Born on Hainan Island in 1931, Aw Tee Hong was raised in Kelantan, Malaysia when his parents emigrated there. In Singapore, he later enrolled in and graduated from NAFA and pursued further art studies at the Central Academy of Fine Art and Craft in Beijing. His practice has occupied the breadth of diverse cultures and communities alone by his upbringing and education. The quality of his artmaking resides in a strong academic rigour, but also a playful intent to experiment and involve spontaneity in the range of mediums and both visual and tactile experiences. Known to work in charcoal, pastels, oil and acrylic as well as Chinese ink, Aw has also created works in papier mache, bronze and ceramic.
Aw parlayed an Impressionist-style rendering of the mighty Irrawaddy that flows right down the length of the country towards the delta and the Andaman Ocean. The mauve-like overtones hint at sunrise or sunset, creating a nostalgic perfume almost of this natural beauty. A river is a vital bloodline to a country for transportation and resources. In this tiny landscape, Aw conveyed the jewel-like sensibility using layers of acrylic and luminescent light to mime the soul of the waterway.