Almost Forgotten Exhibition
Eagle’s Eye Art Gallery presents an exciting new body of artwork by talented Singapore artist, Patrick Teo at “The Elite Painters 2015 – Almost Forgotten” art Exhibition. This series of artworks will feature the nostalgic Singapore Scenes in the 50s and 60s. The exhibition will be held at Capitol Piazza in June 2015.
Patrick Teo may be considered a revolutionary artist who is able to illustrate traditional subjects in a novel way, his ability to reinvent the cooliemen, samsui Women, men and women from the 50s and 60s in an unique contemporary style; is testament of his visualisation and artistic skills.
Teo deploys the linear technique engulfed in expressionistic hues. The colours are subtle, he reflect the fading precious memories of the old Singapore. He eschews the conventions of rendering nostalgic themed subjects and reinvents them in the expressionistic style. Conventions of expressionism include distortion, exaggeration, bold and vivid colours.
In the painting “Queuing for water” villagers of different races, namely, Malay, Chinese and Indians, take turns to collect water in their neighbourhood. The faces and gestures of the characters reveal their idiosyncrasies. The effect is dramatic and hilarious, making this painting an interesting social narrative. Having lived in a tumultuous era of Singapore history and survive the Second World War, Teo has a radically different perspective of life. He chooses to look inwards to discover a form of “self-expression” that offered him an individual voice in a world he once felt hostile and insecure about. By dramatizing his paintings, his approach to art-making reflects his unique personal vision that explores the inner landscape of the soul.
From the happy faces of the children, the candyman and joyful samsui women, it is evident that Teo chooses to celebrate life. What emerges clearly from the collective artistic expression in this exhibition is Teo’s testimony of the trials and triumphs of the tenacious human spirit.
In “Candyman”, the sight of the candy seller raising his stick and twirling the sticky candy around it, sets the children’s hearts soaring and faces beaming in anticipation of their delicious treat. Despite their poverty and desperate circumstances, they enjoy moments of happiness and hope.
“It was the worst of times, it was the best of times.” – Charles Dickens: “Hard Times”
This seemingly contradictory and ambivalent proclamation best characterises Teo’s paintings.
The samsui women toiled thousands of miles away from their homeland during the 1950s in search of construction and industrial jobs. Teo chooses to illustrate the iconic samsui women of early Singapore in a light-hearted style, while imbuing them with the values of sharing, comradeship, hard work and resilience. Their faces are seen smiling in every painting in spite of their back-breaking labour.
Teo sees the samsui woman as an exemplary social figure who triumphs against all odds. The manifestation of the human spirit is most acute under the harshest and trying social circumstances.
According to the director of Eagle’s Eye Art Gallery, Joy Loh, “The future of Patrick Teo’s shows great promise. The compelling visuals in his paintings have tremendous power. With each new painting that he creates, he proves to be an artistic genius”.