DREAMembrance art exhibition, 3-5 Aug @ That Spare Room

An upcoming exhibition with 2 other artists whose works I love very much. It's been a wonderful meandering journey from the coming together more than a year ago, the initial ideas, the enjoyable discourses, the brainstorming, the theme, the planning, the venue, the slow but surely coming to fruition of the exhibition, and of course the painting, the exhilaration, the sharing, the learning, and yes, now finally the last lap to d-day on 3 August. Do join us :)


journey into the wistful and wishful world between dreams and memories…

DREAMembrance presents the collective works of three artists as they explore the interplay between dreams and memories, creating a rich and colorful realm that bridges the past with the present, realities with aspirations. The artworks depict the artists’ emotive connections to places, people, objects, and experiences that transport the viewer to a deeply intimate space. 

Ong Hwee Yen offers a fresh take on local landmark scenes through a series of forget-me-not art vignettes of the place she grew up and dreamt in. Chris Lim’s paintings are a mix of reminiscences of landscapes, cityscapes, animals, and still life objects, conjuring a dream-like effect that evokes mystery, disorientation, and nostalgia. Using a semi-abstract approach, Arlyn de Jesus creates a series of social commentaries through whimsical mindscapes about living in a hyper-connected world.


WHERE:       That Spare Room @ The Fabulous Baker Boy, 70 River Valley Road #01-15, S 179037

MRT:            Fort Canning

WHEN:        August 3, 11am-5pm (Fri);
                    August 4, 11am-9pm (Sat);
                    August 5, 11am-5pm (Sun)



Artscape Exhibition, 1-3 Dec @ SOTA

Participating in Artscape 1st edition with my fellow artists at the studio, it's gonna be fun with some over 50 artists at SOTA and over 300 artworks.   

The common thread of my paintings this round is travel. Travel in time, travel in whimsical dreams, travel to foreign lands.. wherever my brushstrokes take me.. 

"Yesteryear", a juxtaposition of the present Capitol Theatre morphing into the charming Capitol Cinema of old,

"Paper Planes", a little girl's whimsical flight of fancy at Changi airport, 

"Lanterns" and "Marina Lights", abstract depictions of the red lanterns and night lights that thread the magic at Chinatown and Marina Bay,

"Cape of Hope", "Icelandic Houses" and "Brilliance", faraway dreams of fond places remembered.. Capetown (South Africa) at dusk, Reykjavik (Iceland) in winter, and Mont Tremblant (Canada) woods in autumn.  

Sneak previous of the first painting here, visit the exhibition to see the rest :)

Date: 1 ~ 3 Dec 2017, 12pm-10pm
Venue: SOTA Art Gallery
1 Zubir Said Drive, Level 2, Singapore 227968

Tel: 8192 4122 
Website: www.artscapesg.com
MRT: Dhoby Ghaut, Exit B


November Charity Sale

Yep. It's that time of the year for my annual christmas "pilgrimage" since I started selling art. The world has gone from posting physical snail mail greeting cards to come full circle where everything is ordered at the click of a button, which keeps deliverymen busy as ever whilst many a brick and mortar store is left biting the dust. Or is there a turnaround yet?  

Well, I am not laying my bets. Meanwhile I am reminded of my old Pigeon Symphony painting, the first one sold, peaceful as ever watching the world, and flowing waters, go by endlessly in time. No matter what the mad mad world turns into, we still need the comforting solace of our fellow compatriots. 

This year, I am jumping on the free shipping wagon for paintings and art prints. 50% of my sales proceeds for November will go to charitable causes, which for a personal reason, will be focussed on the elderly needs in my country as the social netting is sadly lacking. 

My online shops: 
http://yen.artfire.com - use code: FREESHIP4U

Appreciate the support & merry shopping, I mean clicking ;p

PostScript: MANY THANKS to all who purchased my art items in November. Donations totalling S$600 (approx US$445) have been made to elderly causes, Ang Mo Kio - Thye Hua Kwan Hospital, Home Nursing Foundation & Thong Chai Institue of Medical Research
Seasons greetings & be happy & healthy !!


Art by Yen

Ta-da!  Introducing my new revamped website: www.artbyyen.com 

Been tardy about blogging since I discover the insta-joy of instagram, and yes, been too busy painting my heart out, no kidding ;p

Okay no more excuses, I am back after six months, oops..  and wonder where I should begin.  My art journey in the past half year has been one of experimentation, not of the wild abandon variety, but trying out new things that I have not had the time to do before, and painting things (even cliche ones!) I have wanted to do at some time but never found the time.  In other words, I was having way too much fun ;p

Revamping my website has given me the chance to contemplate and to draw a thread to it all.. namely, abstraction and more precisely, its no-boundaries anything-goes methods which help me to hone my original style.  I have learnt that the brush and knife are not the only ways to paint, in fact, it is the tool I used least in my recent work. So I veered from abstraction methods of thick layering, sponging, collage, using objects, fingers, you name it, from impressionism to abstraction and back. Including some artwork here that I personally like, whether they came about accidentally or not ;p  After all, abstraction is not knowing where I'd land which is what makes the process so exciting :) My art journey is getting more fun by the day..

