Singapore born artist Chieu Shuey Fook is recognised for his inventiveness in his artistic vision and adept use of unconventional materials in his art making; a result of decades of experiments and experience working in a variety of materials in both commercial and artistic projects. Over the years he discovered and created methods that allowed him to consistently achieve textures, colour and forms across the material he works in, creating expressive surfaces that are distinctively his own. Chieu graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1953 with a Diploma in Western Painting, and was deeply influenced by his teacher, pioneer artist Cheong Soo Pieng. His prolific career and practice reflect his originality and desire to refresh traditions with a modern outlook. Chieu’s oeuvre consists of batik, zinc etchings, enamels and glass, metal reliefs, large-scale murals and compositions.
Belonging to a generation when modern art movement was greatly influential in the late 20th century locally and the world at large, Chieu’s body of works are predominantly abstract in expression. Since the 1960s, Chieu was at the forefront in the Singapore batik scene developing unique modern compositions. The artist experimented with sawdust and paper to create original textural qualities which was employed in Breakthrough. His broad spectrum of practice specifically in the areas of modern batik works, metal reliefs and murals reveal the artist’s lifelong creative endeavor and unusual practice that has contributed to Singapore’s art landscape.