Eng Joo Heng is a Singaporean printmaker who travelled to Paris to learn more about printmaking at Stanley William Hayter’s famous Atelier 17. British-born Hayter was a former chemist responsible for revolutionising printmaking techniques that supported multi-colour prints and new collaborative processes. As a lecturer in printmaking at NAFA between 1991 and 2003, Eng nurtured his passion for making prints in innovative ways and taught numerous art students.
Rambutan is this first pull of 5 complete prints that reflects how the reduction linocut technique is performed for multicolour block printing. Keeping the textures simple, Eng creates varying patterns using the same colours, such as the green and yellow in the grass and the bare green and yellow strikes found on the trunk. In this print, Eng depicts the rambutan tree, an evergreen native to the Nusantara region and commonly found in Southeast Asia. Eng renders the child’s body in a way that almost mimics the arch of the tree, celebrating this harmonious pairing and cheerful atmosphere. Through his careful placement of subjects, the artist evokes a vital sense of movement within the composition.