Father-and-son exhibition celebrates bond forged through art

'Dialects of the Soul – Expressions' is touted as the first father-son artist pairing exhibition in Malaysia.

Malcolm made a point to support his son's hobbies and interests (All photos: Malcolm Fernandez)

In conjunction with Father’s Day, Sireh Pinang Gallery is featuring 46 original artworks by artistic duo Malcolm Fernandez and his six-year-old son Marc.

Malcolm, a lawyer, is a self-taught artist and produces artworks rendered in acrylic, mixed media and spray paint. Marc, as early as the age of two, would sit next to his father and watch him paint. Mesmerised, he developed a penchant for the arts and produced his first unassisted hand-painted piece using a wiper movement at the age of four. It was aptly named Wiper

The pair has created a series of visual expressions that explore the tension between truthfulness and fantasy in their debut art exhibition. They speak to Options about their experience of working together. 

The exhibition celebrates the bond between father and son

Options: How would you describe the creative relationship between the both of you?   
 When Marc shared his interest in painting, I made it a point for us to do everything together from the beginning. This was important to me because I wanted my son to feel supported in his hobby.

Marc doesn’t have a particular art style. He does his artwork based on whatever that comes to mind. I'm usually inquisitive about why he chooses certain colours, whether it’s a reflection of his mood or the character he's painting. 

I'm also his personal assistant who he bosses around to bring his colour palette. I think he enjoys doing this as much as he enjoys painting. He wants me to assist him because he refuses to be distracted by looking for his paints. Once the painting is completed, the process of cleaning up takes place. I'm trying to inculcate in Marc the value of cleaning up right after he's done.


Marc and Malcolm created River of Love together

How has working with your son expanded your creativity?
When Marc and I did the River of Love together, I realised that it pushed the limits of our creativity. However, that was not the purpose I sought. For me, it was the bonding and our time spent together. The end result of River of Love is somewhat magical and powerful.

Some parents have the tendency to push their kids towards just education. How important is it for parents to nurture their children's creative side? 
I think it’s important to nurture a child, period. I would not ‘push’ a child to do anything. The better word to use here is 'encourage'. As a parent, I feel that equal importance ought to be placed on nurturing a child’s creative side. I realised that by exploring my son’s likes and dislikes. I discovered that he's passionate about his paintings as much as golf.

At the tender age of four, Marc Fernandez created his first unassisted piece entitled Wiper

Why do you enjoy painting with your father?
It’s fun being able to paint with my dad.

Which is the favourite painting you've done so far?
The Wiper is my favorite painting. I did it when I was four years old and it’s my favorite piece until now.


'Dialects of the Soul – Expressions' is showing now at Sireh Pinang Art Colony, Antara Residence, Jalan P5,  Precinct 5, Putrajaya until July 20. For more information, call 010 770 7343.

Follow us on Instagram