Chua Ek Kay (1947-2008) unquestionably delivered one of the most compelling and exhilarating Chinese ink practices in Singapore. In early 2007, Chua reacquainted with the print and papermaking processes at STPI, five years after his first residency in 2002. The 41 new paper pulp works and prints that have surfaced erupt with vitality and energy. The works bear a strong testament of Chua’s distinctive handling of traditional Chinese ink painting techniques in a contemporary manner.
Created at the Institute’s paper mill with Hungerford’s assistance, the process begins by forming a sheet of paper made from cotton fibre. Chua brushes on his images directly onto sheets of wet, translucent paper pulp. This resulted in works of art imbued with a unique luminosity, colour tone and texture that are characteristic of this process.
Chua Ek Kay received his training in ink painting under the tutelage of Fan Chang Tien from 1975-1985. His practice extends in art lecturing and curatorial engagements; Chua sits on various art committees and is also a published poet. In September 2002, STPI invited Cultural Medallion recipient Chua Ek Kay to be the first Singaporean artist to participate in its distinguished Visiting Artists Programme.