Saturday, July 29, 2006

Sky Flyers 2

 "Sky Flyers 2", Oil On Canvas, Year:2004(Private Collection)

Sky Flyers 1

 "Sky Flyers 1", Oil On Canvas, Year:2004(Private Collection)

A Time of Adversity

"A Time Of Adversity", Oil On Canvas, Year:2004(Private Collection)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pray No Fear

" For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. " ( Romans 8:15, KJV )

Love Grows

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

In Love 2

Colourful Life


"Transformation", Oil On Canvas, Year:2003(Private Collection)

" ..., Death is swallowed up in victory. " ( 1 Corinthians 15:54 , KJV )

All In One

"All In One", Oil On Canvas, Year:2004(Private Collection)

Monday, July 24, 2006


" But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. " ( Romans 5:8 , KJV )

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Fun of Portrait-Painting (Part 5)

The Fun of Portrait-Painting (Part 4)

This is a close-up of portrait-painting of Amos, my brother-in-Christ. He is my favourite model, who has a good, angular body form that shows masculinity. I often use him in my artworks, and enjoy fellowshipping with him during the painting sessions. In each session, he would pose for me for approximately three hours (of course taking breaks in between), and we would exchange thoughts about life, and our walk of faith with God.

I think this is another fun part of portrait-painting, where I can build relationships with other people, to know more about the person I am painting – about their spiritual growth, their job challenges, their struggles in life, their relationships with loved ones… This sharing process is also helpful, as maybe my painting would gradually show more of their personality…

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Fun of Portrait-Painting (Part 3)

This painting “In Thee” took me nine hours to finish. The model, Wayne, came to my house for three Saturdays, each time posing for three hours. My concept was to have him portrayed in a rich man image, so I attempted to make him presentable by wearing a long-sleeved shirt, an expensive-looking watch, the tie that I wore at my wedding, and holding a bottle of wine. Wayne was then asked to sit on the sofa, with a golden-frame painting as backdrop…
The whole process of preparing a ‘glamour’ setting required some imagination, as I came from a humble family background: my father used to be a taxi-driver, later became a Chinese typesetter (which is now considered an outdated profession when computer came about), whilst my mum was a secretary, with two elder and one younger brothers. We managed to get by with whatever we had then…
On the contrary, this painting actually portrays a seemingly successful man resting on the sofa after work, browsing through bills and letters, and ignoring the tract entitled “In Thee”. The wine in his hand hints of pleasure, or rather an outlet of drowning sorrows or problems. Everyone faces struggles and challenges in life, and many choose to deal with them in their own ways. The tract suggests of dealing in God’s way, where all answers concerning life are found “In Thee”, and where His yoke is easy, His burden is light...
When this work was made, Wayne (my brother-in-Christ) had just started working. Upon its completion, he commented that the tummy area which I had painted looked quite flat, though I thought otherwise… Nevertheless, this work is very important to me, because I think it has a lot of “God’s touches” which I simply cannot grow tired of looking. For example: the facial expression, the colours and brushstrokes, the treatment on the hand holding the letter, the overall composition – all amazed me, and I thought if not for God, I would not have done it so beautifully, thank God! It gives me great pleasure and enjoyment to look at this painting, which is now hanging in my living room…

The Fun of Portrait-Painting (Part 2)

“My Niece” was done when she (Germaine) was only four years old. Painting her was a real challenge and a test on my concentration. Being young and energetic (unlike her brother, Daryl who was more quiet), she could hardly sit still! Within the one-hour painting session, she had made at least seven to eight different poses, as if assuming I could paint her every pose within a few minutes…This work was actually a combination of two poses captured – one pose of Germaine’s hands raised, with one hand playing with her hair; and another pose of her lips clinging onto the milk bottle…
Another fun part of doing this painting was my attempt to portray Germaine’s face like those that appear in the Chinese New Year paintings – having rosy cheeks and chubby, round forms…
Children are known to imitate adults very well. Sure enough, Germaine was influenced by me to start doing painting occasionally during my two years' stay at their house. She enjoyed mixing colours on the palette which surprisingly resembled those often used by me - colours with a greyish touch! I had even observed that the way she handled a pencil or a brush was similar to my gestures too, how amusing and astonishing to realize that I actually painted like that myself - seeing Germaine like my mirror-image...

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Fun of Portrait-Painting (Part 1)

“ My Nephew” was painted in year 2000, when he (Daryl) was only six years old then. What attracted me to paint him - was his adorable face and his black-and-white shirt that stood out well from the background.
Painting children is not easy, as they tend to move a lot. So this painting was also based largely on memory, and I even had to make some sacrifice to compromise with my nephew. For example: he would ask me to allow him to paint on my work, as a condition to carry on posing for me! Leaving me with no choice, I just had to oblige… Eventually, I decided to leave Daryl’s brushstrokes on my artwork (as seen on the grey part of the shirt). All that while, his mum and sister (Germaine) had been watching us in great amusement…
Nevertheless, I managed to complete this painting in an hour’s time. During my two years’ stay at my brother’s house, I had built up a strong bond with Daryl, through preparing milk for him, bathing him, fetching him to and from school... Watching him grow day by day also gave me a sense of hope. His innocence and gentle character had indeed brought me great joy, warmth and comfort during my personal trying times...

