MEET OUR ARTISTS
I am fascinated by the current socio-cultural phenomenon around us, and as a ceramic artist, I use clay to capture trending topics and sculpt it into concepts. Depending on the concept I wish to convey, clay is used as a versatile medium to highlight the elements of the socio-cultural concept
My style tends to challenge the conventional belief of traditional ceramics that one would imagine – pots or vessels that are usually brown coloured. I love colours, and you will tend to see many works thickly glazed with diverse surfaces and textures, usually form a colour palette and ornately decorated. Like many countless artists today, I hope to shift the perception of ceramics, whether it is taking the shape of a functional vessel or an explosive sculpture, this art form should receive its due respect and recognition especially in Singapore where there is a vibrant community.
My work reflects on gender issues, queer culture, and feminism, but always with a humorous twist. I use soft sculpture, video, and installation to engage with these themes and make them accessible to a wider audience.
Gender organs are a recurring symbol in my work, and I believe they represent a liberation from the idea that our bodies should be hidden. By presenting these symbols in a playful and humorous way, I hope to challenge the notion that the body is something that should be considered only in a sexual context.
While some may view the penis and vagina as obscene, children often have a different perspective. I encourage viewers to approach my work from a fresh perspective and consider the deeper meaning behind these iconic symbols.
I am influenced by various forms of media, such as movies, animation, comics, and books. In particular, movies have had a significant impact on me. While I am currently focusing on exploring themes of sexuality, I have also been interested in exploring taboo subjects in the past..
My creative process is influenced mostly by my childhood memories as well as my chat with my friends so definitely, they give me some ideas.
As an emerging artist myself, I can only offer advice based on my own experiences. My first piece of advice is to study English and practice speaking it without being shy. It’s important to find your comfortable place, both in terms of language and location.
There’s a Hungarian proverb that says “Running away is a shame, but useful,” while in English we say “Choose your battles wisely.” The meaning behind both sayings is to be selective about the challenges you face and don’t be afraid to make changes.
Ultimately, what I’m trying to say is that the place where you are right now may not be the best fit for you. A good place is somewhere where you feel comfortable and can trust yourself. If you’re not comfortable where you are, then it’s important to make a change. Like how a polar bear cannot survive in the desert and a camel cannot survive in the Arctic, we all have our own needs and environments that suit us best. So, seek out your comfortable place, don’t be shy, and trust yourself.
I Ketut Budiana
I Ketut Budiana is an Indonesian Postwar & Contemporary artist who was born in 1950.
I Ketut Budiana’s work has been offered at auction multiple times, with realized prices ranging up to 11,606 USD, depending on the size and medium of the artwork. Since 2012 his record price at auction is 11,606 USD for Larasati Auctioneers, Jakarta in 2014.
Budiana comes from a family of traditional master artisans and is skilled at making temple images, sacred masks, and cremation artifacts. He learned briefly from Rudolf Bonnet (Dutch, 1895-1978), and from 1969-1972 he studied at the Sekolah Seni Rupa Indonesia (SSRI, Indonesia School of Fine Art) and the Pendidikan Guru Sekolah Lanjutan Pertama (PGSLP, Teachers’ Vocational Secondary School) in Denpasar.
Imaginative figures who are erotically linked together and imbued with Balinese Wayang Kulit (leather puppet) characters are often depicted in his themes. Thick fluids ooze and drip over figures from his dreams. The mysterious transformations are reinforced by his signature smoky dark colors.
I Ketut Budiana’s code of life is – Swadharma To do Swadharma (duties) means to do it without expecting anything in return because the return will come by itself following the karma. To do, to work, and to search for something is a noble and valuable life. Never waste your life is his philosophy of life.
Tay Bak Chiang
Tay Bak Chiang paints subjects found in the nature of Singapore and Southeast Asia, such as heliconias, lotus ponds and rocks. He seeks to reinterpret them inventively in terms of form, composition, technique, material and colour. Lotus flowers, for example, are depicted as minimalist forms in bold hues; lotus stalks as thick, unembellished black strokes; and stones as textured shapes and sculptural blocks in intense colours made by combining pigments and traditional Chinese ink. Through these subjects, he expresses his sentiments and philosophies.