Icelandic Houses I, 10"x12"
Starry, 12"x12"
From Prague with Love, 18"x18"
Brilliance, 12"x12"
Cape of Hope, 20"x24"
Sail to the Moon, 18"x18"

Purchase at: yen.artfire.com


Icelandic Series

After a hiatus from travel oil art, I came back to one of my favourite nature subject, Iceland.

I wanted to paint clouds and the fascinating ever-changing skies from my 2012 trip immediately came to mind. There was material a-plenty from my memories and photographs of the land of fire and ice, which is an abstract art unto itself.. 

So this little paintings series was born, painted impasto as I got re-acquainted with my favourite oil medium, happy and relaxed as can be :)

Finally when I've done enough pieces that I am satisfied with, it dawned that put together, they form an inspirational whole that brightens up my room. And day :) With this, the name of each piece was born. May the paintings bring peace and good tidings to all beholders of this tribute to Icelandic nature.

Titles:  Icelandic 1 to 9 ~ Infinite, Hope, Awe, Unbending, Flow, Haven, Oneness, Awakening, Serene (O132-O140) 
Description: Icelandic series depicting the beautiful elements of nature, clouds, mountains, waterfalls, surreal earth, and homes, in harmonious blend in the land of fire and ice. 2016. 
Medium: Oil on Ready-to-Hang Canvas. 
Dimensions:  14" x 10" each.

Purchase at: 

"Icelandic 7 ~ Oneness", "Icelandic 9 ~ Serene" are Sold.


Crazy year but it's Christmas..

Yes around the corner. Thank goodness for annual holidays that remind us there is still good and relative peace (no world wars) to be thankful for. Being able to say good things to others.. even a simple holiday greeting.. to be kind to one another (no putting downs).. these little gestures are fast going the way of the dodo if you believe the world of internet advancedness where civility to fellow human beings is in short thrift.. 

Fortunately it isn't the real world. We are real human beings, not a facebook friend not a whatsapp messager. It is easy to mudsling, but it takes courage to praise, to bear tolerance to differing views, to show grace and kindness. I am a believer that having one good thought takes away the capacity to exhibit a negative one. 

So I am gonna do my part again, gratefully, for a drive to garner funds for charitable causes. In support of the World Vision Singapore Life Changing Gifts program which provides life-changing gifts to needy children in Asia developing countries.

50% of my sales proceeds for November will go to the gifts. And if, if there is more, to support the needs of the elderly in my own country as alas, we have a long way to go in this social respect. 

My paintings & photography shops: 

Whatever the world is becoming, may 2017 be a peaceful one, at least until the next christmas hols come along :) 

PostScript: SPECIAL THANKS to all who purchased my art items in November as well as from my Artist Charity Cum Moving Out Sale. Donations totalling S$628 (approx US$442) have been made to World Vision for 7 gifts of need for children in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as to elderly causes, Assisi Hospice and Kwong Wai Shui Hospital. A Merry X'mas to all :)


Whimsical Little Girl series

The last 2 pieces in my Untitled Series, completed after over a year's journey of 12 whimsical episodes with the central theme of looking at the world through the eyes of a child.  

I started painting the series when I became godma to my baby niece, taking a suggestion from a friend that I should paint from the heart. So it is only apt that my footnote piece is of the protagonist herself, and inspired by a recent real life episode of the little girl who is now 1 year old and, ahem, likes to do her own shopping ;p  To a child, a mall must seem like wonderland so it is that I made sure she gets plentiful colourful company, including a beloved care bear. 

Untitled 11 is a nostalgic ocean piece that got sold almost as soon as I posted it on facebook ;p I had meant to do this one for some time, having taken a break from the series to paint for another themed exhibition. It was inspired by a story my dad likes to tell, of how he first saw my mum, a little girl with 2 plaits playing balloon (pronounced "bear-loon" for hopscotch) at the beach. This must have been the beach at my grandma's place in Johore where they were both born. So the innocence, romance and idyllic freedom of a little girl skipping at sea theme was born.

Title:  Untitled 12 (A63) 
Description: Cute little girl whimsical impressionist painting, shopping in pink pastel colorful fantasy mall with pokemons, care bear, elephant and giraffe toys. True life portrayal of my 1 year old niece and god-daughter whose birth first moved me into starting this Untitled Series, so it was only apt that my penultimate work in the Series is of the protagonist who inspired them all :) 2016. 
Medium: Acrylic on Ready-to-Hang Canvas. 
Dimensions: 76 x 76cm.


Title:  Untitled 11 (A62) 
Description: Sweet little girl at beach landscape painting, skipping hopscotch with whimsical nostalgic feel, peaceful waves, turquoise ocean, blue skies and sea shells. A step into the past inspired by how my dad likes to recount when he first saw my mum, a little girl with 2 plaits and playing balloon on the beach. 2016. 
Medium: Acrylic on Ready-to-Hang Canvas. 
Dimensions: 76 x 76cm.



