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Ong Kim Seng Will Never Retire from Painting

Falling in love with your job is easy, but staying in love with it is no easy feat. Hat tip to Ong Kim Seng for managing to do so for the past 30 years.

His artistic journey was far from smooth. Having lost his father at a young age, his mother was a pillar of support, but they did not see eye-to-eye with regard to his passion for art. Many a time, Ong had to paint on the sly, either at his friends’ homes or on newspapers. Despite the odds that were stacked against him, the self-taught artist stayed true to his unyielding passion and vision. To him, Art is a continuous journey. There may be pitfalls and times where you get stuck. It is up to one to choose a path and go along with it.”

Today, he is undeniably one of Singapore’s most prolific watercolourists. Accolades aside, he placed Singapore on the world map by being the only Asian artist residing outside of US to be admitted to the American Waterlour Society (‘AWS’).

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Watercolourist Ong Kim Seng has a new solo show in Malaysia

Veteran Singaporean artist Ong Kim Seng takes viewers around some of his favourite South-East Asian places in his latest exhibition in Kuala Lumpur.

One aspect of art is capturing moments, preserving the essence of a time forever, according to veteran Singaporean watercolour artist Ong Kim Seng.

Taking me around the gallery in Kuala Lumpur where he’s holding an exhibition, Ong pauses momentarily before a work from 2012, a row of shophouses in Singapore’s Little India, recalling how he had to sit on the opposite side of the road to capture the right angle.

“Many of these type of houses in Singapore now have been renovated in full. They’ve lost their feel of the past. These, however, still maintain their ambiance. You can still see them today,” Ong says.

“Some of the areas around us are slowly changing. So before they actually change, why not capture them?”

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