Kean Onn See’s paintings are drawn, carved, and then painted on woodblock. Every stage of this creative process requires a different set of skills, which must come together technically and creatively, to form the finished work.
Every work begins on paper. The image is then transferred to a woodblock. Using both traditional and modern engraving tools, the lines of the image are carefully carved to achieve the desired textures.
Finally, the carved woodblock is sanded, before it is lightly painted with at least four layers of acrylic. The goal is to create textures by layering the paints strategically, and at the same time, revealing the natural grain of the woodblock.
Primarily self-taught, Kean Onn See started painting as a hobby in his early 30s and pursued this interest while working full-time.
Over the years, he has experimented with different media and genres before fInally adopting painting on carved woodblock as his preferred medium.
Inspired by the process of Japanese woodblock prints, and his love of carving and painting, he continues to explore new techniques and tools to further develop this meticulous way of making art.
A finalist of Sir John Sulman Prize 2023 and Mosman Art Prize 2023, Kean Onn See was born in Malaysia and now lives and works in Sydney.