Born in 1973, Bak Chiang graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore in 1995 and studied at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China, in 1997. He was awarded the First Prize in the Chinese Painting category in the 19th and 22nd United Overseas Bank Painting of the Year Competitions (2000 and 2003 respectively). In 2002 he received the Young Artist Award from the National Arts Council of Singapore.
Bak Chiang has held 14 solo exhibitions to date: Fa Zi Hua Sheng 《法自画生》 (2003), Between Breaths《呼吸之间》(2010), Ingenuity 《天工》 (2011), Hear the Wind Sing 《且听风吟》 (2012), The Breath of A Blade 《剑气》(2013), Sentience 《顽石》 (2014), The Story of the Stone《石头记》(2014), Cleavages Fractures Folds 《斧劈皴》(2014), Blue White Vermilion 《青花 • 朱印》 (2015), The Chivalrous Hero《侠之大者》(2015), From A Distance《隔帘看月 • 隔水看花》(2016), Revisit《回鸣》(2016), From Stone to Mountains《积石成山》(2018) and The Fisherman and the Woodcutter 《渔樵问答》(2018).
He has shown at international art fairs, including Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Stage Singapore, Art Miami, Art New York, Art Paris, Art Taipei and Edinburgh Art Fair. His works are collected by private collectors and public agencies, such as The Istana, Singapore; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore; Permanent Mission of Singapore to the United Nations, New York; National Gallery Singapore; Simmons & Simmons Contemporary Art Collection; Singtel; SC Global Developments; Swiss Re; OCBC Bank; United Overseas Bank; Mandarin Oriental, Singapore; Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore; and Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, London.
Lim Tze Peng
Born in Singapore in 1921, Lim Tze Peng is one of Singapore’s most significant artists and a living legend. Renowned for his Chinese ink creations of post-independence Singapore, he also practices Chinese calligraphy. Alongside local and international exhibitions, his masterpieces are exhibited in prominent Singapore institutions and part of many prestigious collections.
Lim Tze Peng became a full-time artist after retiring as the principal of Sin Min School in 1981. Though largely self-taught, he has enjoyed critical and commercial success over the years with a nostalgic ink series of Old Singapore scenes that capture the bustling alleys and multicultural landscapes of early Singapore. Tze Peng is also known for his traditional and modern calligraphic work. He achieved another stylistic breakthrough around 2005 when he unveiled a new signature style of Chinese calligraphy, which he self-termed as ‘hutuzi’ (糊涂字; also known as ‘muddled writing’).
This new style emphasises on the expressiveness and elegance of brushstrokes, rather than the semantic meaning derived from the writing. He has further pushed the envelope in recent years by incorporating the use of strong, bright colours in his hutuzi, which overthrows the centuries-old tradition of Chinese calligraphy, and in this particular painting “Trees”, it incorporates this particular approach stylistically depicting one of his favourite nature subjects.
For his invaluable contribution to Singapore’s arts and cultural heritage, Tze Peng was conferred the Cultural Medallion in 2003 and the Meritorious Service medal in 2016 by the Singapore Government. Prior, Lim has also been bestowed the Special Prize at the Commonwealth Art Exhibition in England in 1977.
Tze Peng’s paintings and calligraphy are among the most well-collected by private collectors in Singapore. His work is also in the collections of Singapore Art Museum, National Gallery, Singapore and NUS Museum. In May 2012, he broke records with the sale of his works at a Christies auction in Hong Kong.
我国第一代书画家林子平 翰墨蘸乡土 求索七十载 (2018, July 22)
Retrieved from Lianhe Zaobao website.
Pioneer Artist Lim Tze Peng, 97, Showcases his Work (2018, July 31)
Retrieved from The Straits Times website.
Alit Sembodo was an Indonesian Postwar & Contemporary painter who was born in 1973. Alit Sembodo’s work has been offered at auction multiple times, with realized prices of up to 13,375 USD, depending on the size and medium of the artwork.
Born in Magelang, 1973. He took his formal study at the Indonesia Institute of Fine Art (ISI) Yogyakarta and has actively participated in several solo and group exhibitions in major cities in Indonesia. His painting has particular and distinct characteristic of all kinds of figures and scenes. While he passed away in Magelang in 2003, his short lifetime has been noted by important works that captured the people’s attention. As an Indonesian painter, his unique style of painting reflects the beginning of human annihilation, chaos and the end of the world. As a contemporary artist, Alit’s works are widely owned by collectors from Taiwan, Singapore, and several European countries.
