Born in 1937, Singaporean artist Ho Kah Leong is known for his en plein air paintings and Chinese calligraphy. Trained at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) for one and a half years in the mid-1950s, Ho explored with various mediums such as outdoor sketching, woodblock printing, photography and painting. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science Nanyang University in 1963, Ho continues to hone his skills and participates actively in the local art scene even when he was a teacher and politician. Serving as a NAFA’s principal from 1997 to 2003, Ho is passionate in working outdoor and painting on-site to capture the essence and life of a scene, which he believes can evoke emotional experience.
Ho documents one of the last standing Kampongs (villages) in Siglap in the 80s, situated in the east of Singapore whereby the community is made up of a larger proportion of Malay compared to the other races. Kampungs were traditional houses before Singapore’s urbanisation of concrete residential apartments and houses were built. Built with wooden structures and metal zinc rooftop, kampungs reflects rustic living of that time. To depict this, Ho carefully renders light reflected on the traditional house and its natural surroundings. It is a scene that touches the memories of the older generation, while it serves to enlighten the younger generation.