Tay Bak Chiang

Tay Bak Chiang, born in 1973, graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore in 1995 and studied at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China, in 1997. He was awarded the First Prize in the Chinese Painting category in the 19th and 22nd United Overseas Bank Painting of the Year Competitions (2000 and 2003 respectively). In 2002 he received the Young Artist Award from the National Arts Council of Singapore.


Bak Chiang has always been inspired by nature. To him, nature is perfection, balance and harmony. He also believes his work should bear the imprint of his environment and reflect the spirit of contemporary times, even if it is rooted in Chinese ink painting. Hence, he often interprets anew nature themes familiar in Southeast Asia, such as heliconias, banana and palm trees, stones and lotus ponds.


Earlier in his practice, he experimented with deconstructing and reconfiguring nature motifs. More recently, he has attempted to move away from representational forms, abandoning motifs that may bear his feelings and points of view. He interprets lotus flowers as minimalist forms; stalks as thick, unembellished strokes; and stones as aloof, silent silhouettes, creating vistas that invite viewers to imagine and discover nature for themselves, just as nature intends for us to do.