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Good Morning, Yesterday

Exhibiting Artists: Hua Chai Yong, Leo Hee Tong, Yeo Siak Goon

Venue: ION Art Gallery > venue details

Dates: 04 Sep 2010 - 12 Sep 2010

With a quick stab at his palette, Hua Chai Yong picks up enough paint to rapidly sketch the open air scene in front of him, and then proceeds to fill in the spaces outlined, one colour at a time, in short dabs and long trails. Welcome to his world of flat brush watercolours, of which Chai Yong is the pioneer in Singapore. The traditional British watercolour style predominant in Singapore and Malaysia uses round brushes which are good for fine lines, amorphous washes and dreamy, atmospheric scenes; the effect produced by Chai Yong’s flat brushes is direct, angular and lively. This imbues an active dynamism to the work when capturing familiar scenes from old communities, or exploring Singapore’s various maritime landscapes. Coupled with the artist’s penchant for unusual perspectives and colour-mixing, the works are bestowed with a sense of energy and freshness as if the artist were wishing his vignettes of yesteryear a cheery “Good Morning!”

To accompany him on his massive summary exhibition, Chai Yong has invited his former colleague from Bras Basah Community Centre, second-generation artist Leo Hee Tong, and ex-student and noted painter Yeo Siak Goon to accompany him on his journey down memory lane. What, after all, are reminiscences if not with friends?


  • Hua Chai Yong


    Born in 1943, Chai Yong’s formative art years were spent at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts from 1963-1964. He participated in several group shows in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and held two solo exhibitons in 1979 and 1981. For his efforts, Chai Yong was awarded the Special Award at the National Day Art Exhibition in 1979 by the Ministry of Culture. He obtained a Consolation Prize in 1982, and Highly Commended Awards in 1983, 1986 and 1992 at the UOB Painting of the Year

    Leo Hee Tong


    Leo Hee Tong’s practice is rooted in the shift towards abstractionism of his generation and many of the Singapore Second Generation artists. His mentor, pioneer artist Cheong Soo Pieng, was himself highly experimental and often abstractionist, but Hee Tong found his own path in his granular, textured canvases couched in strong reds, blues and ochres, particularly after his immersive studies in Japan from 1973-1974 at the Ashiya Art College. Born in Singapore in 1940, Leo Hee Tong studied

    Yeo Siak Goon


    Yeo Siak Goon 杨昔银 has an enduring fascination for the female form, whether decked in full costume regalia as in his Balinese dancers, or serenely bereft of clothing as in his sensual beachside nudes. Playing extensively with negative space, Siak Goon loves to conceal as much as he reveals, deliberately omitting key portions of his figures for one’s mind to connect limb to torso, and indulge in a game of visual peek-a-boo. Born in 1957, Malaysia, he presently lives and works in Singapo

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