Baet Yoke Kuan


Born 1961 in Singapore. Graduated with Diploma in Fine Arts (Painting) from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore; and M.A. Fine Arts, University of Central England, Birmingham, UK. Has taught at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore and Sutton Coldfield College, UK. In 1987 he won the Grand Prize in the United Overseas Bank Painting of the Year competition in Singapore. He is the President of MASS from 2003 to 2004.

1984-88 Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
1991-92 MA Fine Art, University of Central England in Birmingham, UK
1988-98 Four solo exhibitions in Singapore and London Numerous group exhibitions in Singapore, Asia and Australia - 1987 Grand Prize, Painting of the Year Competition
1994 Area Prize & Judges' Prize, Third Tokyo Urbanart Competition
1995 Young Artist Award, National Arts Council

Baet Yeok Kuan presents highly personal interpretations of objects in nature by a process of transformation, beginning from the realistic and working towards the more abstract. Changes in nature as well as in people's perceptions, wrought by the passage of time, are what intrigues him. In Untitled, the still life is overlaid with marks and textures to give it added significance. Though the red cross is traditionally a negative sign, nowadays it assumes other, more positive meanings. It has become the symbol for the international life-saving organisation and it is often used to signify a price cut. Textures are created by painting and not by the laying on of pigments or other materials. Objects in Code are so transformed that viewers are obliged to make their own interpretations. These marks and signs represent a logical system, a code, which the artist has developed as a means of expressing his feelings.

Code / Markings 1999

acrylic on paper 78 x 110 cm

Reference: Marjorie Chu, Understanding Contemporary Southeast Asian Art, p. 150

Untitled (Lotus) 2001

copper and granite 25 x 24 cm w

Reference: Marjorie Chu, Understanding Contemporary Southeast Asian Art, p. 146

Stalk 2001

metal and granite 50 x 35 cm w

Reference: Marjorie Chu, Understanding Contemporary Southeast Asian Art, p. 147


Dilation - Baet Yoke Kwan's solo show at Sculpture Square

Dilation 2001

metal and resin 25 x 35 cm w

Reference: Marjorie Chu, Understanding Contemporary Southeast Asian Art, p. 148



mixed media 183 x 183 cm


MASS show 2004

International Asian Art Exhibition by a group of Singaporean artists led by Mr Baet Yoke Kuan, President, Modern Art Society 1 to 31 July 2004 The Art Gallery, NIE.


BLACK AND WHITE, group exhibition @ Art Forum 1-29 May 2004


Public Forum: Contemporary Art Practices in Singapore

Jointly organised by SAM and NAFA in conjunction with The President's Young Talents Exhibition 2003.
4 May (Sun), 2pm - 5pm, SAM Auditorium, Free.
 Presented in Mandarin

Chairperson: Chua Ek Kay
Discussants: Baet Yeok Kuan, Cheo Chai Hiang,
Han Sai Por, Amanda Heng, Huangfu Binghui,
Lim Poh Teck

"Pigments & Metaphors" - An Exhibition of Works by Ian Woo, Baet Yeok Kuan & Chng Nai Wee

Opening on 12 February 2004, 6.30 pm

Ipreciation Exhibition from 12 February ~ 22 February 2004

Venue : #01-10 The Fullerton Singapore (Fullerton Hotel)

Local artists, Ian Woo, Baet Yeok Kuan & Chng Nai Wee, are featured in this joint exhibition exploring abstract color and line, entitled “Pigments & Metaphors”. While their styles are distinctly different in composition, their works are intimate representations of the world as they see it. Ian Woo’s work arouses thought-provoking pleasure. His use of soothing pastel colors is contrasted by floating subliminal text challenging us to reconsider his visual drama. A lecturer of Sculpture at Singapore’s National Academy of Fine Arts, Baet Yeok Kuan’s current work combines universal geometric shapes with more enigmatic, amorphic forms—wavering between a flat 2 dimensional plane and our world. By contrast, Chng Nai Wee, who is known for his whimsical bio-scientific installations, paints with music. His current acrylic collection resonates the essence of forests entangled in abstract color; branches and leaves embody a vibrant lyrical quality.




