A visit to Singapore Artist Master Choo Keng Kwang

Author: Katie Zheng

Early this morning, I was accompanied by my colleague Master. Ong Chuan Kim to pay a visit to the residence of the artist Master Choo Keng Kwang. As Mr Choo’s work has received great attention and firm recognition from the Singapore and South East Asia art community, therefore I was really looking forward to finding out more about him in person during the visit.

Prior to the visit this time, I had done a little bit of research and studies on his artwork, including his painting styles and context. From time to time when I was studying the art pieces from his album, I deeply admired his humble touch yet incredible romantic artistic expression from his work. Through his paintings, they brought me back to the fading memories of the old China town of Singapore with street barbers, theatre performances, the smell of smoked duck when crossing the streets and cheerful lantern makers , through his paintings, I find myself as if among the mysterious tropical villages, watching Balinese dancers with their sensational local performances… when i finally met up with him and had listened to his stories of his open air outdoor studio work, I found Mr. Choo’s work speaks directly of himself. Mr Choo told me about his unique experience of his 60 years of creative yet hard work. Some of his work has been selected by the Singapore government as national gift exchange with other official country heads, e.g, when Mr Lee Kuan Yew paid his first visit to President Mao in China back to 1970’s, Mr Choo’s painting of ‘Harbour’ was a national gift to President Mao as state gift from Singapore. Also we can find that his work has been presented in many prestigious institutions and organizations such as in the Embassy of Singapore in Washington D.C. but Mr. Choo never said too much of his achievements.

To be humble and stay true to himself and painting the world through his loving eyes is what I felt from Mr. Choo when I met him in person, and I believe that these distinguished parts of his character, such as being humble, generous loving and creative make him more of an respectable and outstanding artist in the world art arena.





见了画家本人,发觉他是一位很有胸襟的性情中人。他和我聊到在野外作画的奇文趣事,六十多年前创作初期的艰辛和感触…… 他的作品曾被李光耀选中作为赠送毛泽东的礼物,也曾有作品被新加坡驻美国华盛顿大使馆收藏。而他本人却十分低调,一点也没有为辉煌的过去而沾沾自喜,永远保持着那份朴实,始终用一颗真挚的心去感悟外面的世界。我觉得这也是朱老先生让人喜爱和尊敬的宝贵之处。

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