Thomas Yeo

b. 1936


Thomas Yeo | 姚照宏 (b. 1936, Singapore) is known as a second generation artist. His work is in abstract as well as semi-abstract landscapes. These reflect his training both at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and in the United Kingdom.

Yeo’s interest in art began early and in 1958, he enrolled for formal art studies at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. He graduated in 1960 and continued his art education in London at the Chelsea School of Art, concurrently studying at evening classes on crafts and techniques in art-making at the Hammersmith College of Art & Architecture. In 1961, he left Chelsea School of Art to focus full time at Hammersmith College. He graduated in 1964 and returned to Singapore where he started to practise art full time.

Outside of his work, Yeo has been an active supporter of art and artists in Singapore, serving as advisor and sitting on art committees. Amongst others, he was an advisor to the National Arts Council (1992 to1994) and the president of the Modern Art Society, Singapore (1994 to 1999). For his contributions to art, Yeo was conferred the Cultural Medallion in 1984. His other achievements include prizes at the UOB Painting of the year (1983 and 1984) and the Distinguished Alumni Medal Inaugural Award of NAFA (2009).

Yeo’s works have been exhibited in more than 40 solo exhibitions and in numerous regional and international group exhibitions in Southeast Asia, Australia, Macau, Japan, South Korea, Europe and the United States. Solo exhibitions include Thomas Yeo: A Retrospective at the Singapore Art Museum (1997) and Thomas Yeo: Contrasting Images at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (2005). Group exhibitions include the Asian International Art Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila (1996), Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Japan,1999) and Daejeon Museum of Art (South Korea, 2002).

Yeo has been commissioned widely by many government ministries and local corporations, including the Ministry of National Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Singapore Press Holdings. His work has been collected by Singtel and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts amongst others.