Yeo Chee Kiong

b. 1970, Singapore
Lives and works in Singapore

Having studied at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Singapore) and the Glasgow School of Art (UK), Yeo Chee Kiong is fascinated with the language and spatial relationship between object, space and authorship. His work destabilises the familiar notions of spatial proportions and perspectives, whilst examining the human conditions in the construction of an extended surreal world.

Throughout his career, Yeo has been bestowed with multiple outstanding awards and commendations. This includes: he NAFA Distinguished Alumni Medal for his outstanding achievement in Singapore art scene (2016), SG50 Commemorative Public Sculpture Competition, National Museum of Singapore (2015), JTC Green Core Public Sculpture Open Call (2014), the LTA Downtown Line Art Competition, ExpoStation (2012), Legacy Sculpture for Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Village Sculpture Competition, Grand prize for the APB Foundation Signature Art Prize (2008), NAC Young Artist Award (2006), 14th Asian Artists Award, VSC Fellowships (2006 – 2007), Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts 68th Founder’s Day Commendation Award (2006) and Grand prize for the 2nd CDL Singapore Sculpture Award (2005). Yeo was also short-listed as one of the 25 outstanding finalists amongst a total of 574 international entries whilst participating in the International Competition for Young Sculptors in Milan, Italy in 2006. He was the recipient of the Dr. Mary Doughty Smith Scholarship at Glasgow School of Art and John Kinross Scholarship at Royal Scottish Academy.

Thus far, he has held numerous solo exhibitions internationally, such as at Juming Art Museum, Taipei (2017), Ngee Ann Kongsi Galleries, NAFA, Singapore (2016), Cite International Des Arts, Paris (2013), Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery, Singapore (2011), Esplanade – Concourse, Singapore (2009), National Museum of Singapore (2007), Esplanade – Jendela Gallery, Singapore (2007), Red Mill Gallery, Vermont Studio Centre (2006) and The Substation, Singapore (2001).

Yeo is currently the Visiting Assistant Professor, Sculpture Department, National Taiwan University of Arts.

‘Bubblelloon’, is an ideal state of imaginative perfection, to reflect the sculptor’s mischievous desire in proposing an unprecedented sense of a beautiful formless form. It is one of the key sculpture elements under the umbrella of A Beauty Centre Project 2016. The sculptures featured push the viewer to engage in “self-improving” activities, being given space and time to reflect on their own ideals, as well as contemporary “self-enhancement” obsessions, from fitness and body “sculpting”, and the breathless race to achieve “mindfulness”, to flaunting a sense of a self-loved self. Central to Yeo’s works are his exaggeratedly female globular forms, bloated on a caricatured sexuality that verges on the comic, grotesque and cute at the same time. Yeo’s sculptures can be seen as art mirroring its own mirrored artifice, yet remaining deeply inspired by natural forces.

There is definitely a sense of excess sexuality in Yeo’s cumulus-cloudlike gorged and turgid female pink and silver forms, as they appear to luxuriate in their swelling roundness. Excess as opposed to elegance animates Yeo’s sculptural forms of feminine beauty: they straddle inherited baroque and rococo aesthetics, and we can accept that both approaches are inspirationally available to contemporary practitioners regardless of socio-cultural contexts. Yeo’s critic of contemporary society’s narcissistic obsessions could be read as veering on the voyeuristic, or misogynistic. Still, artistic ideals of “perfection” are evident, as the artist takes pride in production quality of each object. The sculptor too is on a quest for beauty.

Country: Singapore