Bukit Panjang Government High

Art has taken off in a big way at Bukit Panjang Government High since it brought in professional sculptor Baet Yoke Kuan, a lecturer with the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, two years ago.

This was done under an enhanced arts education programme, which allows schools to have an artist or theatre groups in school, teaching classes or supervising projects. Students used sculptures to depict the eight desired outcomes of education and these art pieces are now displayed in the school's garden at Choa Chu Kang. Some of the outcomes, or qualities, a student should have include moral integrity, teamwork and faith in Singapore.

Chestnut Drive Secondary School

Aesthetics Department

Instructor: Mr Baet Yoke Kuan

Our objective is to allow pupils to creatively explore their impulses through visual means. Our Art Programme offers a comprehensive curriculum that nurtures and develops pupils' aesthetic potential through various types of art courses and activities. Our pupils excel in "Paper-Cut" - a unique form of paper cutting. They have won several art awards in the recent years' SYF Central Judging of Art & Crafts.

The art pupils also play a major role in supporting school functions by making backdrops and art decorative items. Souvenirs for our VIPs gracing such occasions are usually hand-made by them.


Kranji Secondary School

Arts Enrichment

Objectives :
To raise awareness and appreciation of the Arts

Sec 1 programmes :
Stained Glass;
"Chandeliers in the Air"
- an aerial sculpture/model project;
"Frozen Forest"
- a painting and printing project.

Sec 2 programme :
Mixed media with famous artists;
wire sculpture (plaster if paris and wire).

Sec 3,4 and 5 programme :
Sculpture with Mr Baet Yeok Kuan.
Sculpture with Mr Tay Swee Siong.
Batik Painting with Mr Tay Swee Siong.
Drawing with Mr Lim Poh Teck.
Individual Project with Ms Wong Suet Fun.


Gladsign Art School

Gradsign Art School was set up in 1986 by artist Lim Leong Seng. Since its inception, it has been offering art courses for children, teenagers and adults. The objective of the school is to provide a conducive environment for students to acquire and develop their artistic and creative potential, so that they may be able to appreciate a variety of art form. Some of our ex-teachers includes local well known artists like Tan Kee Sek, Chua Ek Kay, Baet Yeok Kuan, Lim Poh Teck and Tan Son Huat.


Telok Kurau 2000

Exhibition by the Artists of Telok Kurau. Includes Amanda Heng, Victor Tar, Lim Poh Teck, Baet Yoke Kuan, Tan Swie Hian, Raymond Lau, Jimmy Quek, Teng Nee Cheong, Lim Leong Seng ecetera.

Telok Kurau Exhibition from 15th December to 31st January 2000.

91 Lorong J, Telok Kurau Road, Singapore 425985
11am to 5pm
Close on Monday.
65-348 0535


Plastique Kinetic Worms

PKW is a project organised and managed by artists of all practices. The artists were given a space for a period of three months, putting together, a series of five exhibitions by local and foreign artists, the sponsor of the space and the generous support from the public. The artists believe strongly in the collaborative effort between themselves and the public at large. The energy from both parties will create opportunities for more projects of such to occur.

A series of five exhibitions will take place from April 3 till the end of June 1998. Artists involved are Jean Sim, Joyce Ng, Baet Yoke Kuan, Lim Poh Teck, Chua Chye Teck, Sivakumaran, Stefan Jonsson and Vincent Leow.


Lim Fei Shen

Lim Fei Shen, Cultural Medallion recipient, is one of Singapore's pioneers in modern dance. Her works focus upon the development of unique cross cultural dance forms which draw from traditional Asian sources. Her recent works have included multi-disciplinary approaches, including 'Earth and Matter', a collaboration with artist Baet Yoke Kuan in 1999.