Joseph Isaac Schooling

Welcome home, Joseph Isaac Schooling. It is good to see you staying relaxed, good-natured and unfazed, all the brouhaha and attention notwithstanding. You certainly deserve the immense adulation and numerous accolades, and the greatest honour of course, if it can even match the historic moment that you touched that wall ahead of Michael Phelps, Chad Le Clos and Laslo Cseh, all amazingly reaching at the same time for the silver but that's another story. 

When you came in first in the heats, I wondered if you had peaked too soon. But your focus on winning was clear, not putting too much on the win. Even when you won the gold, you said it is not as if it is your 22nd or 23rd, showing the same humbleness and respect to your fellow swimmers, all greats in their own right on their day, especially your hero Michael Phelps who went on to win his 23rd. The spirit of comradeship amongst the medallists during the lap of honour was one of the most touching that I have witnessed on the sports arena which epitomises Olympics at its best. This is what true competition is about, the best for the sport above all.  Whether a baton is passed or not, only history will know but with this right spirit, may this be only the beginning. And let not that pressure cooker that is that great, ahem, oft unreasonable, Singapore Expectation ever get to you. 

Rejoice in your family time with your parents, who are heroes in their own right period. Enjoy your chai tow kueh for now. I know the feeling having just painted my away-from-home fried carrot cake cravings in 2 paintings currently exhibiting at Fullerton Hotel.  And this is what I was moved to paint on that historic day - of you breaking out in smiles of joy, and perhaps, relief, during a TV interview by the poolside soon after the triumph. It was an unforgettable expression which I hope I have done justice to. Well done, my compatriot.  

Title:  Jubilation ~ Joseph Isaac Schooling (A61) 
Description: Tribute to Joseph Isaac Schooling, winner of the 100m butterfly at the 2016 Olympics, attaining Singapore's first-ever Olympic gold medal and in record time. Inspired by the historic images of the triumphant 21-year-old on the podium, with Michael Phelps, Chad Le Clos and Laszlo Cseh tied for a silver, and painted on the same day 13 Aug 2016, from a tv interview of our homegrown boy breaking out in smiles of jubilation, and perhaps, relief. Well done, my compatriot.
Medium: Acrylic on Ready-to-Hang Canvas. 
Dimensions: 30 x 23cm.


Homesick Singaporean Series

Ask an overseas Singaporean what he or she misses most about home, and inevitably the answer is food. Indeed some are already missing it on short trips away, such is the national obsession that bonds us all. 

The Homesick Series is originally inspired by a personal experience of being away from home for a year of studies in London, with Homesick I featuring many of my favourite foods, especially fried carrot cake, my all-time favourite that also featured in Homesick II. I was staying in a hall that catered, ahem, food that doesn't quite meet the standards, or asian palate, of Singlish-speaking ones, even for a poor student. It was hard to get by without a night of jokes at what we had to ingest, and scrimping to save for the occasional visit to a chinese restaurant, and rarer still then, a xingzhou restaurant that charged a dear pound for a stick of satay. Even the humble maggi noodles, which had to be specially scoured from a trip to chinatown, tasted of home. And chilli, I have never missed it more for my entire life! But I am digressing.

When I was asked to paint on the theme of food, an intrinsic part of our culture, and very much the DNA of a true blue Singaporean, whether Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian or other race, the “hunger agony” of my London days came vividly to mind. As well as a comment from our very own PM on what he hears most from overseas Singaporeans about missing home. 

Underlying the pining lies the fabric that glues us all together over the years since independence, and became a given to generations like myself, growing up loving the sweetness of Malay food, the heavenly peranakan cuisine, and oh Indian curry prata.. the list is just endless. Just as it was perfectly natural to have playmates of multi races and fun learning how to write tamil 1-2-3 from a classmate. 

This Series is thus a tribute to our special trait, our unique yearnings, our rare fortune and blessing as Singaporeans to have peace and harmony amongst different races and ethnicities, a rarity these days. And to celebrate it all over our mutual love of food, whether yours or mine, we can't tell often and really don't care for the difference, because when it comes to eating, we are one :)

Titles:  Homesick III, I & II (A56, A54 & A55) 
Description: Homesick Series of the typical overseas Singaporean missing her or his favourite foods back home while in a foreign land, whether studying or travelling. Very much a part of our multi-racial culture, the love of our colourful local food is ingrained in our DNA and a national passion that binds us all. 2016. 
Medium: Acrylic on Ready-to-Hang Canvas. 
Dimensions: 76 x 76cm.

Exhibition: Sudah Makan? (Have you eaten?) Exhibition @ Fullerton Hotel, East Garden Foyer Gallery, 2-29 Aug 2016.
Purchase of paintings:  Please contact Baey Sock Hoon at baey@artstou.com.