Alit is known as a quiet but creative person. On January 4, 2000, Alit became one of seven artists whose work was exhibited at the Cultural Exhibition Gallery with the theme “Shifting Point: The Celebration to an Indifference”. The characters in Alit’s comics are the same as the characters in his Baratayudha series, namely wayang characters interspersed with contemporary figures. The fields of his paintings are always filled to the brim, crowded with characters and have complete stories that can be read from various angles of the field, which is evidently displayed in this particular painting “Always Coca Cola”, which signposts the advent of giant brands entering into the Indonesian market.
On 23 February – 1 March 2011, Alit’s works were also exhibited at the National Gallery of Indonesia under the title Circus Politics: Jagad Purba. Some of the works on display reflect the condition of society after 1998 (New Order) which was shown by the existence of community conflicts that led to violence. Several awards that Alit Sembodo has won are Pratisara Affandi Adhi Karya (1999), Indonesian Art Awards (IAA) (1999, 2000), and Philip Moris Group of Company ASEAN Art Awards (1999, 2000).
Ong Kim Seng
Being one of the most eminent water-colourists in Singapore, his depiction of Singapore’s local scenes allows viewers to appreciate every detail that he captured. Ong Kim Seng has received 6 awards from the prestigious American Watercolour Society, and till date remains the only non-American member of the Dolphin Fellowship. He is also the recipient of coveted Singapore Cultural Medallion in 1999. Through his immaculate technique in expressing the contrast between light and shadow, Ong brings a realistic depth to his paintings of old and new Singapore.
Self-taught and self-supported, the artist has participated in group and solo exhibitions in Singapore and in the United States, China, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Belgium, Germany, France, Middle East, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Playing an active part in some of the most prestigious art fellowships and organizations, the artist was President of the Singapore Watercolor Society from 1991 to 2001, subsequently becoming Honorary President.
One can see his attention to detail in both in his iconic series of Nepal and Bali, as well as his depictions of Singapore’s local scenes. As an avid traveller to Nepal and Bali, he is able to fully grasp the intricacies of each culture and present them in his watercolour paintings. Through his immaculate technique in expressing the contrast between light and shadow, Ong brings a realistic depth to his paintings.
Displaying fluid strokes and excellent attention to detail, Mr. Ong’s watercolours are remarkable for their lyrical expressiveness and poetic charms. His paintings have been featured in numerous exhibitions around the world, including Singapore Art Museum, Agung Rai Museum and Neka Museum (Bali, Indonesia), and in other foreign missions and embassies of the Republic of Singapore.
The watercolour maestro also counts Queen Elizabeth II of England, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China, President of the Republic of Korea, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, President of the Republic of the Philippines, Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister of India, the Governor of Hokkaido, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations amongst the long list of royal figures and luminaries who have come to be collectors of his paintings.
I Nyoman Kayun
Born in 1954 in Peliatan, Kayun is one of the celebrated living artists of the well-known Ubud School of Painting. His paintings are rarely available on the market and his artistry and immaculate attention to details are prominently recognised amongst his collectors. Kayun’s work has been offered at auction multiple times with realised prices ranging over 13,000 USD.
Each of his paintings begins with a poetic yet lyrical rendition of his philosophy about Balinese life and living, and upon request, one could record the Balinese hymn that comes with the painting collected.
One can see his attention to detail in his depictions of Balinese local scenes. Kayun is able to fully grasp the intricacies of his own culture and present them in his acrylic paintings that is painstakingly drawn up in months if not years. Through his immaculate technique in expressing the soft balance details and composition, Kayun brings a realistic depth to his paintings
Born in 1923, Widayat was amongst the first batch of students at the Indonesia Academy of Fine Arts (ASRI), Yogjakarta. Regarded as one of the most influential Javanese painters of the 20th century and a legend in the art of an uniquely Indonesian style, his works are often described as being enchanting and deep in symbolism. “Ayam Bekisar” is exemplary of his figurative representation in earthy colours and depicts a lyrical cockfighting scene that is often held as a secular and social sport in Indonesia, imbued with the cock’s owner pride and honour. Artworks by the artist are collected by institutions in Indonesia and Singapore.