"The Father VII" by Boo Sze Yang in 2013 (image - The Straits Times)

Tribute paintings to LKY depicting “The Father” through the years

The Straits Times ran an article on 15 April about a series of paintings by artists paying tribute to the late former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Among the paintings was a piece titled “The Father VII” (2013), by local artist Boo Sze Yang, that depicts Mr Lee Kuan Yew throughout the years.

"The Father VII" by Boo Sze Yang in 2013 (image - The Straits Times)
“The Father VII” by Boo Sze Yang in 2013 (image – The Straits Times)

Mr Boo’s online resume indicates that he was Head of the Department of Fine Art at his alma mater, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts before turning to practice art full-time in 2009. He received his Master in Arts Degree from Chelsea College of Art & Design, the University of the Arts London and his Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art from University of Reading, UK.

Mr Boo used to paint car and airplane crash scenes, derelict interiors of cathedrals and glittering chambers of shopping malls, but had switched to painting Lee Kuan Yew for his later works.

In an earlier article, The Straits Times revealed why he made the switch.

Asked about the shift in his subject matter, Boo, 48, says he wanted to do something “different” and “inject a human element” in his canvases. “I have been painting buildings and car crashes that lack human presence. I wanted to paint people and, for some time, I have felt that the subject for my new series has to be someone hugely significant.”

Mr Boo has painted a whole series on Mr Lee in running numerals with “The Father” as the prefix, as part of his recent exhibitions.

The Father VI" by Boo Sze Yang (image - ipreciation.com)
The Father VI” by Boo Sze Yang (image – ipreciation.com)

Other paintings mentioned include “A Couple” by Tan Swie Hian. which was inspired by a photo showing a young Mr and Mrs Lee Kuan Yew posing in Cambridge University in 1946. The panting also includes a poem apparently written into the canvas.

"A Couple" by Tan Swie Hian (image - The Straits Times)
“A Couple” by Tan Swie Hian (image – The Straits Times)

Adapted from various media reports.