Siew Hock Meng (1942 - )
Siew Hock Meng was born in 1942, Johor, Malaysia. He gained his art education in Singapore at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts before he stepped into the workforce, taking on different varied careers outside the art industry. Siew once worked as a rubber tapper in Malaysia, devoting his spare time to study philosophy and cultivated an interest in politics where he then, joined a labour party. In 1975, Siew returned to Singapore to run Grace Art Gallery, an art gallery owned by a businessman whom Siew had painted a portrait of while he was residing in Kemaman, Malaysia. While his involvement in politics as an activist would have subjected him to public exposure, Siew’s art, though highly regarded for its technical execution, is however, kept low profile. His reputation for his forte in portraiture gradually grew within the region, leading Siew to take on commissions that required him to travel to Taiwan and Indonesia for months. Painting a variety of subjects, including landscapes and the day-to-day life of ordinary people across different cultures within Asia, Siew expresses his observations and reflections on society through a pictorial language that is highly realist and nuanced in colours. While Siew dabbles in oils and acrylics, he is best known for his proficiency in pastels.