Monday, July 03, 2006

Time, Space and People

I have always been amazed by how people get or not get to meet at a certain time, in a particular space… Somehow, though coincidental each encounter may seem, I believe meeting people at the right time, right place do make wonders… This was especially so when I met my wife in year 2000, when we were individually drawn by God to join a Christian artists support group, and eventually put up our first Christian group show – ‘Feed the Birds’. We got along well, and within two years, we were married by the grace of God! That was fast, though… Hee…

One year, we paid our Chinese New Year visit to her very first and respected art teacher, Mr Yap. In the conversation, I was surprised to find out that Mr Yap was actually a very close buddy of my first-regarded art teacher - Mr Ang. How coincidental! They were classmates in the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, yet had later taught me and my wife in separate time and space… This is amazing!

Drawing 1: Hide & Seek

The third incident is interesting: Many years back before I got to know my wife, I once held a combined exhibition with a junior college teacher, also a practising artist. Little did I realize that she would later to be my wife’s teacher in the following year! On the school noticeboard, my wife in her teens, had caught a glimpse of my name on the outdated exhibition poster, only finding my name familiar as one who was involved in the Artist Village. That was all she knew about me then…until we met in person after many years…

Around the same time in 1990-91, whilst I was attending another church, I came to know a teenage girl, ‘Fang’, seven years younger than me… We had fellowship on and off in church and camps, and I treated her like a young sister. After I left the church in 1996, I only keep in touch with a few church friends (‘Fang’ was not among them), and my wife has also met some of them. Recently, through a conversation with my previous church friend, my wife found out that ‘Fang’ was actually her primary school classmate! We were marvelled once again by this discovery!

Drawing 2: Friendship

In year 2002, I got to know a school teacher - Mr Ling. He is a nice man and we do a lot of sharing since. To me, at that time, I thought of Mr Ling as a completely new friend. A few months later, I discovered that many of my friends have known him many years before me. Not only that, about one year later, I also realized that he was also my boss’ classmate in NUS back then… What a small world!

During my childhood days, I lived in Toa Payoh Lorong 4. That area had five badminton courts, and I always played badminton with my two brothers and friends. Through a friend, I came to know a 55+ year-old man whom many people called him ‘Lao Zhang’. He was a very good badminton player, and could win many 20+ year-old young players! I remember always making fun of and showing monkey faces to him whenever I lost to him in the game. These silly things kept going on until my father passed away (died in cancer). I was then only a secondary-two boy... During the three-day funeral, I was surprised to see ‘Lao Zhang’ attending one night. I soon found out from my relative that ‘Lao Zhang’ was our distant relative…! He too, was also surprised at our connection...

Drawing 3: The Moment...

The most recent encounter was about my church care-group praying for my wife’s cousin who was unwell, whilst a care-group member, Doreen, was at her workplace also helping her colleague pray for her husband who was sick… This lasted for at least a few months before we realized we were all praying for the same person…! All along, we only knew that my wife’s cousin and his wife had been sitting with her colleagues during service, and Doreen only knew her colleague’s husband was first brought to church by his cousin...

After seeing the above cases, I believe many people have similar experiences as me. Many times when these things happen, I often wonder, "Why? Why didn’t I know this or that person earlier? Or why can’t they know me earlier as well?"

Perhaps only God knows when and where to let two persons meet is the right time. One possible reason could be that he or her may need a little bit more time to grow and mature in character, or else he or she may destroy the friendship… There are of course many other factors involved, only God knows. Do you agree?

Drawing 4: Fellowship

Drawing 1: “Hide and Seek”
The two men in the middle are strolling through either door openings, as if looking for something. The man at bottom is standing in front of a wall that symbolizes a dead end… under this circumstance, he chose to seek help from above (the heaven) for answer. The man on the top left looks as if hiding away from many people due to shame or having inferiority complex. So eventually many people may not have chance to get to know him.

Drawing 2: “Friendship”
The man on the left bottom of the picture has just fallen over while the man on the other side has missed meeting him, though the window put in between them is big… Another man in the middle is as if trying to hide away from people that he knows and even strangers. Two men on the right get to know each other and stretch out their hands for a handshake. No doubt the window in between them is smaller in comparison, but they get to meet at the right place and right time.

Drawing 3: “The Moment..."
At first, I would like to name this piece - “They will never know each other forever”, but finally changed my mind, renaming it - “The Moment...”. This is because at this moment, they may not know one another, but who knows at the next moment, they may get to meet already...? There is a sense of anticipation in the air…

Drawing 4: “Fellowship”
This picture shows people coming from various backgrounds - be it family, educational, career…, and having different life experiences… However, our heavenly Father loves to draw us together, to let us enjoy His goodness and become His children. He even loves us as much as He loves Jesus. Oh! This is a great love from God! In my church now, I only know a handful of brothers- and sisters-in-Christ, but I believe in time to come, I will get to meet more people at the right place, right time.

* Something special: I remember from years 1991 to 1996 (before I got to know my wife), I frequented the Jurong area, because my church cell-group was held there. Sometimes, our cell group would take place at different houses (in rotation) for mid-week Bible study. Come to think of it now, one family actually stayed very near to my present mother-in-law’s house! I wonder, “I used to pass by that area many times… Have I ever got to see (just see only) my present wife by chance at that time? She must have looked very young then, being seven years younger than me… Maybe she had passed by me also…?” However, I think even if we had met each other then, I wouldn’t be putting much attention on her also… Why? Because at that time, my eyes were only locked on ladies who were older than me! Ha, so, wrong time!