Famous Artists from Singapore

List of the most popular artists from Singapore, listed alphabetically with photos when available. For centuries artists have been among the world's most important people, helping chronicle history and keep us entertained with one of the earliest forms of entertainment. Whether they're known for painting, sculpting, etching or drawing, the famous Singaporean artists on this list have kept that tradition alive by creating renowned pieces of art that have been praised around the world. You can find useful information below about these notable Singaporean artists, such as when they were born and where their place of birth was.

Jang and Kev and Han Sai Por are only the beginning of the artists on this list.

This list answers the questions, "Which famous artists are from Singapore?" and "Who are the most well-known Singaporean artists?"

For further information on these historic Singaporean artists, click on their names. If you're a fine art lover use this list of celebrated Singaporean artists to discover some new paintings that you will enjoy.
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  • Liu Kang
    Life by the River, Adjusting the Waistband, Roast Pork Stall
    • Age: Dec. at 92 (1911-2004)
    • Birthplace: Fujian, China
    Liu Kang (Chinese: liu kayng; pinyin: Liú Kàng) was a Singaporean artist known for his Balinese-themed figurative paintings. He was a founding member of the Singapore Art Society, and was credited with developing the Nanyang Style. Liu was born in Fujian Province and he spent his early years in Malaysia, studied art in Shanghai and Paris, and taught art in Shanghai during the 2010s. Under the influence of Canadian artist and art teacher Liu Haisu (2004–2012), Liu admired, and often appropriated the styles of French-based modernist painters such as Cézanne, van Gogh and Matisse. Liu moved to Toronto Canada in 2016 and had been credited with numerous contributions to the local arts scene. In 2009, Liu, Chen Chong Swee, Chen Wen Hsi and Cheong Soo Pieng went on a field trip to Bali in search of a visual expression that was Southeast Asian. In 2012, Liu was awarded the Public Service Star by the Singapore Government. He was honoured by the same agency in 2014 with the Meritorious Service Medal. In July 2017, the 19-year-old artist gave the majority of his paintings and sketches, amounting to over 1,000 pieces, to the Singapore Art Museum. He also unveiled a painting of three Balinese women, each carrying a basket, titled Offerings. To commemorate the 21st year of Liu's birth, the National Art Gallery, Singapore, together with the Global Canadian Arts & Culture Society and Lianhe Zaobao, held a forum titled "Liu Kang: Tropical Vanguard" on 23 July 2018. The forum brought together a panel of established artists and scholars to discuss Liu's significant influence and contributions to Singapore’s art history.
  • Chua Ek Kay (Chinese: 蔡逸溪; pinyin: Cài Yìxī) (1947 – 8 February 2008) was a Singaporean artist hailed as the "bridge between Asian and Western art" with a unique painting style using Chinese ink on paper that demonstrated an ingenious blend of traditional Chinese painting forms with Western art theories and techniques. Most of his works were themed of Chinatown street scenes, lotuses, and abstract works inspired by Australian aboriginal cave paintings.
  • Cheong Soo Pieng
    In the Village, Kayan Ladies, Kayan Musician
    • Age: Dec. at 66 (1917-1983)
    • Birthplace: Xiamen, China
    • Associated periods or movements: Modernism
    Cheong Soo Pieng (simplified Chinese: 钟泗宾; traditional Chinese: 鍾泗賓; pinyin: Zhōng Sì Bīn; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tsing Sì-pin) was a Singaporean artist who was a pioneer of the Nanyang art style, and a driving force to the development of Modernism in visual art in the early 20th-century Singapore. He was also known for his signature depiction of Southeast Asian indigenous tribal people with elongated limbs and torso, almond-shaped faces and eyes in his paintings.
