Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Where Is My Energy ?

Many people who have seen my earlier paintings (done between 1987 – 1990) tell me that those paintings have more power and full of energy, compared to later works. The energy seems to be missing now, they say,…

Whenever I hear this, I always tell myself not to worry about my “missing” energy, because that is “unhealthy” energy! In the earlier days, my heart was full of anger, frustration and hatred. As I was more quiet among the artists’ group, I had no any other outlet to help release my feelings and emotions. So in the end, all my inner feelings were completely transferred to the canvas! Also, I was mainly using big brushes to create a lot of heavy strokes and movement on my paintings… eventually, my paintings always turned up very violent…

Some of my friends prefer my earlier painting style, even suggesting that I do my earlier painting style again…I don’t know, but can they accept that a person can grow? Or will change? Do they know that the moment when my “energy” is missing, another element replaces the energy? Can you see it? If you can’t see it, never mind, I can see it. Ha!ha!

Amen, thank you, Papa God.

' Fish Revenge ' Acrylic On Paper 54.5cm x 73.5cm 1988

Sunday, December 10, 2006


( Please note that the following drawings look yellowish due to indoor lighting; the background colour is actually white. )

Tower of Babel

In the Old Testament of the Bible, ambitious men tried to build the great and tall Tower of Babel to prove that they could be as great as God. When God saw what they did was out of prideful intentions, He began to confuse their languages so that they could not communicate with one another, thus had to stop building the tower further, and were scattered over the face of the whole world.

Inspired by this story, I illustrate a tower which also looks like a well. Below the tower, there is a man’s face without eyes (blind) – representing arrogant mankind who do not know where they should stand in God’s eyes. On the other hand, I draw a frog on top of the tower/inside the well, with eyes that belong to the man below. This is to indicate that arrogance may come with short-sightedness also, as represented by the frog in the well…

Tower of Babel, 1999; Ink on paper ( Private collection )

Well-Frog Club

I believe not many people in this world want to become “well-frogs” (referring to people who live in their own worlds, having limited visions). However, sometimes they just cannot help it, because everybody and everything seem to be moving too fast…

In my illustration, you can see many people trying to climb as high as they can, as fast as they can… For those who are too slow or just not fast enough, they risk possibility of being caught/dragged down by the big frog in the well, and perhaps ending up as residents of the “well-frog club”.

Well-Frog Club, 1999; Ink on paper ( Private collection )


This picture shows people struggling out of the symbolic well-frog’s stomach and racing forward triumphantly, with fingers pointing to heaven. (in contrast, people trapped in the well frog would refer to those who have yet to open their eyes/hearts to God’s love and His salvation.)

From my past life experiences, I felt very much like those trapped in the well-frog whilst I was still a non-believer. I seemed ignorant of many things, and when I got into trouble sometimes, I could not find a good way out. Feeling hopeless and insecure, I had even attempted to finish my own life...

But God is good. He found me, and gave me His perfect peace when I received Him as my personal savior. He also leads me through every challenge in life by His wisdom and grace. Ever since, my life has been changed, and my eyes opened to Him and His wonderful works…

Reborn, 2004; Ink on paper ( Private collection )

Untitled, 2005; Ink and acrylic on paper

Saturday, December 09, 2006

My Childhood Photo

This photo was taken when I was only seven or eight years old, studying at Chong Hwa Girls' Primary School then... Yes, a girls' school! I was enrolled to this school (as were my elder brothers and cousins), because it also accepted boys, making up around 30% of the school's population.

Until now, I can still remember one of my school teachers always compared my academic results to my elder brothers’. I found the subject - English - very hard to learn, and since it was the only subject in English (being in a Chinese school), I eventually gave it up... However, I also cannot forget most of my school teachers loved to see my drawing and colouring works. They always commented that I had great talent in Art, and this really encouraged me a lot.

Another deep impression I have of my childhood school days - was being the first to wear spectacles in class! I hated to put them on during every lesson, because they made me look very different, and I did not like my outlook at all… In spite of this, I found that many of my "girl friends" liked talking to me more than to other boys. I often wondered why, perhaps was due to my introvert personality then (as compared to other boys who were quite rough) and having cute big eyes?

Lastly, I would like to mention that this photo is cropped from a group photo taken with my brothers, living at Toa Payoh last time (only my second elder brother is shown behind me). Amongst my brothers, I was also the most quiet one then. Yes, then, not now… I would say I am much more outspoken now after all these years, and of course with the convenience of blog, I have much to share…