Of Mixed Media, Trash & Ostrich Eggs

Sculpture Square’s Sculpture Carnival 2002 is here again. In it’s fourth year, the carnival is Singapore’s largest visual arts education programme tailored especially for children. But that’s not going to stop us from going down there, is it? Featuring the works of some of our best artists, including Ann Healey, Mohamad Din Mohamad, Lim Poh Tech, Baet Yeok Kuan, Peter Seah and Tang Sau Mei, the exhibition will showcase original creations using a variety of media inspired by Asian folklore. Bring out your inner child at Sculpture Square (155 Middle Rd) on May 25 and 26.

Simply Sculpture
Biennial Sculpture Symposium 2003

8 March till 17 April 2003
excerpt of text by Lim Kok Boon

Plastique Kinetic Worms / The Art Gallery @ NIE, NTU
61 Kerbau Road / 1 Nanyang Road

I have been told to see this exhibition, simply because it poses itself as an important milestone where Singapore tries to re-grasp a sense of its own footing in the arena of art in Sculpture. It promises to ‘re-explore sculpture in a world that is increasingly virtual in nature’, illuminate the impetus of creation, preference for hands-on and ‘create objects in space, which are unique to the land and the history of the environment’1. This exhibition I saw, was the result of a short residency and Sculpture Symposium Biennale 2003, held at the National Institute of Education - Department of Visual and Performing Arts, and conceptualised by Plastique Kinetic Worms. The exhibition consisted of Asian artists: Anusapati (Indonesia), Maria Taniguchi (The Philippines), Ruangvit Poomtangon (Thailand); the local familiar names included Chong Fah Cheong, Zainudin Samsuri, Baet Yeok Kuan, Ahmad Abu Bakar and Lim Soo Ngee.

Baet Yeok Kuan’s work remains poetically balanced: a confusion of tangled steel attached to a ‘swoosh-shaped’ hunk of metal, all precariously perched on a large shaft; bearing a resemblance to a work by Tan Teng Kee which sits in Singapore Armed Forces’ Stagmont Camp. Perhaps the use of steel reminds us of the concrete jungle that the artist comes from.


Rapport - Singapore Government Press Release

Media Division, Ministry of Information & the Arts, #36-00, PSA Building, 460 Alexandra Road, Singapore 119963, Tel: 3757795


It is my pleasure to extend a very warm welcome to you all this evening atthe opening of the exhibition Rapport: Eight Artists from Singapore and Australia. This is a collaborative cultural project between the Singapore Art Museum of the National Heritage Board, the National Arts Council, Monash University Gallery, and Asia link of Australia. Jointly curated by Singapore Art Museum and the Monash University Gallery, Rapport precipitates a process of collaboration based on exchanges of ideas and influences. By placing art work from Singapore and Australia side by side, Rapport seeks to set up a critical look at the cultural and emotional output of two different environments. These two cultural contexts have inspired a range of visual practices Rapport will feature works of four artists from each country. It includes installation and object based work with the respective artists drawing on materials from their surrounding environments. The artists are Baet Yoke Kuan, Amanda Heng, Salleh Japar and Matthew Ngui from Singapore and Hany Armanious, Carolyn Eskdale, Christopher Langton and Nicola Loder from Australia. This exhibition marks a new partnership between the international institutions.It is my hope that this exhibition will be enjoyed and appreciated by allwho visit the Singapore Art Museum in the next few weeks. This exhibition will give us the opportunity to appreciate and understand the art works by younger artists who are working across media from photography to found objects, inflatables to sculpture. It is now my pleasure to declare this exhibition, Rapport: Eight Artists from Singapore and Australia as officially opened.



Conservation takes on another dimension at the Singapore Zoo. With its parent company, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), adopting the Hopea sangal Tree art display created by the Sculpture Society, the Zoo also takes on a further educational role – this time as a reminder of what we could and should do to help save nature.

In collaboration with the Hopea sangal Committee (comprising the National Parks Board, Sculpture Society, Nature Society Singapore, Urban Redevelopment Authority and National University of Singapore’s Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research), WRS is seeking to conserve Singapore’s natural heritage with the adoption of the Hopea sangal Tree art display at the Singapore Zoo and planting of a Hopea sangal Tree seedling.

