Cheo Chai Hiang

Cheo Chai-Hiang graduated from the Royal College of Art before becoming a Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome. He was a Senior Lecturer at the School of Contemporary Arts, University of Western Sydney. He is currently working on a project with the Contemporary Asian Arts Centre.


Source: written by Kwok Kian Chow

...Writing in the early-1970s, Cheo Chai Hiang anticipated the new art of the 1980s and 1990s. In an article published in Chinese, Cheo advocated the following new concerns in art: rejection of formalism; incorporation of intensely personal and emotive elements; inclusion of objects not previously regarded as art; emphasis on the artistic process as opposed to the finished work, use of indigenous materials; articulation of the relationship between material and the creative act; the visual experience not being the only reference for the creation of visual arts; and the incorporation of audience participation in a creative act ("Xin de yishu xin de guannian").

The first art work in Singapore which fit Cheo's new concern was Tan Teng Kee's Picnic event of 1979. Tan created a one-hundred-metre long painting entitled The Lonely Road which he cut into smaller pieces according to the wishes of the viewers. The end of the event was marked by Tan's incineration of one of his sculptural works...

Cheo Chai-Hiang, Ben Denham, Low Eng Teong

You are invited to
Meet the artists and performance night
6pm to 9pm
Wednesday 15 December 2004
The Art Gallery
National Institute of Education

Cheo Chai-Hiang
Ben Denham
Low Eng Teong

Works that involve
or interpreting of texts.

Four Corners 1 Cheo Chai-Hiang


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

Erased, Mislaid, Rejected, Revisited: Cheo Chai-Hiang's Works 1972-2005
13 Oct 2005 to 4 Dec 2005

"Contemporary art has in fact reached a point where artists are prepared to adopt anything as a medium to work with. What is important is the execution of the art work but the idea behind it. The speculation about the nature of things is sometimes more important that the rendering of actual appearances. An artist should be able to deal with any kind of material and to transform it into something that affects the spectator physically, intellectually and emotionally."

Cheo, Chai-Hiang, Foreword to Modern Art Society Exhibition, 1974

Cheo Chai-Hiang is an artist, lecturer, writer and independent curator. His work and thought, developed in Singapore, UK, Spain, Italy, Australia and China, has expounded new interactions of identity, culture and place. As a practicing artist, he covers a wide range of disciplines, including printmaking, drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, performance and writing.

Since 1975 Cheo has held 18 solo shows in Singapore, Italy, Australia and China and has also exhibited his work in important international exhibitions in Australia, Germany and Italy. As a teacher, Cheo has held the position of senior lecturer at the School of Contemporary Arts, University of Western Sydney. He has also held the position of the curator of UWS university gallery and art collection.

In February 2003. Cheo returned to live and work in Singapore. He has recently completed a book project titled Re-Connecting, in which he has translated selected writings by Liu Kang and Ho Ho Ying from Chinese to English on the subject of Singapore art and art criticism. The translations are accompanied by an introduction and ‘interjections’ by Cheo. This book is to be published in 2005. He has been commissioned to write and publish reviews and catalogue essays in both the Chinese and English language.

He is currently working as a full-time artist and a part-time lecturer at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University.


Art in Conversation with Technology

Session 1 (10.15 am - 12.15 pm)
Does technology enable artists to express their art better?
Margaret Tan, Wil-kie Tan, Lim Kok Boon (moderator), Cheo Chai-Hiang and Cecily Briggs

Do artists engage technology in their works, a question of choice or trend?
Lee Sze-Chin, Paul Lincoln, Pwee Kheng Hock (moderator), John Low, Khiew Huey Chian

Cecily Briggs is the partner of Cheo Chai Hiang. She is a painter, writer and independent curator. She holds a BA in Fine Art, a Post-Graduate Diploma in painting and a Masters Degree in Communication & Cultural Studies. She is currently a Teaching Fellow at the Visual & Performing Arts, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


The Thirty-Six Strategies

The Thirty Six Strategies is an installation workshop and public lectures that focus on a number of cross-cultural performance events. The installation will involve the construction of a series of makeshift scaffolds that will interact with the interior architectural features of the Casula Powerhouse and its adjoining outdoor environment, including a small section of the Georges River and the three tanks on the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre site.

The performance-events will involve the artist and members of the Singapore Chinese Opera Institute, who in full traditional operatic dress, will travel and 'perform' on the train that enters and departs from the Casula Powerhouse. Workshops will involve the artist and members of the Singapore Chines Opera Institute presenting innovative cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary activities.

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
2 June - 23 July
10.00 am - 4.00 pm, daily
1 Casula Rd Casula NSW
ph: (02) 9824 1121
fax: (02) 9821 4273


Cheo Chai-Hiang: Thoughts and Processes (Rethinking the Singapore River)
by Sabapathy, T. K. & Cecily Briggs

Price: US$20.96 (S$35.00*)
Region: Singapore
Format: Paperback, 132 pages
Published: 2000, Singapore, 1st Edition
ISBN: 9810423470
SB#: 030107

About This Book
A detailed illustrated study of the influential innovative Singapore artist, Cheo Chai-Hiang, whose work and thought, developed in Singapore, UK, Spain, Italy, Australia and China, has expounded new interactions of identity, culture and space.

New expression of Asian art
Nine Australian artists, seven of whom live in Asia, have been invited to ‘fly the Australian flag’ amongst the Asian flags, to support the development of art around the globe. Dr Lutz Presser, Colin Reaney, Cecily Briggs, Chai-Hiang Cheo, Karee Dahl, Cassandra Schultz, Jane Gover, Samantha Rath, Carli Collins will participate in the 2004 Tainan International Chihsi Arts Festival, – a major arts festival organised by the Taiwan Government to encourage the interchange between international art culture. New expression of Asian art exhibition 2004 will inspire creativity, encourage communication between artists from diverse countries, and emphasise the significance of new country culture. Primarily an Asian festival, Singapore-based Australian artist Chai-Hiang Cheo encouraged the Tainan Cultural Committee to involve Australian art, specifically Australian artists based in Asia. The invitation was considered an honour by the so-often overlooked and marginalised groups of Australian expatriate artists. New expression of Asian art exhibition 2004 is on at the Tainan Municipal Cultural Centre in Taiwan, Republic of China, from 21 August to 5 September

"Towards a Critical Printmaking Practice"

A lecture by Cheo Chai-Hiang

Cheo Chai-Hiang, in conjunction with "PROOF 2004 - Printmaking Society (Singapore) Annual Exhibition", will give an illustrated talk in which he will discuss his thoughts and observations about printmaking practice.

Cheo is a Singapore-born artist, lecturer, writer, and independent curator. He was appointed by the Printmaking Society (Singapore) as advisor for their annual exhibition.

Date: Saturday, 17 July 2004
Time: 2:30pm
Venue: STPI Gallery
Free Admission

Sculpture Square & Friends: get intimate with art
8 Dec 2005 to 18 Dec 2005

The arts sale will feature artists-
Ahmad Osni Peii
Brian Gothong Tan
Baet Yeok Kuan
Cheo Chai-Hiang
Chng Nai Wee
Chua Boon Kee
Chia Chu Yia
Donna Ong
Han Sai Por
Jeremy Hiah
Lim Poh Teck
Lim Shing Ee
Michael Lee Hong Hwee
Matthew Ngui
Sun Yu-Li
Tay Bee Aye
Urich Lau
Victor Tan, and
Yeo Chee Kiong