Florence Shen grew up surrounded by antiques and paintings. Thus it was not surprising that she started taking a keen interest in art. When she was a child, she spent a lot of time copying other great painters’ works.
During 1986, Florence attended art classes under the tutelage of Mr. Tan Oi Pang, a master of Chinese brush painting. In 1988 she learned portrait painting from an artist who had just returned from Paris. The following year, she began to study calligraphy, seal-carving, scroll mounting and enamel painting. She was so hungry for knowledge that she wanted to do everything that had anything to do with art!
The turning point came in 1990 when her works were selected by a panel of well-known artists to be included in the Shell Discovery Art Exhibition, her first major art participation with the other talented artists. All 10 pieces of works were snapped up by enthusiastic art collectors. Subsequently, she also gained a special commendation for her work in 1992 and 1997 with the UOB Painting of the year competition.
Her travels throughout China, particularly Chengdu, in the mountainous province of Szechuan have left an indelible impression on her. She makes sketches of the beautiful landscape that inspire her.
Her collages are the result of an unusual conglomeration of materials, such as rice paper, newspapers, and magazines, watercolours, dyes, Chinese ink as well as organic materials such as fallen leaves and bird feathers, and novelties, oil paints are often used for highlights. Looking at them, one can see tiny figures, houses, birds and animals scattered here and there. The final products are colourful, heavily textured and refreshing. A true colourist, Florence’s mastery of the different hues of her palette is evident, with blue, green and purple forming her staples. Led by her lyrical and measured strokes, the viewer is transfixed into a state of deep exploration and eventual discovery.
Into her 60s now, Florence Shen is one of the most prolific Singaporean artists. She has exhibited in over 60 joint exhibitions throughout Asia and Australia. Her skilful exploitation of nature and the elements, together with her ingenious use of colour and texturing techniques have garnered her the international support that she enjoys today.
Florence’s work has been exhibited at over 35 Regional Exhibitions.
- The 12th Asian International Art Exhibition (1997, Macau)
- Chengdu Museum Art Exhibition (1998, Chengdu, China)
- The 14th Asian International Art Exhibition (1999, Fukuoka, Japan)
- SAS 50th Anniversary Art Exhibition (1999, Singapore)
- The 15th Asian International Art Exhibition (2000, Tainan, Taiwan)
- Art & Photography Exhibition (2002, Colombo, Sri-Lanka)
- 17th Asian International Art Exhibition (2002, Korea)
- Orange Blossom Festival Art Show (2002, Sydney, India)
- Modern Art Society 37th Anniversary Exhibition (2003, Singapore)
Florence’s works has been featured in several editorials and tabloids.
- Chinese Calligraphy, 1989
- Artist Feature, 1990
- Shell Discovery Art Exhibition, 1990
- Federation Art, 1998
- Exhibition in Japan, 1999
- The Straits Times, 2003
- Singapore Visitor, 2003