Prabhakara Jimmy Quek | 郭明义 (b. 1955, Singapore) creates vibrant paintings depicting nature and natural phenomena. He is a devout Buddhist and his keen interest in spirituality is reflected in his paintings that interpret notions of constant change, impermanence, non-self, and the inter-relational nature of things. He signs his paintings with ‘Prabhakara’, the Sanskrit term for ‘source of light’.
Quek started painting in 1971 at Dunman Government Chinese Middle School, where he was also president of the school’s art society. He continued his art education in 1973 when he enrolled at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. He studied under Chen Chong Swee and Lim Yew Kuan, and the calligrapher Shi Xiangtuo. A year later, Quek’s art studies were disrupted when his father asked him to transfer to Ngee Ann Technical College for business studies. After his graduation in 1977, Quek worked in a piling company and at his own graphic design firm, concurrently keeping active in art. He enrolled in painting courses at St Patrick’s School of Art (now LASALLE College of the Arts) (1985 to 1986), when he began to participate in numerous exhibitions and competitions. He also taught art at the Siglap and Mountbatten community centres. Quek entered full-time art practice in 1986.
Quek has received commendations for participation in the UOB Painting of the Year (1983 and 1986) and the IBM Art Award (1987 and I989). He also won the first and merit prizes at the IBM Art Award in 1988. Quek has exhibited in more than 10 solo and more than 80 group exhibitions in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Japan, South Korea, Bangladesh, the Netherlands and the United States of America. Locally, his work has been shown at the National Museum Art Gallery (1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1995), the Empress Place Museum (1991 and 1992) and the Singapore Art Museum (1996).
Quek’s works have been collected by Singtel, the National Museum of Singapore, the Singapore Art Museum and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.