There are amazing artworks in Singapore to invest in, but it can be hard to choose the right piece for your home. If you’re looking for art from Singapore and the region in particular, expert BEN YEO has his finger on the pulse of Singapore’s Asian arts scene. He recently opened Serenity Gallery to represent incredible local artists. Here we check out four of his best, in mediums including Chinese ink watercolour paintings.
Many expats while living in Singapore take the opportunity to broaden their art collections with Asian art. But there are countless artists and styles to consider – so where do you start? Currently representing eight talented artists, Serenity Gallery aims to educate and expose clients to the very best art that Asia has to offer.
The story behind Serenity Gallery
Established in 2020, this is a next generation art gallery that showcases the talents of Singaporean and international artists. Ben made it his mission from the outset to curate and present Southeast Asian modern art with a special focus on artistic talents based in Singapore.
This fine arts gallery is located in the arts and heritage district, and focuses on artistic diversity. It represents a group of established and emerging artists whose work seeks to transcend artistic and conceptual boundaries.
Meet four of the artists at Serenity Gallery
#1 Anthony Chua Say Hua (1966, Singapore)
Anthony is a talented multi-award-winning artist. Working primarily in Chinese ink, he creates contemporary interpretations of modern subjects such as urban landscapes and heritage buildings. His earlier “Nudes in Landscapes” series were abstract compositions. The strength of Anthony’s work lies in the bold use of differing types of brushes and strokes, including the less conventional feather brushes. Direct application of ink from squeezable plastic bottles gives his work a distinctive flair.
Anthony’s creative processes are informed by both traditional Chinese ink and modern Western art strategies such as ink transfer and mark-making. The objective is to enable artistic expression through the creation of new artistic surfaces.
#2 Hong Sek Chern (1967, Singapore)
Hong is a highly acclaimed third-generation artist who has established a unique pictorial style. The recipient of many awards, she’s most well known for her unconventional depictions of landscapes and urbanscapes in traditional Chinese ink. Her paintings usually reflect a masterful interplay of architectural blocks and lines. They are infused with multi-point perspectives that sometimes collapse into one another.
In 2002, Hong represented Singapore exhibiting at the 25th Sao Paulo Biennale. From 2004 to 2006, she was also the Head of Programme at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore. Her works are collected by the Singapore Art Museum, Taipei Fine Art Museum and the National Arts Council Singapore. She is also popular with private collectors.
#3 Alicia Tan Yen Ping (1973, Singapore)
Alicia specialises in watercolour paintings. Art has always been a big part of her life, from when she enjoyed doodling as a child. Under her childhood mentor Mr Yap Tay Soon, she learnt various Western art forms. These include pencil sketching, charcoal drawing, watercolour, acrylic and oil painting.
Alicia started her career as a graphic designer after graduating from Temasek Polytechnic. Currently, she is a full-time art educator. In 2016, she started taking watercolour lessons from Singapore Master Ong Kim Seng. In 2018, she participated in “Mr Ong Kim Seng and Students Watercolour Exhibition” featuring “plein-air” paintings done outdoors on a Tibet trip. She recently won a slew of local and international art awards and is a member of the Singapore Watercolour Society.
#4 Lye Yau Fatt (1950, Malaysia)
Lye hails from Kedah and is one of the region’s most inventive artists in printmaking and sculpture. He acquired his skills from a printmaking workshop in New York in 1986. Lye was mentored by Cheong Soo Pieng, a pioneer artist from Singapore. He was inspired by Cheong’s “Nanyang Style” whose works were bedecked with rich earthy tones, creating a homely ambience and mood.
Lye uses mixed media such as watercolour, acrylic and charcoal to exemplify visual style and the colours of nature. His first solo exhibition was held at the Sum Art Gallery in 1979. Winning many accolades over the years, he is an integral part of the Singapore art scene.
Where to view the artworks
Check out these and other great artworks in Singapore at Serenity Gallery’s exciting new Pop Up at Cluny Court! 501 Bukit Timah Road, #02-18A, 11am to 6pm. (Call them before dropping by on 9639 0449.)
#02-85 Bras Basah Complex, 231 Bain Street
IG & FB: @serenitygallerysg | serenity-gallery.com
Now you have some nice new artworks in Singapore, why not buy new furniture to match?
This article first appeared in the May 2023 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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