Thomas Yeo



Thomas Yeo (b. 22 April 1936, Singapore–) represents one of Singapore's second-generation artists who studied in the West. His work, since the 1960s, has been infused with Western ideas although he never completely abandoned the images and impressions of Asia, and featured these prominently in his art pieces. Conferred the Cultural Medallion in 1984, Yeo continues his active participation in the art community in Asia.1
Art works
Described as an abstract artist, landscapes are a prominent and continual aspect of Yeo’s art works, which portray images gleaned from his many travels. Abstraction and representation have been abiding features, reflecting his pictorial world that is multi-layered and multi-dimensional. Yeo uses the paintbrush although he had gravitated towards mixed media collages by incorporating materials such as paper, metal, synthetic and industrial products into his paintings.2 His artworks displayed from 2006 to 2009, for instance, were acrylic on canvas and gouache on rice papers.3


Yeo’s landscapes have been expressed in poetry by Singaporean poet and academic, Edwin Thumboo.4

Education5
1958–1960:
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore.

1960–1961: Chelsea School of Art, London, United Kingdom.
1961–1964: Hammersmith College of Art & Architecture, London, United Kingdom.

Solo exhibitions from 1960 to 19966
1960: Watercolours, Oils and Chinese Ink, Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Singapore.

1963: Malaysian Landscapes, Cathay Gallery, London, United Kingdom.
1966: The New Image, National Library, Singapore.
1967: Asian Themes, Commonwealth Institute, London, United Kingdom.
1968: New Nature, National Library, Singapore.
1969: Abstract Landscapes, National Library, Singapore.
1969: Recent Works, Cultural Centre, Singapore.
1970: Mixed Media, Galleri II, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
1970: New Paintings, National Library, Singapore.
1971: Seascapes and Landscapes, National Library, Singapore.
1972: Aluminium Reliefs and New Paintings, National Library, Singapore.
1973: Images of Asia, National Library, Singapore.
1973: Poetry in Landscapes, Raya Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
1974: Recent Landscapes and Abstract Acrylics, National Library, Singapore.
1974: Images of Nature, Raya Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
1974: Visions of Asia, Skinner Gallery, Perth, Australia.
1975: New Paintings, National Library, Singapore.
1975: New Nature, Raya Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
1976: Recent Works, National Library, Singapore.
1976: Landscapes and Abstract Collages, Raya Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
1977: Recent Landscapes and Collages, National Library, Singapore.
1977: Nature in Art, Raya Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
1978: Recent Paintings and Collages, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1979: Asian Accent, Raya Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
1980: New Works, Raya Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
1981: Nature Series, Raya Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
1986: Landscapes and Abstract Citiscapes, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1987: Asian Landscapes and Collages, ZB Gallery, Vienna, Austria.
1987: Mixed Media Landscapes and Collages, Sparkasse Art Gallery, Waidhofen, Austria.
1987: Modern Asian Landscapes, Melnikow Gallery, Heidelberg, Germany.
1988: Continuation, Hyatt Regency, Singapore.7
1989: Recent Paintings, Galleri Ambrosia, Copenhagen, Denmark.8
1992: Moving Colours 1988–1992, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.9
1996: Thomas Yeo 4 Years Journey, Takashimaya Gallery, Singapore.10

Solo exhibitions from 1997 to 2009
11
1997:
Thomas Yeo: A Retrospective, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore.Z
2000: Thomas Yeo: Four Decades, Temporary Exhibition Gallery, Provincial Municipal Council of Macau, Macau SAR.
2002: Beyond Tradition (art exhibition cum workshop), Royal University of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
2003: Beyond Tradition (art exhibition cum workshop), National Faculty of Fine Arts, Vientiane, Laos.
2005: Thomas Yeo: Contrasting Images, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore.12
2007: Thomas Yeo: Reflections. A Fundraising Art Exhibition for The Substation, Singapore.13
2009: Thomas Yeo: Recent Works 2006–2009, Artfolio Gallery, Singapore.14
2013: Thomas Yeo: Recapturing. The Substation, Singapore.15


