Tan Suz Chiang has always tried to break the rules of conventional watercolour painting. He believes that an artist has to constantly improve and challenge himself, to ensure that he evolves to the next higher level of artistry. Over the years, Suz Chiang has developed an astonishingly free way of painting using a dynamic palette of colours and style. He believes that Art is more than just capturing a scene or memory, it tells a story, evokes critical thinking of the viewers, and laying bare the emotions of the artist for all to marvel. With this philosophy in mind, Suz Chiang develops paintings with strong compositions, interesting perspectives and above all, strength and vibrancy in his colour compositions.
Suz Chiang’s latest artistic evolution uses a contemporary approach towards traditional watercolour techniques, challenging norms, and experiments with a capricious style. It is a combination of seemingly contrasting painting techniques: Batik, Chinese Ink and traditional watercolour techniques.
Suz Chiang recognises the potential in these two particular techniques to develop his art works, and therefore, challenges himself using his watercolour ability to recreate the Batik and Ink Painting effects in his paintings. Suz Chiang also infuses some form of Abstract Expressionism in his works by allowing his moods and feelings to dictate his vibrant use of colours and strength in his execution. Although his effortless technique seems to be gestural in nature, it is meticulously structured and planned. The result is a miraculous and effective fusion of cultures, emotions and rhythmic harmony.
Suz Chiang expresses his love of spontaneity, shape, and colour; and tries to create atmospheric mood and feelings, in all his works. Suz Chiang’s paintings delight his viewers and give them a glimpse of his life experiences which are often challenging, emotional and uplifting. His works are full of reminiscences of his earlier life and bring us into his world of lost heritage. Although his works are filled with cheerful and bright pastel colours to create a pleasant sensory experience for his viewers, you cannot help but sense that there is a deeper meaning in his works and the inner struggle of the artist to keep the love for his heritage alive. Suz Chiang is narrating a story of lost “love” and the cruelty of time fading our precious memories. He seems to be challenging us to remember a place that we love, to close our eyes, and to recapture the image of that particular building, that particular place, or that particular scenery….. as he believes that what we see in our mind is a vague, “misty”, and possibly abstract memory that is similar to his works. He archives the essence of his memories and his subjects as a fleeting moment in time, and he uses his spontaneous way of painting and use of colours, to record effectively the light and images in its many guises and the drama of that moment in his life. In a personal way, his paintings form pages in his artistic-diary which attempts to express his interests, experiences and the place he finds himself connected to at any given time. His “modern”-artistic style, which is clearly a fusion of techniques and culture, seems to lament that heritage is slowly losing its place to modernization.