Tang Kok Soo approaches watercolour with an emphasis on individual expression and creativity rather than the more traditional approach of in-situ nature study. His works are primarily urban scenes, but while the painting may pay passing tribute to an actual scene, much of the work is created as a result of Tang’s obsession with clean, harmonious composition. Whether he is painting a village, a small town scene or old shop-houses in the shadow of modern high-rise, his houses and buildings are carefully planned and constructed to merge seamlessly with each other, yet retain an individual character.
Tang has an instinctive feel for colour – blending different colours and tones in each painting to create a distinctive mood and atmosphere. His use of colours demonstrates once more the intense focus and control Tang brings to his paintings; bright colours appear throughout his paintings, along with his need to contain and keep the colours in check.
Tang Kok Soo’s award-winning series at the 2017 UOB Painting of the Year competition is a study of harmony, fortitude and the virtue of patience. A former engineer who made the momentous move to become a full-time artist in 2013, his new series showcases his love of geometric form and the arrangement of proportions in linear composition. Works such as Cattle Stockmen reflect on the empathy of cattlemen for their charges, and by extension, how kindness and patience is fundamental to the progress of society. This series continues Tang’s intense personal commitment to bringing a philosophical discourse to his art.
Born in 1975, Johor, Malaysia. Full time fine artist based in Singapore.
Member of Singapore Watercolour Society (SWS)
In his earlier watercolor series, there is a quality of innocence through his myriad of bright, cheery colors in the realms of impressions and recollections. They remind us of our fond childhood memories and the familiar places we have been. He injects his paintings with a sense of playfulness and humor, returning us to a child-like state of mind.
In his later works of the block series, there is an evident sense of growth and development as an artist in his paintings. A departure from his original style, his color palette is darker and more intense, his lines are bolder and stronger and there is a distinct personality in the creation of his block series. It is in this series he painted “Elephants Crossing the River” which won him the 2016 Nov UOB (Singapore) Gold Award in the Established Artist Category.
2016 - Gold award winner of the "2016 UOB Painting of the Year Award"
Established Artist Category - work titled "Elephants Crossing the Water"
Medium – Mixed Medium on paper
2018 - Affordable Art Fair Singapore – White Space Art Asia
2017 - Affordable Art Fair Singapore – White Space Art Asia
2017- Solo Exhibition Tang and Tranquility – UOB Art Gallery
2016 - Singapore Water Colour Society Annual show
2015 - Life Begins – group exhibition – ION Art Gallery by White Space Art Asia and Heng
2015 - Affordable Art Fair Singapore – White Space Art Asia
2014 - Singapore Water Colour Society Annual show
Tang abides by an ascetic lifestyle in his pursuit of being an accomplished artist. He believes in aligning his personal life with his artistic career so that he can fully express his creative visions. To the artist, paintings are often a reflection of one’s inner mind and moral character.
As an accomplished self-taught painter, Tang is unaffected by theories, rules of compositions and art traditions. There is a raw intensity and rare beauty to his paintings as they represent a refusal to conform to artistic conventions.
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