Just put your pencil to your paper and DO IT! An idea will definitely form from the scribbles.

Clogged ARTeries is an artwork that explores the concept of a clog in a student’s art making process. What inspired the artists, and what is their process? Chua Lee Beng kindly responded to STAR on behalf of the entire group for the interview. Continue reading to find out more.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

STAR: It was mentioned that the “unorthodox” medium of spray paint addresses the social stigma of graffiti art. Why did you choose this medium to reflect a student’s art making process? What do you hope an aspiring art student will walk away with after seeing your work?

Lee Beng: Graffiti art has always been associated with unruly hooligans with no respect for public property, defacing space with spray paint. However, this is an unfair generalisation. If you google and read about it, graffiti art has often been used to bring people in the community together. It was a concerted effort by all and not just one to conceptualise the final artwork. In fact, it is the element of play in the use of spray paint that can be very liberating and that is the way one should approach art making.

STAR: Could you share about a favourite graffiti on the steel cupboard?

Lee Beng: Personally, I think the most exciting part is revealing what is inside the cupboard! The bubbling ideas as well as affirming words and images lit up in black light is quite a spectacle!

STAR: Your work reflects your concern of the challenges your students face in their art making as well as the contemporary world. What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about being a Teacher-artist?

Lee Beng: I think setting aside time to make art is the greatest challenge. I try to achieve that by going for workshops, as those are times set aside for me to just learn and make. It is a joy when I share what I have learnt in the workshops with my students in class and they go ‘Oh’ and ‘Ah’. It means they are curious and amazed, and they would definitely like to explore it on their own. 

STAR: Lastly, what would you advise students and/or Teacher-artists with “clogged arteries” in their art making process?

Lee Beng: Just put your pencil to your paper and DO IT! An idea will definitely form from the scribbles.

Watch the work in progress:

You can view Clogged ARTeries at the SOTA Art Gallery from 4 March to 13 March 2020.

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