Being funny was a lifesaver for Lawrence Leung as a child.
(min cost $8)
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The well-known comedian and broadcaster said growing up, he was very small and therefore easy fodder for the bullies at his school.
Luckily, he was able to use his natural cheeky wit to get himself out of trouble.
“When I was a little kid, because I was super clumsy, I used that for comedy,” he said.
“I was a very little kid so a lot of bigger kids picked on me when I was in primary school but I quickly made everyone laugh.”
That natural clumsy funniness has served him well ever since, performing stand-up across the world including at London’s West End and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, creating several TV series for the ABC, presenting regularly on Melbourne radio, writing pranks for the likes of The Chaser, and even having a Star Wars character named after him (Jedi knight Lar Le'ung).
But his latest endeavour has been a departure for the comedian and writer to something entirely different – art modelling.
Sydney artist Dean Manning has created a whimsical portrait of Leung in the naïve style, which is a finalist in this year’s Archibald Prize and currently exhibiting at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.
This weekend will be the first time Leung, who is visiting Ballarat to perform at BallaRatCat Comedy, will have seen the piece in real life.
He’s a really great artist, he’s self-taught and does what they call naïve art and captures my shy innocence. It’s very whimsical.- Comedian Lawrence Leung
He said posing for the piece was an almost meditative process.
“It’s like the world’s longest selfie,” he said.
“What’s quite interesting about it is we live in a world where we are constantly taking photos of people. I don’t think anyone really poses for portraits anymore so I found myself sitting there in silence. You find yourself being attuned to the sounds of the traffic outside the window or the temperature of the room, all your other senses become heightened.
“I don’t think there’s an experience quite like it.”
He said he loved what he had seen of the final result.
“I think Dean’s done a fantastic job. He’s a really great artist, he’s self-taught and does what they call naïve art and captures my shy innocence. It’s very whimsical.”
Leung will perform this Friday night at The George. Doors open from 7pm. Tickets at ballaratcat.com.au
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