MEAA 2012 : Winner Showcase, Chong Ai Lei

A native of the state of Johor, Chong Ai Lei gained her Diploma in Fine Art from Dasein Academy of Art, Kuala Lumpur in 2005. She has focused on the figure since the beginning of her career and has carved a name for herself with her pastel-coloured, dreamy portraits of young women.

Chong has been participating actively in local group exhibitions since the completion of her formal art education. In 2010 and 2011, she received Honourable Mention from the Freeman Foundation Asian Artists Program, Vermont Studio Centre, USA. Chong currently lives and works in Kuala Lumpur.


The ideas for my work have always been inspired by the things that surround me, such as literature, fashion, modeling, and animation. As such, it’s been natural for me to paint the female form. My earliest works were examinations of specific parts of the female body, and as my works have progressed, I’ve added more and more elements into each composition – a background, a room, a meticulously-detailed carpet.

The figures that I paint are often solitary and clouded in a pastel or flesh-coloured tint, evoking a sense of dreaminess. I feel this is apt, as my works touch on topics like solitude, detachment, and how people sometimes lose balance in their lives or in society.

Affection / 2012 / Oil on canvas / 124.5 x 168cm

Intoxicated / 2012 / Oil on canvas / 168 x 124.5cm

Coquetry / 2012 / Oil on canvas / 124.5 x 168cm

Playmate / 2012 / Oil on canvas / 155 x 135cm

Pleasure / 2012 / Oil on canvas / 124.5 x 168cm

Relaxation / 2012 / Oil on canvas / 168 x 124.5cm

MEAA 2019: Call For Submission