Kean Onn See’s art practice involves meticulous hand-carving and painting on woodblock. His process requires a considerable amount of time and a skill set that combines both technical ability and creativity.
Primarily self-taught, Kean Onn has been pursuing his passion of wood carving and painting since 2015.
Kean Onn first draws his images onto plywood with pencil, before carving out the lines with engraving tools. The carving process is always performed with extreme care as with all engraving, a wrong move could spell the end of an artwork. The carved woodblock is then lightly sanded before it is painted with four to five thin layers of an acrylic wash, staining the surface gradually while retaining the natural grain of the wood. Each piece takes up to 12 months to complete.
Because of the nature of woodcutting, the tone of the wooden panel, and how shadows are cast on the painting when illuminated, the colour and depth of the painting appear to change ever so slightly when viewed from different angels.
In 2018 Kean Onn was a finalist in the prestigious Mosman Art Prize judged by the acclaimed Australian artist Cressida Campbell.
2019 Making Tracks, Art2Muse Gallery, Sydney
2018 Finalist in the Mosman Art Prize, Sydney