Koeh Sia Yong 许锡勇
Koeh Sia Yong 许锡勇
Koeh was born in 1938. He graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art, major in Western Painting in 1958. Koeh is a key artist in Singapore representing the second generation Singapore Art. He plays an influential role in the shaping of Singapore art. Apart from being an independent artist, Koeh also assumed other roles of an art editor working for children Art Magazine in the 70s, and also as a graphic designer and political cartoonist for Nanyang Business Newspaper in the 80s. He had also taken up a job as a cinema billboard painter for Shaw Brothers, as graphic designer and book illustrator. He was a freelance political cartoonist for a local Chinese newspaper between 1979 and 1980.
Koeh has mastered good techniques in the application of colour and light. Contrasting colours such as yellow and purple, red and green, blue and orange, appeared often in his works. By employing complementary colours to coincide with these bright colours, the artist created a vibrant, gorgeous and yet refined visual effect in his oil paintings. Koeh Sia Yong’s oil works are diverse in subject matters, ranging from the figures of Balinese women to the portrayal of landscapes of Singapore scenes. His work is characterised by realistic and expressive approaches, using bold and unrestrained brush strokes. He skilfully and boldly combines both impressionism and expressionism into his works.
Koeh’s paintings enable viewers to experience the rich cultural scenes of South East Asia and its people. Koeh’s artistic career spans over 50 years, his unique and excellent painting techniques display an intimate blend of light and colour. He excels at capturing the ambiance of his subject with his realistic and expressive approaches. His paintings portray the rich culture scenes of Southeast Asia and its people, notably in Bali and Singapore. His Balinese wife, 35, was a waitress he met in Bali about 10 years ago. Many of his figure paintings describe the indigenous conditions and customs of Bali Island, Indonesia. His brushes capture the wavy figures of Bali women. Rich and intensive colours presented the touching scene of Bali ladies singing and dancing as well as their traditional costumes and hair decorations.
His works are collected by Singapore Art Museum, Singapore History Museum and art collectors.