Group exhibitions16
1962: Young Commonwealth Artists, R.B.A. Gallery, London, United Kingdom.
1963: Young Artists of Promise, Heals Gallery, London, United Kingdom.
1965: Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London, United Kingdom.
1967: Four Painters from the Commonwealth, represented Singapore at the Brighton Arts Festival, Brighton, United Kingdom.
1967: Exhibition with Keith Vaughan, John Piper, Terry Frost and Six other British painters, Bear Lane Gallery, Oxford, United Kingdom.
1968: Oriental Theme, Grosvenor Gallery, London, United Kingdom.
1968: Royal Commonwealth Centenary Art Exhibition, City Art Gallery, Bristol, United Kingdom.
1968: Young Modern Painters, Oxford Gallery, Oxford, United Kingdom.
1968: 17th Annual Art Exhibition, National Museum, Cardiff, Wales.
1969: Thirteen Modern Artists: University of Singapore, Singapore.
1969: ASTA Convention, Contemporary Sculpture Centre, Tokyo, Japan.
1969: Twentieth Anniversary Art Exhibition, Victoria Memorial Hall, Singapore.
1969: Grand Art Exhibition, Victoria Memorial Hall, Singapore.
1969–1982: St. Andrews Mission Hospital Charity Exhibitions, Singapore
1970: PATA Conference, New Zealand.
1970: 21st Annual Art Exhibition, Victoria Memorial Hall, Singapore.
1971: Artists Trio, Galaxy Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
1971: Jetron Art Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan.
1971: ISPAA Group Show, Seah Gallery, Singapore.
1971: Six Young Contemporaries, Tang Chou Gallery, Singapore.
1971: Five Young Artists, 5 Star Gallery, Singapore.
1971: Inaugural Exhibition, Alpha Gallery, Singapore.
1972: ISPAA Group Shows, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Japan.
1972: Adelaide Arts Festival, Lidum Gallery, Adelaide, Australia.
1972: Singapore 12 Top Artists, Alpha Gallery, Singapore.
1973: Four Young Artists, British Council, Bangkok, Thailand.
1973: ASEAN Touring Art Exhibition, Art Galleries, ASEAN Countries.
1976: Moomba Asian Art Show, Melbourne, Australia.
1976: Inaugural Exhibition, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1977: Moomba Asian Art Show, Melbourne, Australia.
1978: Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Singapore Festival of Arts: National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1979: Two Asian Artists, Solander Gallery, Canberra, Australia.
1980: ASEAN Paintings and Photography Exhibition, ASEAN Countries.
1980: Contemporary Singapore Painting, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong.
1980: Contemporary Asian Art Show, Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan.
1982: Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Singapore Festival of Arts: National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1982: New Format, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1982: 3rd ASEAN Exhibition of Painting and Photography, ASEAN Countries.
1983: New Images ‘83, Modern Art Society Exhibition, Singapore.
1984: 25 Years of Art in Singapore, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1984: Singapore Art, a Decade 1974-84, Singapore Festival of Arts: National Museum Art Gallery.
1984: 4th ASEAN Exhibition of Painting and Photography, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1985: Second Contemporary Asian Art Show, Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan.
1986: Asian Contemporary Art, Singapore Festival of Arts, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1986: Seoul Contemporary Asian Art Show, National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, Korea.
1987: Centenary Art Exhibition, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1988: Singapore Contemporary Artists, Hong Kong Art Centre, Hong Kong.
1988: Singapore Artists, Sogo Art Galleries, Yokohama, Kobe, Sapporo, Japan.
1988: The Second Decade, Masterpieces from Private Collections, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1989: Twenty Singapore Artists for New York, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1989: New York Art Expo Exhibition, Jacob K Javits Convention Centre, New York, USA.
1989: 1st Bru-Sin Art Exhibition, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Brunei.
1989–1991: Contemporary Art in Singapore, Where East Meets West, Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam; Deutsche Bank AG, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Nurenberg, Mannheim, Groningen and Glasgow.
1990: Modern Art Travels East-West, Corporate Collections from Singapore and the Netherlands, World Trade Centre, Rotterdam; Empress Place Museum, Singapore.
1990: 2nd Bru-Sin Art Exhibition, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1990: Singapore Artists Speak, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1991: 11 Singapore Artists for New York Art Expo, Jacob K Javits Convention Centre, New York, USA.
1991 : Many in One, 25 Years of Art from Singapore, Meridian House International, Washington DC, USA.
1991: Change: 20 Singapore Artists a Decade of their Work, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1992: 6th Asian International Art Exhibition, Tagawa Museum of Art, Japan.
1992: ASEAN Selection, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1992: 7th Asian International Art Exhibition, Bandung Museum of Art, Bandung, Indonesia.
1993: New Space Art Exhibition, Fine Art Gallery, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
1993: 8th Asian International Art Exhibition, Fukuoka City Art Museum & Tagawa City Art Museum, Japan.
1993: Singapore: Places, Poems, Paintings, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1994: Singapore Contemporary Art, Galeria del Leal Senado, Macau.
1994: 9th Asian International Art Exhibition, National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan.
1995: Modern Art Society 30th Anniversary Exhibition, Riverwalk Galleria, Singapore.
1995: 10th Asian International Art Exhibition, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1996: 5+5, Maybank Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
1996: 11th Asian International Art Exhibition, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Philippines.
1997: 12th Asian International Art Exhibition, National Art Museum, Macau.
1997: Self-Portraits of the Artists, Modern Art Society Exhibition, UOB Plaza 1, Singapore.
1998: Modern Art Society Exhibition, Sichuan Art Museum, Chengdu, China.
1998: 4 Perspectives-Art Exhibition, National Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand.
1999: 13th Asian International Art Exhibition, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan.
1999: NAFA Cross-Century Art Exhibition, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Selegie Art Gallery, Singapore.
2000: St. Andrews Mission Hospital Charity Exhibition, Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore.
2000: Different Eyes, Different Views, Modern Art Society Exhibition, Artfolio Gallery, Singapore.
2000: Artists Against Drug Abuse, Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association Charity Art Exhibition, The Pavilion, Far East Square, Singapore.
2001: Time and Space, Modern Art Society 37th Anniversary Exhibition, ARTrium, MITA Building, Singapore.
2002: 17th Asian International Art Exhibition, Daejeon Municipal Museum of Art, Korea.
2006: Important Second-Generation Artists Exhibition, DLR Gallery, Singapore.
2006: Spectrum ’06, Telok Kurau Studios, Singapore.
2006: 20th Asian International Art Exhibition, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore.
2007: Summer Soiree, Artfolio Gallery, Raffles Hotel Arcade, Singapore.
2008: Fresh! Addition Exhibition, Artfolio Gallery, Raffles Hotel Arcade, Singapore.
2009: Nanyang 70 years after, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore.
2010: Abstraction, Artfolio Gallery, Raffles Hotel Arcade, Singapore.17
2010: Celebrating Asian Art, Artfolio Gallery, Raffles Hotel Arcade, Singapore.18
2015: Siapa nama kamu? Art in Singapore since the 19th century, DBS Singapore Gallery, National Gallery Singapore.19
2016:
Cultural Medallion Visual Arts 1979–2015, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore.20

