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Resources > Collections > Artist Ho Ho Ying 何和应

Ho Ho Ying (1935 - 2022)

Ho Ho Ying was a seminal art critic and artist known for his avant-garde Chinese calligraphy and abstract expressionistic works. He was born in 1935 on Hainan Island and moved to Singapore in 1942. While studying at The Chinese High School, Ho learnt Chinese calligraphy, ink painting and Western painting from pioneer artists Chen Wen Hsi and Liu Kang. Ho then worked as a primary school art teacher before he enrolled in Nanyang University, Singapore, to study Chinese language and Literature. In 1996, he pursued graduate studies in art history and criticism at the China Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou.

In 1963, Ho participated in The First Modern Art Exhibition–the first exhibition to feature modern works of unprecedented significance in Singapore. In 1964, Ho co-founded the Modern Art Society Singapore with six other artists to advocate for art in Singapore to grow in new directions. With a strong belief in the need to revive critical discourse in contemporary art practices, Ho has written prolifically in Mandarin since the late 1950s. Under his pen name Zi Mu (子木), he wrote about the different schools of thought in art, the state of arts locally and works by artists and art groups. He was taught the aesthetics of Chinese ink painting and calligraphy and embraced his love for abstract expressionism. Consequently, he formed a distinct style by marrying the contemplative nature of traditional Chinese painting with the spontaneity of Western abstract expressionism. Over the years, Ho received numerous awards and accolades, including the Pingat APAD (APAD Award) by the Angkatan Pelukis Aneka Daya (Association of Artists of Various Resources) in 1975. He was conferred the Cultural Medallion in 2012.