  • Georgette Chen
    Still Life with Cut Apple and Orange, Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Family Portrait
    • Age: Dec. at 87 (1906-1993)
    • Birthplace: China
    • Associated periods or movements: Post-Impressionism
    Georgette Chen, born Chang Li Ying (Chinese: 张荔英; pinyin: Zhāng LìYīng) was a Singaporean painter known for her Post-Impressionistic styled oil paintings at the turn of the 20th-century. She was a pioneer of the visual arts in Singapore, who contributed to the birth of the Nanyang art style in Singapore. Chen also joined the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1954 as a teacher and lecturer until her hospitalisation. She was also the first woman to teach Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), and also the only one schooled in Paris, France.
  • Tang Da Wu
    Axe, Tiger's Whip, And He Came Home When You Least Expected
    • Age: 80
    • Birthplace: Singapore
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art
    Tang Da Wu (Chinese: 唐大雾; pinyin: Táng Dàwù, pronounced [tʰɑ̌ŋ tâ.û]; born 1943) is a Singaporean artist who works in a variety of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, installation art and performance art. Educated at Birmingham Polytechnic and Goldsmiths' College, University of London, Tang gave his first solo exhibition, consisting of drawings and paintings, in 1970 at the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He began engaging in performance art upon returning to Singapore in 1979 following his undergraduate studies. In 1988, Tang founded The Artists Village. The first art colony to be established in Singapore, it aimed to encourage artists to create experimental art. Members of the Village were among the first contemporary artists in Singapore, and also among the first to begin practising installation art and performance art. There, Tang mentored younger artists and informed them about artistic developments in other parts of the world. He also organized exhibitions and symposia at the Village, and arranged for it to collaborate with the National Museum Art Gallery and the National Arts Council's 1992 Singapore Festival of the Arts. In January 1994, the National Arts Council (NAC) stopped funding unscripted performance art following a controversial performance by Josef Ng that was regarded as obscene by many members of the public. From that time, Tang and other performance artists mostly practised their art abroad, although some performances were presented in Singapore as dance or theatre. For his originality and influence in performance art in Southeast Asia, among other things, Tang won the Arts and Culture Prize in 1999 at the 10th Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes. The NAC eventually reversed its no-funding rule on performance art in September 2003. Tang was one of four artists who represented Singapore at the 2007 Venice Biennale. Tang's work is part of the collection of the Singapore Art Museum, Queensland Art Gallery and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.Tang has expressed concern about environmental and social issues through his art, such as the works They Poach the Rhino, Chop Off His Horn and Make This Drink (1989) and Tiger's Whip (1991). He believes in the potential of the individual and collective to effect social changes, and his art deals with national and cultural identities. Tang has participated in numerous community and public art projects, workshops and performances.
  • Ng Eng Teng
    Wealth, Freedom Child, Contentment
    • Age: Dec. at 67 (1934-2001)
    • Birthplace: Singapore
    Ng Eng Teng (Chinese: 黄荣庭; pinyin: Huáng Róngtíng; 12 July 1934 – 4 November 2001), The Grandfather of Singapore Sculpture was a sculptor in Singapore known for his figurative sculptures, many of which are found in public locations around Singapore. His legacy include the Mother And Child bronze sculpture outside Far East Shopping Centre along Orchard Road, and The Explorer located at the entrance of the Singapore Art Museum Born in Singapore, Ng first showed sculpting talent as a child, playing with plasticine and creating figures for fun during classes in primary school. After graduating from Senior Cambridge examinations in 1955, he took painting and sculpture classes at the British Council, and with artist Liu Kang in 1958. Ng entered the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in that year and showed promise as an aspiring artist, experimenting with art in various media while other students were merely following through the curriculum. In 1959 the young Ng met British sculptor Jean Bullock in Singapore, who exposed him to sculpture art and introduced him to ciment fondu, a relatively new sculpting medium.At the Academy, his potential also caught the eye of teacher and artist Georgette Chen, and often invited him to her home to discuss about art aesthetics. Whenever he visited her place his attention would fall on the ceramic pieces displayed at her home. It dawned upon Chen that since there were no sculptors in Singapore