage and liberated his spirit.
Now at the age of sixty-five, Quah regards his life as a journey, a constant search for some modicum of truth about one’s place in the world, one’s roots. Painting for Quah is a visceral emotion, a tributary of memory, where at the end, there is a kind of balance if not a resolution, a certain peace but never contentment.
After being abroad for thirty-one years, he returned to live permanently in Penang, Malaysia in 2003. He now paints full time. He says, “Like a boat drifting from one place to another, I have finally return home to my harbour!”
– Dato’ Dr Tan Chee Khuan