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 the modern art movement was greatly influential in the late 20thcentury locally and the world at large, Chieu’s body of works are predominantly abstract in expression. In the work Kaleidoscope, he aspired to usher and commemorate the millennium year with a new medium. Employing brightly coloured glass fragments salvaged from broken glass bottles that were first arranged then fired, the result different melting points from the variety of materials resulted in abstract figurative and geometric forms that leaves room for free play and imagination. The gleaming and textural qualities of the glass fragments against the white tiles are one of his many successful experiments in manipulating unconventional materials in artmaking.