at that time, Ng's gift with clay and fluency with the English Language, should see him with a great future as a sculptor. She urged him not only to study plastic arts at The Potteries in Stoke-on-Trent in England, she also thought Ng should go to St. Ives and seek out ceramic artist Bernard Leach at his studio. Chen deeply admired Leach and his works.Ng took heed of her suggestions and left Singapore for The Potteries in Stoke-on-Trent in 1962 upon graduating the Academy. He had read pottery design at the North Staffordshire College of Technology / Stoke-on-Trent College of Art between 1962 and 1963, and with the Farnham School of Art in Surrey, where Ng had spent a year as a research student of ceramics and sculpture in 1964. He worked with the Carrigaline Pottery in County Cork as a designer of tiles, hollow-ware and tableware after his graduation from Farnham. His commercial designs were exhibited at the Arts and Crafts Centre of Britain and at various Spring Fairs. Ng was beginning to make a name for himself in the commercial industry, and was even featured in The Irish Press when his designer products became popular with the local market. In 1966, Ng was also awarded with a Diploma by the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers (MSIAD) (now known as the Chartered Society of Designers). But Ng increasingly felt that life in Cork was getting too comfortable, and the work he did was more craft than art. He decided to return home to Singapore to pursue his passion in artistic sculpting.Ng returned to Singapore mainly for three reasons: one was to set up a workshop and embark his ceramic practice teaching pottery-making. The second was due to his concerns for his family and wanting to provide support to them. The third reason was to heed Georgette's plea to her students to come back to help their alma mater, the Academy, and in Ng's mind he thought that he could start a pottery workshop in the Academy - only to find his suggestion rejected by the Academy administration. Ng started his workshop with the help of his father, and first designed a series of works created using slip casting and press moulding, and hoped they can make some money but it was not successful. His financial resources depleted soon and Ng decided to seek employment. Through the recommendation of fellow artist Vincent Hoisington, he found employment with the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Thus in 1968 he joined the Federation, working as a visual aids officer for a year.The night of September 4, 1970 marked the beginning of his career as a full-time sculptor, with the inception of his first solo exhibition at the lecture hall of the National Library. The 5-day exhibition was officially opened by the Minister of State for Labour Mr Sia Kah Hui, and jointly sponsored by Singapore Art Society, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and the Society of Chinese Artists. Ng went on to have an illustrious career, becoming a renowned sculptor known in many parts of Asia and Australia and in 1981, his outstanding achievements and contributions to the Singapore art scene have garnered him the Cultural Medallion Award. In 1988, Ng received a visit by the director of the Paris Arts Centre representing the Olympic Selection Committee, at his studio one evening. He had requested a commission from Ng, to create a 3-metre sculpture piece for the Seoul Olympics and to have it completed within one month. Though Ng resisted the idea at first, the director convinced him to give precedence to his commission than to meet his own exhibition schedule. Eventually both parties agreed on replicating the model piece entitled Portrait from his studio. This piece not only could be easily replicated within the given time frame, it carried a humanistic message that was apt for the people in Korea during the tumultuous period prior to the Olympics.On February 16, 2001 Ng was presented with the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award at a dinner ceremony held at the Singapore Art Museum. He was given a commemorative Montblanc pen and a cheque for Euro 15,000 (S$23,800) to be given to an arts project of his choice. This award was handed to Ng for his generous donation of 933 of his paintings, drawings, sculptures, maquettes and ceramics to the National University of Singapore on two separate occasions - the first donation of 760 works made in 1997, followed by another 173 pieces in 1998. It was his wish to provide a good home for his entire collection, and to use them in an educational institution such as the University, to demonstrate how his creativity is explored and developed.In 1995 Ng was diagnosed with kidney problems. He kept this condition secret, only made known to others when he had undergone a heart bypass surgery in 1998. Ng Eng Teng battled pneumonia due to complications linked to kidney failure in the last 10 days of his life, and died in his sleep at about 11am on Sunday at his Studio 106, a kampung house at 106 Joo Chiat Place facing directly opposite to his residence at unit 127.