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               Singapore Portrait Project

               "Super-Don" 152cm x 120cm, Oil, Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas

Don was the very first person to respond to my request for volunteers to be painted. He really embraced the whole concept that I was trying to achieve. He helped me understand the Singapore culture and introduced me to many of his friends and colleagues. This painting, although somewhat experimental, kick started me into portraiture and helped me to develope individual themes for each subject. The idea behind this potrait was to translate Don in a dynamic pose. It hopefully represents the strength commitment and disipline which is required in his profession. Don, being a personal trainer and fitness expert - I wanted to endorse this theme with collage elements which surrounded him. The sky in the background acts as a dramitic element to highten the strength of the pose.





"Butterfly" 120cm x 91cm, Oil on canvas
The portrait of this girl was a consequence of her being invited along to the photoshoot with Don. She kindly went through all the fitness moves with him. I was fortunate enough to photograph her as well. At the end when she was demonstrating some Thai Kick Boxing moves - I asked her to keep the gloves on and assume a pose she carried out earlier. The painting above represents the image I captured. I think of her being like a butterfly going through her own transformation from gentle to strong.





"The Translator"   120cm x 91cm, Oil, Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas
I was extremely fortunate to work with Monica on this particular portrait project. She was very keen to be involved and offered me a variety of themes to explore. We liked the idea of the multi culture mix in Singapore and I was keen to represent the different languages within SG. The painting represents part of Monicas journey how she understands multi cultural themes. I was keen to refer to her own occupation which connects her to Singapore - a translator. The open blank book hopefully creates some mystery and acts as a symbol to how the subject will translate all the information, languages and culture supplied by Singapore.





(Untitled) - 120cm x 152cm, Oil, Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas

Jasmine kindly offered to be involved in the portrait project and offered me the opportunity to experience the activity of kite flying. This became an interesting connection to Singapore for me. We agreed that this would be the subject of the portrait. After some discussion I understood that the activity of kite flying was an escape from the weekly routines she encountered. Jasmine could concentrate on her kite and loose herself in her own world. This became the theme of the painting.


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   The Portrait Project:

  After moving to a new studio on Geylang Road - I was looking to continue with and explore more of the cultural themes of Singapore. I was looking for a link that would help me understand the culture of SG and I thought the best way to do this would be through people themselves. I advertised on a forum and asked if anybody would be willing to participate in a portrait project - exploring the themes of connections to Singapore. It could be through their work, family, activity etc. My only request to the subjects was that I would like to record them by photography and ask if they could give me information about themselves. The main question was "What connects you to Singapore ?" after a dialogue was established - the subjects offered me more information and it helped me to portray a narrative within each of the paintings. The people who have already been willing to volunteer their time have been extremely helpful in the process of this project. It has allowed me also to peel back the layers of Singapore culture. The process of dialogue and narrative has also meant that I have developed a way of working adding layers of commentary to the work. The subjects are painted in oils and I add acrylic mixed media and collage to support the work. The project is continuing and I have several other people who have shown an interest. I am always keen to meet new people who have a connection to Singapore as this will sustain the project.



"Thank you to all the subjects who have participated in this project and being so generous with your time. I have enjoyed meeting you all and you have become good friends. " NMCW