Created by nine sculptors, these sculptures and carvings reflect the Hopea sangal Tree’s 150 years of history in the Changi area, and the different faces of Singapore in the same period. They will be on display at the Singapore Zoo’s Restaurants in the Wild.

“Our mission is to preserve biodiversity and to undertake public education, research and collaboration as well as maintain and update the exhibits in all our parks in the most humane, naturalistic and yet efficient manner. We are honoured to have the opportunity to display the Hopea sangal Tree art here at the Singapore Zoo so that visitors can appreciate the artistic transformation of this endangered species.

“With the planting of the seedling, we hope that over the next 150 years, the Hopea sangal Tree will grow to its majestic height of 35m, giving future generations the opportunity to appreciate a ‘live’ Hopea sangal Tree,” said Dr Ho Yew Kee, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

The Artists:
Baet Yeok Kuan
Chang Wei
Chiew Sien Kuan
Chua Boon Kee
Collin Sai Hua Kuan
Lin Jing Xin
Lim Soon Ngee
Michael Ong Chu Kheng
Wang Ruo Bing
Zainudin Samsuri


Inaugural CDL-Singapore Sculpture Award for Budding Artists

Contributing to the arts community is not new to leading property developer, City Developments Limited (CDL). This year, the company is launching the CDL-Singapore Sculpture Award, themed, “Create and Appreciate”, to recognise and encourage creativity in youth and local artists in the field of sculpture. This initiative is in line with the national objective to make art a more palpable part of Singaporean life.

“CDL shares the vision of Singapore to become a world-class city supported by vibrant art and cultural activities. Through this nation-wide sculpture competition, we hope to generate greater appreciation of this relatively less developed art form and most importantly to discover budding talents in this area

The Award will serve as a recognition and an encouragement for these talents and hopefully will help further develop their skills.” Says Mr Kwek Leng Joo, Managing Director of CDL.

Supported by the National Arts Council, the CDL-Singapore Sculpture Award is organised in partnership with the Singapore Art Museum, LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Sculpture Square and iPreciation.

“We are happy to partner CDL in such an exciting project that is not only open to art enthusiasts and professional artists, but also for our schools’ participation. We hope that the schools will embrace this Competition as part of their schools’ arts education programme. It will truly be an interesting experience for the students to see their ideas come alive in a three-dimensional form that has the potential to grace a prime location in Singapore,” says Mr Leen Kim Swee, Director of Audience Development, National Arts Council.

A distinguished panel of judges, including leading Asian sculptors - Cheung Yee, Han Sai Por, Anthony Poon, Baet Yeok Kuan and other experts in this field will select the winners.

“We are pleased that this initiative has drawn keen support from the arts community. Their advice and input has greatly contributed to the successful launch of this Award,” adds Mr Kwek.

The CDL-Singapore Sculpture Award is offering a cash prize of $8,000 for the top award in the Open Category with three merit prizes of $1,000 each. For the student category, the top prize is $4,000 with three merit prizes of $800 each.

The winning entries will be showcased at an Exhibition in June at the Singapore Art Museum.

The Entry Deadline for the Award is 26 March 2003.




A week ago, Senior Minister unveiled the Merlion at this location. We needed to find a new place for the Merlion as its original location at the mouth of the Singapore River had been eclipsed by the new bridge across Singapore River. The Merlion's new home took into account the dynamic changes that the city had undergone, and the vision of a new Downtown wrapped around the Marina Bay. The new Merlion Park illustrates the need for a city to reinvent itself to meet new aspirations and to achieve the vision of transforming Singapore into a global city of distinction.

2 The city does not remain static. For instance, the very ground that we are standing on did not exist a few years ago. In fact, the southern shoreline of Singapore used to follow Telok Ayer Street.
Our city has since grown. With reclamation, the CBD expanded into today's Cecil Street, Robinson Road and Shenton Way.

3 For those of us who can recall, the activity center along the waterfront was the Esplanade Park - where families enjoyed satay at the former Satay Club, couples strolled along Queen Elizabeth Walk and anglers tried their luck along the waterfront. During special celebrations, the Padang and the promenade area would be especially packed as everyone would gather here to watch fireworks light up the night sky.

