The Artist Ramsay Ong Liang Thong A.B.S.


 

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Ramsay Ong Liang Thong was born in Kuching, Sarawak in 1943 to renowned agriculturalist Ong Kee Chong and his wife Wee Phek Khiok.  The great-great grandson of prominent Sarawak Chinese chieftain or Kapitan Cina Ong Tiang Swee, Ramsay is the fifth generation Sarawak born member of the Ong clan.

Early education was at the all boys’ Anglican mission school of St. Thomas’ in Kuching.  Displaying a passion for the arts throughout his formal education, he commenced work as a draughtsman at the Postal & Telecommunications Department and soon after moved on to teaching art at secondary schools state wide.

An award-winning batik artist in his early career, Ramsay started his unique art form bark cloth painting in the late seventies inspired by his fellow artists in Hawaii and Australia.  The processed bark of the ‘Tekalong’ or wild breadfruit tree has been used widely by the indigenous people of Sarawak for garments and mats and in this Ramsay found his new ‘canvas’.

Ramsay’s mastery in this medium is demonstrated in his uniquely three-dimensional images, rich in textures and colours as displayed in his masterpieces such as ‘The Roots of Asia’, ‘Leaves Network’ and ‘Faces of the Past’.  Ramsay’s ingenuity with bark has become a benchmark for other contemporary artists following in this genre.

In his quest for greater inspiration, Ramsay took to the hills of Kandy, Sri Lanka where he created some outstanding works such as, ‘The Road & the Sky’ and ‘Late for the Sky’.  In this faraway land, his connection with Sarawak was never more evident inspiring important works such as ‘Long Jegan’s Daughter’, ‘Jungle Eyes’ and ‘Hornbill Rings’.

His unique creations are included in the collections of numerous museums, art galleries, private and public institutions, homes of dignitaries, art collectors and appreciators worldwide.

For his outstanding achievements in the arts, Ramsay is the recipient of the ‘Ahli Bintang Sarawak‘ (A.B.S.) medal from the Sarawak Government and the Rathna Deepa Award from the Sri Lanka Hill Country Cultural & Arts Association.

Ramsay exhibits his unique creations exclusively through ARTrageously Ramsay Ong – The Art Gallery and continues to showcase his unique art form at regional and international exhibitions worldwide.

Honours

  • Outstanding Prize (Batik) State-Wide Art Competition (1980s)
  • Ahli Bintang Sarawak (A.B.S.)
  • Rathnadeepa Award (Sri Lanka - Hill Country Cultural & Arts Association Award)

Auction

  • 1997 - Glerum Auctioneers, Holland

Art Society

  • Member of Society Atelier Sarawak

Public & Corporate Collections

  • National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
  • Sarawak Museum
  • Sabah Museum
  • Brunei Museum
  • Darwin Museum, Australia
  • Petronas, Malaysia
  • Bank Negara, Kuala Lumpur
  • Malaysia Liquefied Natural Gas (MLNG), Sarawak
  • Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Kuala Lumpur
  • Holiday Inn Kuching, Sarawak
  • Sarawak Cultural Village
  • Telang Usan Hotel, Kuching, Sarawak

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The Artist, Ramsay Ong
 


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