Johor-born Teo Kim Liong studied both Western paintings at NAFA and obtained an Honours degree in Physics from the University of Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s. With a career in various managerial positions in marketing and engineering, Teo embarked on full-time painting at the age of 56. His artistic works combine both the European practice of outdoor painting with the Nanyang sojourner’s pursuit of inspiration. From Singapore and the region to China and Western countries, Teo’s landscape repertoire is a diary of his practice and travels.
Mangroves are the last rural bastion of many modern Southeast Asian countries. They protect the coastal lines and wildlife resources hewn from the surrounding seas. The mangroves of Pasir Ris in Singapore are known for their magnificent landscape, barely touched by urban life. Teo’s idealised mangrove scene is verdant, filled with trees and understory shrubs, revealing nothing of the actual, sinewy muddy mangroves we are familiar with. His vibrant strokes populate the space, the oil unmuddied by skilful colour definition.