S u z C h i a n g T a n
If I ask you to close your eyes and think about your childhood home, some details will be clear and others blurry. Following this principle, I use abstract forms to capture the fading memory of places I love and that are significant to me.
I’m also able to create a metaphor for the way in which modernization in Asia often comes at the expense of heritage and culture. When I’m painting a scene, I let my emotions dictate my use of colour and the strength of my brushstrokes. I want to layer my paintings with meaning and personality rather than just depict the scene in a realistic way.
Born in Johor, Malaysia, Suz Chiang Tan obtained a Diploma of Fine Arts from the Central Academy of Art, Malaysia, in 1997 and, after graduation taught art at that institution.
He has exhibited regularly in both solo and group exhibitions internationally, winning awards in competitions in the US, Europe and China.
Among his many international awards are First Prize, Northwest Watercolor Society; Bronze Award, Nanjing International Art Festival; First Prize, Lushan International Watercolor Festival, Lushan, China; Winsor & Newton Award, Royal Watercolor Society; and the Helene H Ross Award and People’s Choice Award, 6th Signature American Watermedia Exhibition. He was also one of 23 finalists in the inaugural World Watercolour Competition, Narbonne, France.
His work is represented in public, corporate and private collections internationally, including Malaysia, Singapore, China, Poland, Japan and the USA.
Tan’s work has been featured in numerous books and art magazines, including North Light Books, Splash (17 & 18), Asia Art News, Watercolor Artist (featured cover artist, August 2015) and The Art of Watercolur (Issue 17, 2014-2015).
Challenging the dominant paradigm in his approach to watercolour, Tan’s style derives from a fusion of techniques and cultural influences, most notably Abstract Expressionism, batik, Chinese ink and, in his use of a vibrant colour palette, Fauvism.
Elected a member of the Australian Watercolour Institute in 2016, Suz Chiang Tan is also a member of the Contemporary Malaysia Watercolour Association, the Malaysian Watercolour Society, the Singapore Watercolour Society, the Penang Watercolour Society, the North Kedah Art Society, a Committee Member of the Malaysian Junior Art Education Association and a Signature Member of the American Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society, USA.