Artist with a 3D eye

Weekender

By MARJORIE FINKEO

“ I see colours differently and understand them beyond what others see,” says 3D artist Clement Koys.
“I can quickly identify colours differently, I don’t know how it works but I just fell in love with the type of work I do.”
Clement Koys is arguably the leading PNG 3D painter whose masterpieces have reached Germany, France, India, United State, Australia, México, Texas and other parts of the globe.
He is a commercial painter whose specialty is portraits.
He was inspired by his elder brothers and he recalls with a smile following them around in the township of Madang and watching them do sign writing and painting while he washed their paint brushes.
Koys, 37 was born and raised in Madang but his parents are from Chimbu. He is the first born of his father’s fourth wife and has more than 10 siblings.
He completed primary education at Kusbau Primary School.
In 1995 he went to Tusbab Secondary School to do Grade nine but left school because of his painting work.
He said he continued to follow his elder brothers around and observed how they would work on their painting while his other siblings were in school.
However, his brothers realised that Clement understood how they worked and had a gift with colours.
Koys said he discovered his talent when he was in Grade three where he started to draw comic cartoons and started painting and went on drawing more 3D pictures.
“When I was in Tusbab high school I was taking part in painting projects for my school and the school was actually making money because of the school competitions,” he said
“My entire family was screen painters and sign writers and I grew up in that industry.”
He said that he purposely left school because he was making money from the job then it became a hobby every day. Despite his parents’ attempts to get him back to school he lost all interest in it.
In 1995 RD Tuna was established in Madang and he got a contract with the company and was the youngest artist to do billboards for them.
In 1997 he was engaged with Dun Koys, his elder brother during the general election to paint a portrait of the former member for Madang, the late Stanley Pil.
In 1996 he painted the buildings of Holy Spirit Primary School in Madang town without planning but for fun and seeing how his paintings would turn out in colours under the leadership and assistance of the headmaster Moses Gabuagimos.
Koys’ first trip out of Madang to paint was to Northern. He then travelled to East New Britain, New Ireland, Bougainville and other centres in the country.
“I paint portraits and I paint to put a special message in my painting.”
He said most of his art work was commercial and he was mostly engaged during general elections when he did portraits and billboards for candidates.
“I don’t charge schools, churches and hospitals when they ask for writing sign boards. I do it for free but sometimes they try to give something in return,” he said.
Koys said his brother James Kisa who lived in the United States for more than a decade, has opened a foundation and a centre for unfortunate children to access food and clothing in Kagua-Erave district in Southern Highlands.
The foundation receives shipping containers from America through the selling of Koys’ painting which are sold by his brother there. The money is used for charity purposes in Papua New Guinea.
Koys has recently engaged with a craft market event in Port Moresby.
“I am the only artist who can make a 10m by 10m billboard in four hours in live painting without using any instrument,” he said.
Koys has already reached 10,000-plus followers on his Facebook page called Clement Koys Arts.
Seline Lohia, who works with the PNG High Commission in New Delhi, India, is one of the main buyers and retailers of Koys’ paintings.
Last year Koys was engaged by Unicef under a 30-day contract in Eastern Highlands to do paintings in 27 primary schools.
“I have painted in front of the children and have left a lot of memories with them last year,” he said.

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