Hear From the Artist
ART IN TRANSIT
Learn about the art in our MRT stations
"I was asked to make the work last for 100 years. I gave LTA a 1000 year guarantee. It will be fine."
Teo Eng Seng
The Commuters, 2003
NE3 Outram Park
In the linkways of Outram Park, artist Teo Eng Seng created a thought-provoking work comprising wall reliefs of both human and man-made forms. Teo’s artwork is a series of 69 wall panels measuring 2 by 2 metre panels. Each panel is a reproduction moulded in concrete of the original clay panels created by the artist in his studio by hand. Because of this process, whereby his clay originals would be used to make a mould for the concrete, Teo was able to make his work into a large-scale three-dimensional relief, with real depth and a highly tactile quality. The artist worked in clay, after which rubber moulds of the works in clay were made before being transferred to concrete. Most of the work was done from October 2000 to July 2001, at a concrete factory, Poh Cheong Concrete Product, in Sungei Kadut. Working almost non-stop, the artist spent entire days astride a plank suspended over the clay, sculpting each individual panel by hand.
Watching commuters passing by the artwork on their way from one place to another, there is a strong sense that Teo’s work were made to exist alongside the station’s users. The artist deliberately left blank spaces between the images so as to leave more to the imagination. Such breathing spaces also feature in his larger body of works employing paper on canvas and paper sculptures. He said: “When a person walks from the first panel to the last, its like a piece of music with high notes, low notes, grand passages and quiet spaces. The melody varies, and so does the rhythm.”
Teo Eng Seng
b. 1938, Singapore
Teo Eng Seng is a Singaporean artist known for his invention of the medium of “paperdyesculp” - dyed papier maché shaped into artworks, though he also experiments with other mediums including oil painting and plastic waste, which allows him to create emotive resonance influenced by the environments he has lived in.
Teo has also delved into performance art and installation art to extend his body of works. In his early years as an artist in the 1960s and 1970s, Teo’s works were a form of social statement and his most important contributions to the scene span art education and his advisory role to various art institutions and national committees.
Teo's works have been exhibited widely in Singapore and overseas, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and he has won numerous awards throughout his career, including the Cultural Medallion in 1986.