Yeo Siak Goon 杨昔银 was born in 1957, Malaysia, and presently lives and works in Singapore. His works have featured in innumerable art exhibitions both locally and overseas, and he has represented Singapore in New York, France, the Netherlands, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and China. He won the Dr Tan Tze Chor Art Award from the Singapore Art Society (1984, 1986, 2011), was highly commended in the Australian Art Competition (1985) and IBM Singapore Art Award (1987), and won first prize in the Figurative Category of the UOB Painting of the Year competition (1990). Siak Goon’s works have also been collected by the National Museum Art Gallery, United Overseas Bank and International Enterprise Singapore among others. He has held four solo exhibitions in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2018.
His search for the tropical in Southeast Asia was deliberate and self-reflexive, spurred by his trip to New York in 1989 that left an indelible mark on him for the need to find an imagery derived from his own regional cultural contexts. The tropical manifests in his use of bold bright colors, slow tempo of time, and spatial relations between subjects and objects mediated by nature. Being one with the natural world brings forth a sensibility shaped by a lived experience of a tropical environment that has shaped the cultures and aesthetics of this region through its climate.
Recently, Yeo has begun to look into history to uncover different ways in which the past is constantly reinterpreted by the present. He seeks new sources such as archival materials including bridge designs of Cavanagh Bridge, and photographs from family albums to recover and reinterpret history.
The ambiguity and unfinished aesthetics of Yeo’s paintings that bring the easily overlooked into view, provides a latitude of readings by the viewer that enables his works to claim new perspectives in how we perceive our world.