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Impact 0288: Connecting people in the community through paintings

Tze Yang · 9 December 2021
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Tze Yang, 27, is an artist who focuses primarily on painting. Today, he shares his journey as an artist in Singapore.

Hello, my name is Tze Yang and I’m a 27-year-old artist who primarily paints. I have loved art all my life, and decided to take the leap of faith to pursue it as a career during my NS and university days. Currently, I practise art full-time.

Through my paintings of unnoticed moments and corners of our everyday lives, I intend to share with everyone facets of our common human experiences. A pathway home, a plate of maggi goreng, a sunset sky – these are sights most of us can relate to regardless of our backgrounds. One does not need a PhD in art history to appreciate such moments, especially when captured with paint on canvas.

In 2016, I won the Silver Award at the UOB Painting of the Year competition for my work  titled “Ah Ma’s Kitchen”. The public response to the painting was overwhelming, with thousands of comments on Facebook from people who were touched when they saw their lives and memories portrayed in the painting. One stranger even used it as his Facebook cover image. I was very heartened to see that.

I held my fourth solo exhibition titled “Evening, Once More at the substation earlier in 2021. It is an exhibition centred around exploring the melancholy and tiredness of urbanites at dusk in a big city like Singapore. We saw almost a thousand visitors throughout the exhibition period despite COVID-19 restrictions, and I had many wonderful conversations with people who felt a lot for the works.

I cherish moments like these, when my art is able to move people from all walks of life, especially those who have never entered an art gallery or looked at art before. The power of art lies in its ability to bring us all closer together through our humanity despite our differences. This is what I strive for as an artist and human being.

“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.” 

– Chuck Close, American artist

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