What inspired you to set up the gallery? What is Yeo Workshop’s mission?
It was a very natural thing: I am very appreciative of any sort of culture having grown up with friends and family who are artists and musicians. I’ve always been very interested and involved and have always wanted to help to promote their work.
The mission of Yeo Workshop is to show and sell good artworks and create value for collectors on artworks acquired early, and as a result be able to sustain an incubator for promising emerging artists.
How did you come about to select these particular works/artists? What kind of qualities are you looking for?
I have envied and admired the work of Ian Woo since the day I came back to Singapore. I am so pleased to be showing his drawings. On my radar screen: Bravery, Vision, Honesty, Intent behind a brilliant Concept and Craft in both the artwork and in the personality of the artist.
Some people may think that drawings are not completed works of art. Why did you choose to feature only drawings in this show?
I appreciate drawings as they are very honest: Mark-making is an irreversible process unlike painting that can be perfected and painted over (develop). Drawings are made by artists in their precious and quiet moments. Drawings can be personal, gestural/ meditative. The drawings in this show are not as preparatory work for paintings or other work, but they are gestural, they come as a result of, or come after, the paintings, installations, performances. And what delicate and irresistible objects they can be!
What are your thoughts on the Singapore art scene today?
It’s okay, the players are hopeful.
What do you wish people knew about Singaporean artists?
I don’t know. I don’t read nationality like this in a way. I am very focused on the art object. And then I might wander to, and definitely would not necessarily discount, the context of geography for further enjoyment or understanding.
Are Singaporean artists worth collecting?
At this moment yes it seems so. But then again, I like art for art sake.
Singapore is not quite like “Indian art” or “Chinese art” where there are very strong characteristic cultural techniques, stories, messages etc behind them. But that is also what makes this “Singaporean” work interesting for me. It is a very complex thing to think of work in the context of Singapore and like this. That’s probably why I like abstraction in artworks, it does not allow for convoluted reading. You like or you don’t. This statement in itself is convoluted so maybe you see my point.
Perhaps the curator of this show can speak more about this, you’ve got to read the catalogue we’ve developed for the show, the curator Louis Ho has managed to contextualize the works to Singapore, he is brilliant, it’s a most interesting thought process.
What is your advice for new and budding art collectors?
Be brave, be unique, be elegant, be cool! Collecting art is a reflection of your tastes and preferences. Collecting art is a privilege. Seeing art, talking about art is a luxury of leisure and time. Take your time, enjoy the shows, talk to the artists and curators: pick their brains, read and enrich. When you get your work, share and show it off! Or keep it at home, like Golum, and treasure it.
Yeo Workshop is at Gillman Barracks, Blk 1 Lock Road, #01-01, Singapore 108937
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