“I like to experiment so as to discover the material that I’m working with through my hands-on approach. This is a language for me, allowing me to interpret the vision that I have. At STPI, it was about this kind of experimenting and discovering.”
– Han Sai Por
A formidable artistic figure with more than 50 years of practice, Han Sai Por (b.1943, Singapore) is one of Asia’s leading modern sculptors and a recipient of Singapore’s Cultural Medallion Award in 1995. Her experiences have shaped her aesthetic language of understated, geometric, and organic forms; marble sculptures appear pliant, making for instantly recognisable works that speak of her years of experience.
Her education in Fine Arts and Landscape Architecture strengthened her keen understanding of nature and the environment that influenced her work. Most of her works are inspired by the flora and fauna in tropical forests of Southeast Asia. They often comment on the changing landscape in the region and the deforestation that adversely impacts on the environment and ecosystem.
Collaborating with the workshop team in her first residency (2013), Han reinvigorated her creative approach with new material possibilities in the in-house paper mill. Exchanging her signature mediums of stone and marble with paper pulps that are soft in nature, Han stretched paper’s potential to possess volume and textures. Her tactile three-dimensional pieces are reminiscent of tropical flora and fauna, highlighting her sculptural sensibilities.
Coming back for a second residency in 2021, the artist created 35 new print and paper works in a span of just three weeks. Using technologies that are new to the artist (such as photo intaglio and laser-cutting), the eventual works exemplifies Han’s enduring spirit of artistic exploration that is not bounded by a singular medium, even at this stage of her decades-long career.
Han has won international acclaim and participated in numerous international exhibitions and projects around the world. Her works can be found in the collections of many international institutions, public spaces and private collections from Singapore, Malaysia, India, China, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and United Kingdom and the United States, such as the National Gallery Singapore, Singapore Art Museum, National Museum in Beijing, the Australian Parliament, the Chancery of the Permanent Mission of Singapore to the United Nations in New York, the Singapore Embassy in Washington DC, Istana Singapore, and Changi Airport Terminal 3 in Singapore.