Poh Siew Wah is an abstract expressionist artist known for his unique depictions of Southeast Asian sites in watercolour and oil paint. Throughout his artistic career, he has been influenced by modern Western art, such as the work of Cubist painters like Braque and Picasso. He is also an admirer of the Spanish painter Antoni Tapies.
In developing his abstract and expressionistic style of the late 1980s and 1990s, Poh held an exhibition in Germany in 1995 featuring several abstract pieces in bold colours and overlays. Like several of his works from this period, Answer from the Sea explores how we represent what we see in paintings. Gestures in the image are both technical and subconscious responses that are honed and developed by the artist over time. Here, Poh uses vivid and muted colours, creating both mass and subtle feelings.