Constantly inspired by the human figure, Singaporean artist Ng Eng Teng is best known for his monumental sculptural works, which can be found in numerous public spaces around Singapore. Ng was trained in Western drawing and painting at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts under pioneer artists Chen Chong Swee, Georgette Chen, Chen Wen Hsi and Cheong Soo Pieng. Ng explored the possibilities of sculptural forms and incorporated them into his creative practice. With the encouragement from his teacher, Georgette Chen, Ng furthered his studies in sculptural art overseas in the 1960s. Upon his return to Singapore in 1966, he established a ceramic workshop and taught pottery in his home and studio. Ng passed away in 2001.
As a sculptor, Ng had been experimenting with ciment fondu as a material since the late 1950s, which was first introduced to him by a British sculptor. Due to its malleable and durable nature, it gradually became a material he favoured most. Ng likely created the relief portraits of Singapore’s pioneer artists to commemorate their tremendous contributions to nurturing Singapore’s visual art scene. These seminal figures also held a personal significance to Ng, as they had been pivotal in guiding his artistic practice.