SIEW HOCK MENG
 
萧学民
Born in 1942
Johore, Malaysia
 
Education
Yeung Cheng and Chung Cheng High School in Singapore.   

Though a good student, he dropped out of school at 16 due to his poor grades in English.
A teacher who recognized his talent encouraged him to join the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts where Cheong Soo Pieng was teaching. But Siew wanted to learn more about the meaning and purpose of art and life than merely how to paint.
He started to read aesthetics and philosophy. To find more time to read he even abandoned art and went to work as a rubber tapper in Pengerang in Johore and then Kemaman, in Trengganu. In Kemaman his reading led him to Marxist-Leninist literature which he found more appealing than anything he had read. He became interested in politics and joined Labour Party and was an activist making banners, posters and cartoons until the party disbanded a few years later.
In 1975 Siew was invited to run an art gallery in Singapore by a businessman for whom he had painted a portrait in Kemaman. His fame as a portrait painter gradually grew and spread in the region especially in Taiwan where he often spent months painting on commission. Not content to restrict himself to portraiture, Siew began to explore a wider range of subjects and themes such as human figures and life and culture of places like Bali. Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Myanmar and Cambodia.
Apart from his fascination for human forms, vibrant tropical colours and artistic and cultural diversity of the region, he often shows a deeper concern for the social, cultural and environmental realities that people in the region have to face.
His keen observations and personal reflections are especially poignant in the many thoughtful and contemplative landscapes of Singapore and other places he has visited. Despite his low profile and infrequent exposure, Siew’s work is highly regarded in the art circle and is much sought after in the region.
 
Solo Exhibitions
1980, 1982 & 1984
Apollo Art Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
1986
Avant Garde Art Gallery, Taichung, Taiwan
1987
Long Chuan Art Gallery, Xaoshiung, Taiwan
1988
Apollo Ail Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan


Group Exhibitions
1976
Ten Local Artists,
Grace Art Gallery, Singapore
1979
Three Singapore Artists,
Hong Kong Auditorium, Hong Kong
1987
Three-Man Exhibition,
Indonesia Art Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
1989
Twenty Singapore Artists for New York Art Expo Exhibition,
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, USA

Private and Public Collections
National Museum, Singapore