2016: Early Singapore Artworks, Larasati Modern and Contemporary Art Auction, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza, Singapore.21

Selected commissioned works
22

Red Lion Restaurant, Richmond, Surrey, United Kingdom.
Rank Xerox Ltd, Singapore.
Ministry of National Development, Singapore.
Singapore Science Centre, Omni-Theatre, Singapore.
Pico Art International Pte. Ltd., Singapore.
Istana Negara, Singapore.
Singapore Press Holdings, Singapore.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore.

Awards and achievements23
1961–1964: Lee Foundation Study Award, Singapore.

1970: Second Prize, Instant Asia Art Competition, Singapore.
1971: First Prize, SIA Mural Competition, Singapore.
1983: Second Prize, UOB Painting of the Year Competition, Singapore.
1984: Cultural Medallion Award, Government of Singapore.24
1984: Prize Winner, UOB Painting of the Year Competition, Singapore.
1989: Heineken International Art Award, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
1991: SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals Golden Circle Award, United Kingdom.
1995: Pingat APAD, Angkatan Pelukis Aneka Daya, Singapore.

Other activities related to art25
1980–1986
: Visual Arts Advisory Committee Member, Ministry of Community Development, Singapore.

1984: Represents Singapore at the ASEAN Art Symposium, Manila, Philippines.
1986–2002: Chairman, Shell Discovery Art Exhibition Advisory Committee, Singapore.
1987: Master Painter, 5th ASEAN Youth Workshop, Singapore.
1991–2003: Art Consultant, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
1992–1994: Arts Advisor, National Arts Council, Singapore.26
1994: Member of Art Acquisition Advisory Committee, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore.
1994–1999: President, Modern Art Society, Singapore.
1994–2004: Judge, Singapore ASEAN Art Awards, Philip Morris Group of Companies, Singapore.
2000: Judge, Montblanc Cultural Award, Singapore.
2000–2003: Board Member, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore.
2004: Honorary Member, Indonesia-Singapore Friendship Association, Singapore.



