He has participated in group and solo exhibitions at Singapore and in the United States, China, United Kingdom, Japan , Australia, Belgium, Federal Republic Of Germany, France, Middle East, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Asean countries.
He has won six awards from the AMERICAN WATERCOLOR SOCIETY; the Paul B. Remmy Memorial Award in 1983, the Lucy B. Moore Award in 1988, the Clara Stroud Memorial Award in 1989 and the Barse Miller Memorial Award in 1992, Winsor & Newton Award in 2000 and the Ida Wells Memorial Award in 2001. He has been an active member of the AMERICAN WATERCOLOR SOCIETY since 1990 and was the first Asian outside the U.S.A. to be awarded membership. After having won five of its awards, Kim Seng was made a Dolphin Fellow of the AWS in 2000.
In 1999, he was awarded the Cultural Medallion for visual arts by the Ministry Of Information and the Arts, Singapore. He was confered as Dolphin Fellowship in 2000. He won the Excellence for Singapore Award presented by the SINGAPORE TOTALISATOR BOARD 2000. He was also awarded the Singapore Internationale by the SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION in 2001. His most recent award is the 2001 Arts Supporter Award presented by the NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL.
Kim Seng is a signature member of the AMERICAN NATIONAL WATERCOLOR SOCIETY and has had work selected for the NWS’s exhibition in California.
He was President of the SINGAPORE WATERCOLOR SOCIETY from 1991 to 2001 when he became Honorary President, in which that capacity, he interacts with other watercolor organizations in the other parts of the world.
An ardent trekker, Kim Seng has visited Tianshan region of Sinkiang in China, the Nepal Himalaya and the Tibetan Plateau many times to paint and to trek.
His collectors include Queen Elizabeth II of England, the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic Of China, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, President of the Republic of Korea, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, the President of the Republic of the Philippines; the Prime Minister of Japan, the Prime Minister of India; the Governer of Hokkaido; Singapore Arts Museum; Singapore, Maritime Museum, , the Agung Rai Museum and Neka Museum in Bali, Indonesia ; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters, Foreign Missions and Embassies of the Republic of Singapore.
In 1993 his work, ‘Bhaktaphur’ was the first Singapore watercolour painting to be auctioned by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong. In March 1994, his work, ‘Bali’ was auctioned by Christie’s in Singapore. His works are now auctioned annually in Singapore and in the region.
Ong Kim Seng was the Organizing Chairman of ASIAN WATERCOLORS 97 SINGAPORE, the first international watercolor exhibition to be held in Singapore. He was also the vice-chairman of SINGAPORE ART 97. He has been an Art Advisor to the NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL since 1998 and is a life Fellow of the National University of Singapore’s Centre of the Arts.
Ong Kim Seng’s works have appeared in eight books by publishers in America and China. He was Founding Editor-South East Asia for International Artist and an article on his works appeared in the first issue of the magazine in June 1998.
In September 2010, Galerie Belvedere presented a landmark exhibition of 70 works by Ong Kim Seng at The Arts House.
My Style, My Inspiration” by Ong Kim Seng
WORLD acclaimed watercolorist, Ong Kim Seng recently shared his personal experiences on watercolor art with 30 Malaysian art collectors in Kuala Lumpur.
The two-hour evening talk entitled “My Style, My Inspiration” was held at the ElleSix art gallery in Bukit Damansara. It was also in conjunction with “The Art Of Ong Kim Seng” which is his first solo exhibition in Malaysia. The event was aimed at promoting and sharing of watercolor art through the Singapore artist’s 30 years of involvement in watercolor painting.
Among the topics covered by Ong was the value and preservation of watercolor art pieces besides his personal journeys and travels around the world.
During the course of the talk, Ong described watercolor art as having a strong and ardent following in Malaysia.
He also gave some insights on his international exposure in addition to giving tips on watercolor techniques such as colour use, shading and tones.
The 60-year-old artist when met, said that the talk was actually an informal event where he could get together with Malaysian watercolor collectors to share views and topics of interest in the subject.
“I’m very happy that it turned out to be a friendly meeting where various topics concerning watercolor art was discussed,” he said, adding that the event was very inspirational for him.
Ong said that despite being a Singaporean artist, he was pleased to learn that many Malaysians have also acknowledged and appreciated his work.
“I guess from this, I can gather that art has no boundaries, he said.