Ong Kim Seng (1945 - )
Born in 1945 in Singapore, Ong Kim Seng is an internationally acclaimed watercolourist whose works have graced the collections of several museums and art galleries as well as the residences of foreign dignitaries, such as Queen Elizabeth II of England. Largely self-taught, Ong gained his footing by joining a painting group (later known as the Sunday Group) and taking lessons at the Equator Art Society. Ong participated in his first group show at Meyer Gallery in 1974 and subsequently won first prize in an art competition held by the Port of Singapore Authority in the same year. By 1985, Ong decided to pursue art making full-time.
In 1990, Ong became the first Asian outside the United States to be conferred a membership with the prestigious American Watercolour Society and received the society’s esteemed Dolphin Fellowship in 2000. His energetic forays have led to new ways of executing watercolour to effectively and emotively capture any landscape and place's scenic and atmospheric conditions. Though primarily known for his impressive watercolours, his outdoor studies also include oil sketches illustrating the rich diversity of people and places in Bali and Nepal. In 1990, Lim was conferred the Cultural Medallion and continued to win numerous accolades. These include his tenure as a member of the Board of Directors of the World Watercolor Society in San Diego in 1995, his position as Honorary President of the Singapore Watercolour Society and the Life Fellow of the Centre of the Arts at the National University of Singapore. Ong was also awarded the Bintang Bakti Masyarakat (Public Service Star) from the Singapore government in 2004 and conferred the Master of ASEAN Watercolourist title at the World Watermedia Exposition, Thailand, in 2014.