Author

Sian E. Jay



References
1. Kulatissa, S. (1984, October 30), Four make it to the ranks of ‘gifted few’. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Purushothaman, V. (Ed.) (2002). Narratives: Notes on a cultural journey: Cultural medallion recipients 1979–2001. Singapore: National Arts Council, pp. 200, 201. (Call no.: RSING 700.95957 NAR); Yeo, T. (1992). Thomas Yeo: Moving colours 1988–1992. Singapore: T. Yeo, p. 54. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO)
2. Thomas Yeo. (1985). Singapore: National Museum Art Gallery. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO.T); Sabapathy, T. K. (1997). Thomas Yeo: A retrospective. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 36. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 SAB)
3.  Yeo, T. (2009). Thomas Yeo: Recent works, 2006–2009: Artfolio Gallery, Singapore, 14 to 24 May 2009. Singapore: Artfolio Pte Ltd, pp. 2–3. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO)
4. Yeo, T. (1988). Continuation: An exhibition of paintings and collages. Singapore: T. Yeo, p. 24. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO)
5. Sabapathy, T. K. (1997). Thomas Yeo: A retrospective. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, pp. 9–41. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 SAB); Yeo, T. (1996). Thomas Yeo: 4 years journey. Singapore: T. Yeo, p. 51. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO)
6. Yeo, T. (1996). Thomas Yeo: 4 years journey. Singapore: T. Yeo, p. 51. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO)
7. Yeo, T. (1988). Continuation: An exhibition of paintings and collages. Singapore: T. Yeo. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO)
8. Yeo, T. (1996). Thomas Yeo: 4 years journey. Singapore: T. Yeo, p. 51. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO)
9. Yeo, T. (1992). Thomas Yeo: Moving colours 1988–1992. Singapore: T. Yeo. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO)
10. Yeo, T. (1996). Thomas Yeo: 4 years journey. Singapore: T. Yeo, (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO)
11. Yeo, T. (2009). Thomas Yeo: Recent works, 2006–2009: Artfolio Gallery, Singapore, 14 to 24 May 2009. Singapore: Artfolio Pte Ltd, p. 24. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO)
12. Yeo, T. (2005). Thomas Yeo: Contrasting images. Singapore: Thomas Yeo. (Call no.: RSING q759.95957 YEO
13. Chia, A. (2007, March 15). A promise kept. The Straits Times, p. 58. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Yeo, T. (2007). Reflections. Singapore: The Substation. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO-[SST])
14. Yeo, T. (2009). Thomas Yeo: Recent works, 2006–2009: Artfolio Gallery, Singapore, 14 to 24 May 2009. Singapore: Artfolio Pte Ltd. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO)
15. Huang, L. (2013, July 15). Channeling frustration into funds. The Straits Times, p. 5; Lum, M., & Tan, C. (2013, July 26). Last call: Thomas Yeo: Recapturing. The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16. Yeo, T. (2009). Thomas Yeo: Recent works, 2006–2009: Artfolio Gallery, Singapore, 14 to 24 May 2009. Singapore: Artfolio Pte Ltd, p. 24. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO)
17.  Gathering of well-known abstract artists. (2010, May 21). The Business Times, p. 29. Retrieved from NewspaperSG
18.  ‘Landscapes of the mind’. (2010, September 9). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
19. Shetty, D. (2015, October 25), Art collection tells the story of S’pore. The Straits Times; 400 iconic Singapore artworks to go on show at National Gallery Singapore. (2015, October, 19). Channel News Asia. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/
20. Cream of the crop; Visual art’s Cultural Medallion winners in the spotlight at NAFA’s year-end show. (2015, December 19). Today; Hour at the museum. (2016, January 1), The Straits imes. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/

21. City Buzz: Auction, Early Singapore Artworks. (2016, April 22). The Business Times. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/

22. Yeo, T. (2005). Thomas Yeo: Contrasting images. Singapore: Thomas Yeo, p. 60. (Call no.: RSING q759.95957 YEO)
23. Yeo, T. (2009). Thomas Yeo: Recent works, 2006–2009: Artfolio Gallery, Singapore, 14 to 24 May 2009. Singapore: Artfolio Pte Ltd, p. 27. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO)
24. Kulatissa, S. (1984, October 30). Four make it to the ranks of “gifted few”. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
25. Yeo, T. (2009). Thomas Yeo: Recent works, 2006–2009: Artfolio Gallery, Singapore, 14 to 24 May 2009. Singapore: Artfolio Pte Ltd, p. 26. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 YEO)
26. Goh, J. (1992, July 24). 16-artist panel formed to help arts council. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



Further resources
Chia, A. (2009, May 25). Painting for the present. The Straits Times, p. 40. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.


Lim, R. (2005, May 28). Art and the hard life. The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Top draw: Second generation artists. (2006, August 17). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 2007 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

Subject
Arts>>Painting
Artists--Singapore--Biography
Award winners
Cultural Medallion Recipients (Art)
Acrylic painting
Yeo, Thomas, 1936- --Biography
Personalities>>Biographies>>Artists>>Cultural Medallion Recipients
Art--Collectors and collecting--Singapore
Oil painting