By Tze Yang

At the end of June 2015 I asked PG if I could paint a portrait of him from life. It’s never easy to ask someone to sit for you. Most people would ask me “Why not simply paint from a photo”? So when it came to someone who understands the value of painting from life, I was grateful. The following weeks comprised of 3-4 hour sessions of painting, and every now and then, dinner at a nearby zichar shop. And naturally, we conversed thoroughly through these sessions and meals. No, we didn’t dive into deep existential, philosophical topics, but rather, like anyone else, gossiped, talked about our families and friends, talked about films and music, talked about Singapore’s art scene, talked about art-making. By the end of July I had completed the painting. On hindsight the value of making and time spent on this portrait was what triggered me to ask PG  a few months later if he was keen to work on a show together. A show that would culminate what our conversations were about; the things we felt about our own lives, the people around us, what art means to us, and what it means to be an artist. And so by the time PG had drunk up the bowl of um (rice gruel water) after a late Teochew porridge supper in January 2016 the decision to collaborate on an exhibition was made.

Oil on canvas
61 x 76.5cm
Artist Personal Collection




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