Thank you sis! WE NEED YOUR HELP TO SAVE SUN BEARS! – Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

Thank you sis! WE NEED YOUR HELP TO SAVE SUN BEARS! – Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre

By Siew Te Wong

When others asked me what can they do to help sun bears, “Do what you do best!” is always my reply.

My 4th elder sister, Wong Siew Lee, a mother of 4 children, is also a talented and determined artist. She does what she does best to help sun bear – with her ART!

Since I started to set up the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre as a non-profit to conserve sun bears, she has volunteered her time and efforts to help us. Three years ago she donated a painting for auction during our Bear Necessities’ Fundraiser Event to raise fund to build our new bear house and forest enclosure.


Siew Lee's painting, "Let go home" was auctioned at Bear Necessities fund raiser event in 2008

Lately she produced two pieces of artwork for BSBCC: “We need your help!” and “www.sunbears.wildlifedirect.org“.


Below are the statements and concepts of the two artworks in her own words:



To highlight the plight of Asia’s most threatened species in Borneo, the little known sun bear (Helarctos malayanus).

To realize that there are other creatures sharing our Earth, while we create a sanctuary for our own comfortable lives. We humans, as the most destructive beings, should respect other life form too, as they have an as much of a right to live on this Earth as we do.


Mixed media on canvas

(stencils, silkscreen, woodcut, stamping, aerosol paint, transfer, collage of object prints, acrylic)

122cm x 90 cm


we need your help!mixed media print.122cmx90cm.2010



SOS from Borneo to the world loud and clear, “ WE NEED YOUR HELP!”.

The rainforest is such a rich habitat for various flora and fauna. On the background, I used brightly coloured leaves (silk screen), transfer of rainforest scenery, acrylic print of leaves (collage of object print) to portray the beauty of the natural rainforest, the home to the world’s smallest bear species. Then comes the captured skinny cub asking for help (transfer and stencil) and the BSBCC logo (transfer), the sun bear’s rescuer. For the main sun bear cub character, the strong contrast of black and white woodcut, which illustrates its outstanding character and captures the focus. A cute image, the sun bear cub is such an adorable creature. That’s why clever businessmen use images of cute bear-bears on children’s T-shirts, toys, cartoons and story books. Little do we realize and educate our children of the pitiful plight of the Sunbear in our country.

After the background layer was done, I put some string (stencil) on top of the canvas and sprayed them with aerosol. The brown mist creates a haunting mood besides bringing out the image of a net, which is used to capture the sun bear for unscrupulous reasons.

Artwork II: www.sunbears.wildlifedirect.org

mixed media on board

(cast paper dimensional print, stencils, aerosol paint, transfer, collage of object prints and wood)

122cm x 90 cm




Artwork II: www.sunbears.wildlifedirect.org

The fact shows that > 30 percent of sun bear population has declined in the last 30 years. The primary reasons for such declined is due to extensive habitat loss are illegal timber extraction for hardwoods and the clearing and conversion of habitat for plantations. Human destruction of the natural environment has pushed the survival of sun bears to the brink. On top of that sun bears are captured for the illegal pet trade or for their commercial value.

In this artwork, a bear appears in a window of a man’s dwelling. This is abnormal as it is not their natural habitat. The reason is: this bear has been captured. The window is constructed of cast paper from a mould (dimensional cast paper print).

The shape of a tree is cut away from the board and is a metaphor for the disappearing forest. It leaves behind, in agony, fallen dried leaves (acrylic object print); the sad traces of once a prosperous rainforest.

The website of www.sunbears.wildlifedirect.org is the message I would like to convey. Please access the website, educate our children and find out more about our Bornean Sun bear.


Siew Lee is having her very own solo art show starting Sept. 5th until Sept. 30th. Venue at:
Main Lobby, Balai Berita,
New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad,
31, Jalan Riong, Kuala Lumpur.


Theme: A Matter of Mind


My 3rd elder brother Wong Siew Kok wrote a forward in the handbook of the art show:

Artists are the conscience of society.

Welcome to ‘A Matter of Mind’, a solo exhibition of the artworks of the exciting artist Siew Lee!

To create her art, Siew Lee is first an observer, who sees, with heart, soul and mind. Then she is a thinker – who reflects on her observations, her values, and the larger complexity of life and reality, and synthesizes new thoughts from them. These new thoughts become objects of the mind, which she gives form to, with her choice of art materials and techniques, to become artworks that speak to us.

Siew Lee’s subjects are extensive, covering the sensory experience of being alive and expressing it in colors and emotions, exploring mysticism with religious iconography, giving voice to the Rakyat in political art, presenting our world and her perceptions with an interesting interplay of thought, form, colors and creativity.

Siew Lee’s works are a delight to view, and worth the while to linger on; try to find the thought behind the artwork you see, the thought — ‘the object of the mind’ — that is embedded in the work, invisible to the eye, but visible to the mind.

Siew Lee has exhibited in Europe, Britain, Japan and Malaysia, and her works have been collected by public and private collectors as well, both here and abroad.

I hope you enjoy the show and that it will be an experience for both your eyes and mind!

To Life!

SK Wong


Information Designers

August 7, 2011

Penang, Malaysia



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