4 To serve Singapore's commercial, residential and recreational needs in the new millennium, we have since pushed our shoreline outwards towards Marina South. We have created the beautiful Marina Bay around which exciting new buildings of the future New Downtown would be developed. Even as the shoreline changes and our city grows, we want to bring back the vibrancy of the old days. In the plan for the new Downtown, the Marina Bay will be the focus of major celebrations and national events.

5 This vision is slowly becoming reality. Next month, the Esplanade -Theatres on the Bay, boasting state-of-the-art facilities, will open its doors. Together with the new Merlion Park, Fullerton Hotel and One Fullerton, this area now features a cluster of premier entertainment and dining facilities. With construction underway for the first sale sites of the new Downtown, the NTUC headquarters and the likely addition of a new business and financial centre, the entire Marina Bay will be transformed into a lively, bustling hub of commercial and recreational activity.

6 Even as we develop the `brick and mortar' hardware aspects of the city, we are mindful of the need to complement this with `software', so as to create a culturally vibrant city. Arts add character and renewed vigour to a city. It brings creative buzz, makes our city more attractive and provides an avenue for us to relax and enjoy ourselves.

7 Over the years, we have established a repertoire of popular Arts events such as the Singapore Arts Festival. Fort Canning Park hosts the World of Music And Dance (WOMAD) festival and 'Ballet under the Stars'. Some performances of the Singapore Arts Festival are staged at MRT stations. The SSO performs at regional parks like Tampines Park to bring arts into the heartlands.
8 Besides performance arts like dance and drama, sculpture is another art form that is making its presence felt in Singapore. Sculptures add a creative dimension to our city's streetscape. A sculpture can become a city's landmark. Mention New York, and we visualize the Statue of Liberty, or the charging bull at Wall Street. And of course, we have our own Merlion, which has become an icon of Singapore.

9 Sculptures can also tell a story. Recently, the People of the River series of sculptures was launched along the banks of the Singapore River. Colourful river scenes of the past have been re-enacted through the installation of sculptures like "First Generation" and "The River Merchants". These sculptures are not only landmarks along Singapore River, but remind us of Singapore's humble beginnings.

10 Sculpture Square at Bencoolen Street was established as a permanent venue for artists to showcase three-dimensional works. It is the brainchild of local sculptor Sun Yu Li whose works are also on display here tonight.

11 We should do more to make sculptures readily accessible to the public. This was why the Ministry of National Development set up the Public Sculptures Committee to encourage sculpture donations for our public parks, sidewalks, and plazas.

12 Working with the Public Sculptures Committee, the URA has drawn up a Public Sculptures Master Plan which identifies landmark sites and areas to guide the location of public sculptures. The Plan highlights three parks, four walking routes and five strategic locations where sculptures could be encouraged. These areas are along prominent activity corridors like Orchard Road and Singapore River.

13 Introducing public art to the city in the form of sculptures really requires a public-private partnership. The government basically sets out the framework to facilitate the community's involvement. Complementing the Public Sculptures Master Plan is an enhanced tax exemption scheme. Previously, donors of public sculptures would be granted tax exemptions up to the appraised value of the sculpture under the Public Sculptures Donation Scheme. However, sculpture donations made after January 2002 can now benefit from tax exemptions of up to double the appraised value of the sculpture.

14 The Public Sculptures Master plan can only become a reality with the participation of the private sector - individuals, interested groups and corporations. A public sculpture is a meaningful gift to the community and I would like to encourage more individuals and corporations to play an active role to make our city culturally richer.

15 I am therefore very pleased to be here this evening to open this sculpture exhibition. It is heartening to see the private sector taking the initiative to bring sculptures to the people through an exhibition like this. To underscore the close private - partnership which is needed to bring public sculptures to the city, we have taken the opportunity to unveil the URA's Public Sculptures Master Plan at this evening's sculpture exhibition. I invite everyone here to view the exhibition panels and to find out more about it.

