Engraving is Ranau-born Rico’s passion, livelihood
Published on: Saturday, June 08, 2019
By: Bernama

Kuala Lumpur: While most young people are content to be salaried workers, Rico Leong, 29, prefers to make a living from his wood and ink engravings. 

Leong (pic), who was born in Ranau, Sabah, was first exposed to wood engraving through his brother Rizo Leong, a famous engraver in the State. 

The art form, which began as a hobby for the former, transformed into a full time livelihood five years ago.  

“I’ve never had special training in wood engraving but I’ve loved it since I was a young boy and I learnt everything from my brother,” he said at his home in Wangsa Maju, here  

Leong’s creations comprise engravings on medium density fibreboard, as well as illustrations on T-shirts and canvas. The prints are made by pressing a carved fibreboard onto paper or fabric.

Engraving work is a difficult and time-consuming process, beginning with a sketch on fibreboard, he explained. The process includes applying oil-based ink onto a smooth surface using a roller.

An eye for detail and loads of patience are needed to produce pieces which are beautiful, neat and complete, said Leong whose creations are much sought after, with orders coming in even from overseas, particularly musicians.

An engraving can fetch as much as RM3,500 and can be completed between one and seven days, depending on its size. His largest creation is called “The Bad Side of You.”

Asked about where he gets his inspiration for his creations, he said, it comes from observation of his surroundings as well as culture and history which are rapidly being forgotten in the face of modernity.

Leong aspires to exhibit his creations throughout the country.

Photo Source: Cleo.com.my


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