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b. 1951, Singapore

Teng Nee Cheong Biography

Born and based in Singapore, the art of Teng Nee Cheong is known for its colour and exotica. The artist admits to being influenced by Asian mural paintings and Persian miniatures, especially the stylization of botanic.

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Teng’s bright colours are specifically chosen and juxtaposed for maximum effect. They are more than a mere means to an end. “My colours are getting not only more intense, but darker and heavier.” He observes that “during a full moon, the shadows of trees and plants take on a new and very different character .”
Unusual compositional elements accentuate the desired aesthetic. For example, a vase barely fits into the top of a painting in order to fully show the traditional cloth that lies underneath. Objects appear to defy gravity. The focus in his paintings thus turns towards structure and colour.

The exuberance of Teng’s paintings seems to be so different from the soft-spoken and rather shy artist that he is “Someone once commented that my paintings are so happy. Although the implication is that I did not seem to be a happy person,” he remembers. ‘ I don’t want to paint sad things , at least not for now.” 

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