16 The move of the Merlion sculpture to its new home here at the Marina Bayfront epitomizes the spirit of change and continuity in the making of modern Singapore.

17 One Fullerton, with its restaurants and cafes has become an `in' place, frequented by many. It is good to see the promenade being used as an exhibition space for works by renowned foreign and local sculptors Yuyu Yang, Arthur Yang, Cheung Yee, Sun Yu Li and Baet Yeok Kuan. With the new Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, and as the New Downtown takes shape, I am confident the entire Marina Bay area, in time, will become the throbbing pulse and focal point of our city.

Date: 20 Sep 2002


18.02.2003 to 30.03.2003

Contemporary South-East Asian Art

Exhibition opening: Monday 17.2.2003, 7pm

36 Ideas from Asia is a travelling exhibition organised by the Singapore Art Museum in co-operation with the Bonn Foundation for Art and Culture, a registered association. Following the first presentation at the Küppersmühle Museum in Duisburg in 2002, as the second stop in Europe the Rupertinum shows the 36 Ideas from Asia exhibition, which unifies the contemporary artists from the ten states of the ASEAN region: Brunei-Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The exhibition concept conceived by a group of Asian curators was adapted for the Rupertinum. In the form of painting, sculpture, photography and video, the works of art give multifaceted insights into the world of thought and feeling of 30 creative Asian artists. (The works by six artists are unable to be exhibited for reasons of conservation.) To the background of the changeable history of the respective countries – other than Thailand all of the states were subject to colonisation and were under Western rule for more than 100 years – and rapid economic and social development in recent years, the artists confront questions of cultural identity. The tension between traditional and modern life, especially forced through globalisation, leads to critical analysis of the economic, political and social realities.

The artists address the themes of religion, tourism and consumerism, and comment on the role of the sexes and on the changed modes of living and opinion in the age of electronic media.

Asian art: Confrontation with the new and the unknown

The 36 Ideas from Asia exhibition is distinguished above all by great heterogeneousness. The artistic positions fascinate with their individuality and authenticity. Their diversity makes immersion in foreign cultures possible and fosters cultural dialogue and intellectual confrontation with the new and the unknown.

The presentation is a premiere for the Rupertinum. The view of Asia, of the Far East, is for Europeans primarily subject to an aspect of tourism or regional folkloric. In dialogue with current Asian art, the pictorial language and iconography of which is different to art in the West, should stimulate new ways of seeing and foster new awareness.

The exhibition is under the wing of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) organisation, which fosters cultural, economic and social development among the member states, and thus shares in the creation of an international cultural dialogue.

An English-language catalogue will be available for the exhibition.


Singapore Art Museum
Bonn Foundation for Art and Culture (reg. assoc.)

List of artists

Apotik Komik Group, Indonesia
Baet Yeok Kuan, Singapore
Brenda Fajardo, Philippines
Bunga Jeruk, Indonesia
Dinh Thi Tham Poong, Vietnam
Do Minh Tam, Vietnam
Ha Tri Hieu, Vietnam
I Nyoman Masriadi, Indonesia
Jakapan Vilasineekul, Thailand
Jose Legaspi, Philippines
Jose Tence Ruiz, Philippines
Pg. Khamarul Zaman bin Pg. Hf. Tajuddin, Brunei Darussalam
Khamsouk Keomingmuang, Laos
Krisna Murti, Indonesia
Manit Sriwanichpoom, Thailand
Matthew Ngui, Singapore
May Chandavong, Laos
M.P.P. Yei Myint, Myanmar (Burma)
Nasir Baharuddin, Malaysia
Nguyen Huy Hoang, Vietnam
Nguyen Nhi Yi, Vietnam
Osman bin Bakir, Brunei Darussalam
Phy Chan Than, Cambodia
Pinaree Sanpitak, Thailand
Prasong Luemuong, Thailand
Roderico Jose Daray, Philippines
Saudi Ahamd, Philippines
Soe Naing, Myanmar (Burma)
Soeung Vannara, Cambodia
Svay Ken, Cambodia