There’s Something About Poh
If you were a fan of Masterchef like I was, you couldn’t miss the beguiling flushed cheeks and the charming demeanor of Poh Ling Yeow … Her skills in the kitchen saw her become a bright foodie star with Poh’s Kitchen but it would be a mistake to pass her off as just another celebrity chef, a huge mistake.
Poh, as it turns out, is a dab hand with the paint brush too and her most recent works are on display at Sydney’s Arthouse Gallery. The photo-like quality has to be seen to be believed, and the colour choices give the pieces a dramatic, filmic appearance.
In short, she’s one talented lady and I wanted to know what makes her tick, and so here’s our little five-minute speed interview…
1. Hello Poh, thanks for chatting with Blah Blah Magazine! You’re best known for food but you’ve been an artist for many years, what happened for you to take the rewarding but probably a bit terrifying road to becoming an artist?
To be honest it was a case of having limited options because it seemed to be one of very few things I was any good at and was happy doing by the end of school.
2. What have been some of the best experiences for opening an art show?
I’m a believer of making art that’s very accessible so when people express a strong connection with the work, it makes me melt a little inside.
3. Is your home filled with art? What are some of your favourite pieces? Yes, the walls are getting squishy! My faves are by Aussie artists: a tiny watercolour of a skull by my friend Sue Ninham, portraits by Fiona White, a Basil Hadley print, my two Toni Messiahs and a beautiful stick Antonio Carluccio (one of my hero chefs), whittled for me.
4. If you had all the money in the world, which piece would you invest in? I’m not good at thinking that big! Probably the Mona Lisa because she remains so wonderfully elusive plus I’m a sucker for a traditional portrait, but at the moment I’m obsessed with Kate Shaw’s work.
5. Are you always visiting galleries? Strangely, I avoid going to exhibitions except for the big ones at state galleries, because I’m petrified of getting attached to other people’s ideas.
6. Ok, the food question, what is your favourite comfort food? My fave comfort food is a vegetarian noodle dish that only my Great Aunty Kim can make. I can literally eat a small mountain of it! Then there’s my mum’s creme caramel and marshmallow pavlova. I can inhale chunks of both which are designed to feed four, in one sitting. Shame.
What do you think of Poh’s artworks? Do they surprise you?