Poh Siew Wah

b. 1948


Poh Siew Wah | 布少华 (b. 1948, Singapore) is recognised for his abstract paintings inspired by Singapore and Southeast Asian landscapes. Painting in both realistic and abstracted forms, his trademark of the late eighties and early nineties was soft, textured watercolours of Singapore scenes. Poh started to paint in abstract in the late 1980s. He believed this to be the best way of expressing emotion. To the artist, the free use of material and the spontaneous gesture of abstract painting seemed more direct than painting figuratively. 

Poh received an informal art education from his teachers in Gan Eng Seng Secondary School, artists S. Namasivayam and Yeong Ah Soo, who encouraged him to experiment with different media ranging from charcoal and crayons to watercolours and oils. He continued on to the Teachers' Training College in 1967 where he majored in art education, gaining exposure to further techniques and ideas. He taught art in schools after his graduation in 1970. 

Poh has exhibited widely in Southeast Asia as well as in China, Japan, Taiwan and in Europe. Apart from the Singtel Collection, his works have been collected by the Singapore Art Museum, the Flensburg Municipal Museum, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Singapore Airlines.