Bottle Gourd with Chrysanthemum

Wee Shoo Leong

Title

Bottle Gourd with Chrysanthemum

Artist

Wee Shoo Leong

Year

1988

Media

Oil on Canvas

Theme

Still Life

Wee Shoo Leong's realistic still life oil paintings epitomise the genre for Singapore art. Each carefully crafted composition is painted in real colours, giving due respect to dimensionality, form and colour. The background and tabletop are in neutral greys so as to focus the viewer's full attention on the subjects of study. 

Wee uses objects from traditional Chinese culture for this work. The wulo or bottle gourds often symbolise life and health, as chrysanthemums represnt joy and beauty. Bamboo has much value and denotes good character and integrity. Trained at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Wee's work is symptomatic of the East-meets-West art training of the college. The use of the oil medium to paint a 'true' picture of Chinese cultural objects is one way to express this aesthetic. Other artists who use still life compositions to express Chinese values include Leo Hee Tong, Lim Tiong Ghee and Soh Chee Hui.

Another painting by Wee Shoo Leong in the Singtel collection is Water Pipe (1991).