Self-Taught in fine art
I have exposure to fine art in watercolor and oil painting since the age of 16, and discovered that I have talent for it. However, I didn’t embark on fine art as my career due to resistance from family, not being able to gain support from my parent. Beside, in those days, fine art artists were not given much attention and opportunity in Asian society. It would be difficult to earn a living and raise a family comfortably by choosing fine art as a career.
As a result, I embarked on engineering as my career but still keeping contact and practicing fine art as a hobby for 8 years, from age 16 till 24. However, I dropped fine art totally due to the hectic and long working hours in the engineering industry.
10 years after, at the age 34, I reflected and felt wasteful for discontinuing with fine art. Thereafter, I picked up fine art again and presently I am working on watercolor and pastel fulltime.
I have developed my own art form and content in watercolor and in the process of exploring deeper understanding of the medium for better creative art. Meanwhile, I am working on and embody several contents of the paintings, emphasis on imaginative, creative, naivety, atmosphere, simplicity, and colour harmony.
I approach watercolor with an emphasis on individual expression and creativity rather than the more traditional approach of in-situ nature study. My works are primarily urban scenes, but while the painting may pay passing tribute to an actual scene, much of the work is created as a result of my obsession with clean, harmonious composition. Whether I am painting a village, a small town scene or old shop houses in the shadow of modern high-rise, the houses and buildings are carefully planned and constructed to merge seamlessly with each other, yet retain an individual character.
As the Chinese saying goes, “what you dream of at night is a reflection of what you do during the day”. Hence, my preliminary work on the painting is to be able to successfully paint out the images and forms that were captured in our conscious mind during the day. In most places and time, an artist perceive, thought of and explore for art forms, so the images and ideas that emerge in the mind will be gradually rich and full of artistic beauty. A good successful painting can be achieved only when such image is successfully transferred and painted. Through this, the artist will be able to view things out of the restricted eye. I treat such an understanding, simply painting with the conscious mind and soul (心眼绘画).
I believe to be able to let a clear, artistic and beautiful form to emerge in the conscious mind and to be able to let our inner creativity unlock and flow freely, the mind must be less distracted and distorted from unnecessary things apart from art. This will help us stay focused in thinking, exploring and appreciating art. Matter not related to art should be minimal or possibly emptied out of the mind. According to Chinese wisdom, our inner mind and soul is the working artist and is capable of drawing and creating all the matter and forms of this world. Through this, I came to the understanding that our mind is the working artist. It is capable of painting and creating good pieces of paintings and holds the character and unique style of the artist. Good paintings come from the mind and our inner soul, and it is from here within ourselves where we seek real art. There is no fixed form and framework for real good soul-catching painting. Even if the dirt gravel is the only available material for painting, the artist is holding on with it to create painting sincerely. In the end, when people look at the completed painting and give good comments, the painting is a good and successful piece.
2015 Aug – Joint exhibition “Life Begin 不惑” organized by
Heng Artland & White Space Art Asia present at Singapore Ion Orchard Art.
2015 Nov – Singapore Affordable Art Fair, presented by White
Space Art Asia.
2012 onwards – Singapore Water Color Society Annual Exhibition.