When I read the “God’s Eye Mandala” exercise in the Mandala Workbook, I immediately thought of Shee Hoi Ong from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Shee Hoi makes the most intricate and beautiful woven mandalas. I was curious to learn more about her mandala practice.
How did you get started weaving mandalas?
Looking back, I actually initiated a “parent flash art and handicraft session” in my son’s school with the aim of gathering parents who enjoy doing artwork to come together for a handicraft session. The initial plan was for parents to meet up once a week for a 30 minutes craft session after they drop off their children at school. I thought of working with a different art theme every week.
So I started searching for ideas for my very first project. Mandala weaving caught my attention one day while I was browsing Facebook and reading a friend’s comment. The word “mandala weaving” reflected in my eyes and yet I did not know what it was. I began to Google for “mandala weaving” and the images from the Google search really overwhelmed me. And that was the beginning of my journey in mandala weaving.
Sadly, none of the parents turned up for my parent flash art and handicraft session even though I was eager to share this artwork for free. It was during this time that I was needed to teach in my son’s class as a replacement teacher. And it was a coincidence that they were learning about freehand geometry. I taught the children to weave the geometry (shapes) with 4 sticks. The grade 5 children loved their weaving work very much.
Subsequently, a friend saw my artwork and expressed her interest to learn. She even offered to organize a workshop for me. This, I would say, is the starting point for me as a mandala weaving teacher. All of the above events happened in October 2014.
What do you like most about this style of art?
The moment I laid eyes on Jay Mohler’s mandala work, I immediately fell in love with the yarn mandala. The shapes, the colours, the unlimited creative ideas – all done with simple techniques. Somehow it felt like a calling as one event led naturally and smoothly to another.
Where can someone learn more about mandala weaving?
When I first started, I Googled “mandala weaving” and most of the search results were from Jay Mohler. He has a Facebook page linked to his website which is “ojos de dios, yarn mandalas of the world.” His Facebook page currently has more than nine thousand active members who post on daily basis. I “liked” his page and it was from here that I learned the many forms of mandalas created with yarn.
With these two sources, it is more than enough to start creating my mandala world.
What is next for you?
Mandalas are usually created from inside out. Next time I intend to explore weaving mandalas from outside-in to create the dream catchers! I am also interested in art therapy. So I will just go with the flow and who knows, it may lead me to some other exciting directions.
I have also picked up Chinese Ink Painting more than 5 years ago. I have done a series of painting on cats and have been sent for mounting in preparation for an upcoming art exhibition.
I don’t know about you, but I’m so inspired to try my hand out at some mandala weaving. I’ll add that to my mandala bucket list. Many thanks to Shee Hoi for sharing her passion for mandala weaving. Want to connect with Shee Hoi? Find her on Facebook HERE.
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