Experts on the Art of Tan Oe Pang

Tan Oe Pang (b.1947). Revival of the Great Tang Period ????, 2013. Ink and colour on paper. (http://tanoepang003.blogspot.sg/)
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By Epoch Newsroom

“Master Tan’s paintings are amazing. They can be interpreted through the lens of Taoism or Buddhism. They are akin to what Laozi once said: “Pliant, and yet unyielding, exceedingly great, and exceedingly strong.” Both the false and the real, the large and the small, existence and nonexistence, Heaven and Earth all manifest in his artworks.

Notice his skillful selection of colours – they reveal a cheerful and kind-hearted personality. This is beauty – beauty in extreme simplicity.

His brush strokes are smooth and soft, yet they also have the unmistakable, steady strength of a master calligrapher’s strokes. “Pliant, and yet unyielding.”

His calligraphy and paintings are uncontrived, revealing the kindest and most truthful side of him. They also incorporate classic painting techniques like pointillism and linework, uniquely combining Western methods with traditional Chinese ink painting.

I first saw Van Gogh’s and Monet’s original works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. I was so mesmerised by them that I stood there for half an hour. What is art? It is emotion as well as inspiration. It is a form of sharing that profoundly moves people’s hearts.

Through his art, Tan has shattered our conventional notions of harmony and balance, and established a new level of equilibrium – creating harmony from imbalances, and symmetry from asymmetries.

How difficult it is to achieve harmony with conflicting elements! Not only is it difficult to paint with just one shade of colour, it is even more difficult with such few brush strokes. Tan’s artworks use only a few shades of colour and few brushstrokes, which showcase his true mettle.

Master Tan Oe Pang’s art is intricacy in simplicity, and it is timeless and enduring.

 Mr Liang Yongfei, Assistant Commissioner of Management, National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, during the opening ceremony of Mr. Tan Oe Pang’s Solo Exhibition at the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan in 2009.

The original speech was in Chinese. It was translated and edited for publishing by the Epoch Times.)


Tan Oe Pang (b.1947). <a href="http://tanoepang003.blogspot.sg/2013/10/who-lights-way.html">Who lights the way</a>, 2013. Ink and colour on paper. A token of appreciation for DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, GOH of Singapore Breadtalk IHQ opening ceremony.
Tan Oe Pang (b.1947). Who lights the way, 2013. Ink and colour on paper. A token of appreciation for DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, GOH of Singapore Breadtalk IHQ opening ceremony. (http://tanoepang003.blogspot.sg/)

Tan Oe Pang is an ebullient man for whom the making of art is fundamental to his spirit.

He knows himself well and his humour and warmth engage immediately as he speaks to one of the fundamentals of art, which is to help us to come to grips with the complexities of the world.

His striking views of life and art, of his past and his present, and memories, encourage us to travel with him for his art has a wonderful feeling of independence and freedom that inspires introspection.

– Asian Art News

Excerpt from Asian Art News, Volume 24 Number 4 July/August 2014


city of little red dot 小红点城市
Tan Oe Pang (b.1947). City of Little Red Dot 小红点城市 created in Year 2012 (Displayed in Din Tai Fung at Sentosa)

Tan Oe Pang’s trademark is his use of the ‘Haipai’ style, an amalgamation of both Chinese and Western cultural influences that developed in Shanghai in the early 20th century.

He is well-known for his daring use of traditional Chinese ink and vivid compositions – for instance, in his portrayal of modern urban subjects such as highways and skyscrapers – which mark him as one of the most innovative practitioners in the medium today.

In addition to his cityscapes, his works include still life paintings, which match simplicity with thick freestyle brush washes, bold and impressionistically rendered animals, and landscapes that draw inspiration from Chinese paintings from the late Tang and early Song dynasties, with their focus on depth and open space.

Tan Oe Pang’s oil paintings are also highly praised for their combination of techniques stemming from Chinese traditional painting, such as line drawing, bold freestyle expression and the use of white space, coupled with inspiration drawn from Western masters.

In addition to his ink and oil paintings, Tan Oe Pang’s work also includes calligraphy, sculpture, seals and poetry.

– Singapore Art & Gallery Guide


Tan Oe Pang (b.1947). A Pot of Lotus ???? created in 2013 (Displayed in BreadTalk International Headquarter)
Tan Oe Pang (b.1947). A Pot of Lotus created in 2013 (Displayed in BreadTalk International Headquarter)

Chng Lee Lee wrote the below poem after reading the article ‘Chinese Landscape Paintings (Shan Shui) – In Conversation With Grandmaster Ink Artist Tan Oe Pang’ published in the December 2016 issue of Epoch Times:

THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

Standing on the flat ground,
I see no one I hear no sound.

I thought I was
A lotus flower,
Taking a rain shower.

Floating on this that looks like a lake.
So beautiful did God make.

I want to go where you would take me,
To where I could see.

More than this lake which surrounds,
I  want to go outbound.

This emptiness within me feels.
Even if I am here still.

I look and look further for to see,
A stairway to heaven where I will be.

But you are so far away,
The more I yearn,
The more you go astray.
The loneliness just here,
Surrounded by water mere.

When at last you led me by your gentle heart,
Helped  me with a start,
Brought me to the peak, for to seek.

Under my weary feet,
This mountain top is too big.
Looking at the sky,
I feel you are mine.

God please let me stay,
So he will not go away.

Tan Oe Pang (b.1947). Buddha and Lotus, undated. Ink and colour on paper, 69 x 36 cm (http://www.asiaartcollective.com/)
Tan Oe Pang (b.1947). Buddha and Lotus, undated. Ink and colour on paper, 69 x 36 cm (http://www.asiaartcollective.com/)

 

Tan Oe Pang (b.1947). Contemporary Tropical Rocks and Flowers, created in 2013 (Displayed in Din Tai Fung at Orchard Wisma Atria Shopping Mall)
Tan Oe Pang (b.1947). Contemporary Tropical Rocks and Flowers, created in 2013 (Displayed in Din Tai Fung at Orchard Wisma Atria Shopping Mall)

For further appreciating Tan Oe Pang’s paintings, visit Sky One Art Gallery.

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