Award-winning local artist Huifong Ng launched her second book entitled ‘The Garden Rhapsodies’ featuring 20 watercolour paintings as well as poetry and personalised stories that reflect the artist’s journey from past to present.

Held at the Horticulture Business Centre in Rimba, The Garden Rhapsodies was launched alongside an art exhibition which will be opened to the public until Thursday, December 24.

The Garden Rhapsodies books that are available in both English and Chinese publications. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

“When social distancing was implemented in March, my art school Atelier Huifong Ng went into hiatus,” she said during her welcoming remarks, adding that the art pieces were created during the height of the pandemic in light of the unexpected interval.

“That was when I decided to revisit my dream of writing a book which I had put aside for many years… I spent about nine months painting and writing poems and stories and compiled them into a book…” she continued.

Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dato Hj Ali Apong (R) takes a closer look at the book during the official opening ceremony of the Garden Rhapsodies art exhibition and book launch held at the Horticulture Business Centre in Rimba. Image: Fazizul Haqimie
Huifong Ng delivers her speech during the official opening ceremony of the Garden Rhapsodies art exhibition and book launch held at the Horticulture Business Centre in Rimba. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

Ng explained how the book reflects her earlier painting journey in France in 2013. It explores how she “lost, found, sowed and bloomed” her dream of becoming a painting artist from the inexperienced art student she used to be, seven years ago.

“Unbeknownst to me, that journey I set out purely to learn painting in fact had enriched my soul and filled me with so many stories, which I have truthfully shared in the book,” she added.

The watercolour art pieces exhibited show snippets of a garden, calling attention to unassuming yet beautiful floral elements that evoke a sense of wonderment; of life, and the strength of continuing to exist.

One of the paintings by Huifong Ng being displayed during the official opening ceremony of the Garden Rhapsodies art exhibition and book launch held at the Horticulture Business Centre in Rimba. Image: Fazizul Haqimie
One of the paintings by Huifong Ng being displayed during the official opening ceremony of the Garden Rhapsodies art exhibition and book launch held at the Horticulture Business Centre in Rimba. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

“A garden enjoys its days of warm sunlight and gentle breeze, and it also braves tempestuous rainfalls and strong monsoons. A garden lives and strives. Poetic it may appear to be… A garden is very much like life,” she continued.

“There are insects and small animals, buds waiting to bloom, and fruits waiting to be harvested. There are also fallen leaves and withered flowers… The Garden Rhapsodies is a book about hope, dreams and friendship. The book also tells stories of losing, seeking, sowing and blooming dreams,” concluded Ng.

One of the paintings by Huifong Ng being displayed during the official opening ceremony of the Garden Rhapsodies art exhibition and book launch held at the Horticulture Business Centre in Rimba. Image: Fazizul Haqimie
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Wadood Bolkiah (R) taking a closer look at one of the paintings during the official opening ceremony of the Garden Rhapsodies art exhibition and book launch held at the Horticulture Business Centre in Rimba. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

Attending as the Guest of Honour at the event was Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT), Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Hj Ali Hj Apong.

Also present at the exhibition opening and book launch are Deputy Permanent Secretary at MPRT, Wardi Hj Mohd Ali, Chinese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Yu Hong and spouse, Deputy High Commissioner of Singapore, Raymond Chow and President of Brunei-China Friendship Association, Muhd Firdaus Abd Rahman. 

The Garden Rhapsodies are available in both English and Chinese. Meanwhile, the art exhibition is open to the public, until December 24, from 8.30am to 4.00pm at Simpur Hall, Horticulture Business Centre, Rimba.

One of the paintings by Huifong Ng being displayed during the official opening ceremony of the Garden Rhapsodies art exhibition and book launch held at the Horticulture Business Centre in Rimba. Image: Fazizul Haqimie
Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dato Hj Ali Apong (C) along with Huifong Ng (6th L), Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Wadood Bolkiah (5th R), Yang Mulia Pengiran Seti Aminah Pengiran Othman (4th R) and other invited guests pose for a group photo during the official opening ceremony of the Garden Rhapsodies art exhibition and book launch held at the Horticulture Business Centre in Rimba. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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