It is unlikely that anyone in Singapore's art circle will not know of the name Ng Eng Teng whenever it is mentioned. He graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and continued his studies in England, majoring in sculpture and ceramic arts.
On his return to Singapore, he participated in many exhibitions and won gold and silver awards in competitions. Everyone regarded him as an up-and-coming artist with multiple talents. At this point we must emphasize Eng Teng's firm foundation in sketching, for this is a skill that a sculptor needs to possess. Therefore, his sculptures, even when boldly hewn, are still expressive and animated in form. The statue of Mr. George is one of these successful examples. Although he admires Michelangelo of Italy, Rodin of France, and Henry Moore of England, he has his own characteristic and unique style. This is especially so for sculptures of human figures with heroic poses and heads held high: they symbolize our country's reliance on the intellect and imagination of her people to overcome a shortage of natural resources.
He has installed an electric kiln as well as a gas kiln in his house, and this illustrates his determination to develop in his chosen field. Other than sculptural works, he sometimes creates small ceramic works for foreign visitors as souvenirs.
At present, our country is attempting to enrich our cityscape and to promote the arts. Eng Teng created a sculpture for the University of Singapore last year which was inaugurated by the president's wife. This may mark the beginning of importance given to the role of sculpture in our country. I hope that from now on, other than painting, sculpture can find a place in parks, beside streets and inside buildings. This will enhance our image as a garden city artistically. In this, Eng Teng can definitely contribute and employ his talents usefully.
His personal exhibition, to be held at the National Library from 4th November 1970, will feature 30 oils, 10 sketches, 35 sculptures and 30 ceramic works. For this momentous artistic occasion I would like to wish him success.
Sculpture, ceramic, painting, ng eng teng Singapore, 1970, unpaginated.
Translated from Chinese by Lai Chee Kien
Last updated: 11 January 2001