Choy Moo Kheong

Choy Moo Kheong's paintings need warm light to bring out the underlying colours which lend their intensity. The forest scenes of his paintings generally consist of 10 to 15 layers of dilute colours where he lays the various shades and tones. It is the technique of grazing without the brushing of layers. They are laid (not brushed) haphazardly in broken layers. This is what brings the variation of tones and colours through different times of the day. A big magnifying glass will show clearly those layered broken colours. It is a different view altogether seemingly without order, yet coming together when viewed as a whole.

An outstanding self-taught artist, Moo Kheong returned to his motherland, Singapore, after several years abroad in pursuance of a sense of purpose and direction in life. He has since successfully made it on the international art scene, albeit by an unusual route.

He is convinced that as an artist, "You must protect your individualism or you will get lost."

"After my last exhibition in 1993, I lost interest in a further solo exhibition. Somehow I was no more comfortable with those 15 minutes of fame. With the passing of the years, my interest in the happening in the art world has waned. In a certain way, I am a recluse in the art world being that I'm making my living as an artist.

As a social beings, we are always identified or known by the things we do for a living. So in the social scheme of definition, I am defined as an artist, though I have stopped acting or thinking as one now. I like the solitude of anonymity and the freedom that comes with it. As an artist, I am always called upon to recount my life within the context of an artist and its influences. It is meaningless and tiring if one has to repeat oneself constantly. I've felt disconnected from the self-story I said. So I must prefer people to focus on my art rather than my person. Truly my life experiences are too wide, solitary and disconnected from my person as an artist. So I've lost the thread of repeating myself, who I am as an artist in order that people could know and analyse me in parallel to my works. To me, it is a fallacy and folly thing to do. The closest thing I can say to any truth is that I paint for a living and am content with what I am doing.

I have never believed in the fragile sensitive personality of an artist and the constant need to be appreciated by the world."

Moo Kheong is adamant that "every artist must have passion; to create without passion is meaningless." He explains, "We live in a world of perceptions which govern the way we see things and give us a sense of the reality of the shapes, forms and colours around us. Artists interpret and translate these elements into their version of reality." His personal satisfaction comes from producing art which can never be mistaken for anything other than a work by Choy Moo Kheong.

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