Allan Chow, born April 22, 1979, is a Malaysian-born landscape painter who currently resides and owns a studio in the United States. Allan received his BFA in Illustration from the Kansas City Art Institute. Mentored by illustrators, Allan worked as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer during his twenties while he experimented with paint after dark. His natural attraction to Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism inspired him to develop a modern interpretation of landscape paintings with a palette knife. Allan’s hints of Southeast Asian culture manifests through his exuberant colors, bold paint strokes and irresistible textures that set him apart from his peers.
Allan Chow’s painting, “Broadway Bridge at Dusk,” was published in Kansas City Voices Volume 13 in 2015.
KCV: Your work hangs at the Royals Stadium, Chiefs Stadium, Intercontinental Hotel, Marriott, Kansas University Medical Center, St. Luke’s Hospital, and Kansas State University, to name a few. With the success you have, what advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Chow: Have discipline and prioritize your time. Spend equal amounts of time creating work and establishing business-marketing practices that work for you.
KCV: Being born and raised in Malaysia, What influence has your cultural background had on your work?
Chow: My upbringing in Malaysia has helped me see landscapes subjectively. The lens through which I see the flint hills is a direct reflection and comparison to the scenery and colors from my hometown in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I use bright colors to represent the flint hills, vibrant reds, oranges, and blues. These are commonly used colors for art and textiles in Malaysia.
KCV: You recently had a show exclusively for your prints. Do you find yourself spending less time on original paintings and more time selling prints?
Chow: When I am working on an exhibit, I usually dedicate two to three months focusing on the exhibition so since this exhibit doesn’t require me to create originals, I spend majority of my time at the printer making sure my prints are reproducing correctly and the rest of the time marketing. I actually have time left over to create originals for my next exhibit.
KCV: What encourages you to use a palette knife instead of traditional paintbrushes?
Chow: The first time I used a paintbrush was when I was a teenager. In college, I became comfortable with paintbrushes and wanted to try something different. The palette knife is a tool I use to relinquish the control and let creativity take over. I made mistakes but I forced myself to embrace those mistakes and through them I found something unique to help me establish my style.
Watch a video of the interview with Allan Chow below or watch on YouTube.
Allan Chow’s websites and social media links: