Tan Swie Hian – The Most Expensive Living Artist in Singapore

Singapore's top living artist, Tan Swie Hian with Singapore Blog Awards winner, Eunice Khong (picture via Travelerfolio.com)
Singapore’s top living artist, Tan Swie Hian with Singapore Blog Awards winner, Eunice Khong (picture via Travelerfolio.com)

Do you know who Tan Swie Hian (陈瑞献) is?

He has become the most expensive living artist in Singapore last night after a frenzied five-way bid at the Poly Autumn Auction’s Modern And Contemporary Chinese Art Evening Sale in Beijing where his oil and acrylic painting, When the Moon is Orbed 《月圆时候》(140cm x 206cm), was sold for 18.975 million yuan (S$3.7 million).

The Cultural Medallion recipient and multidisciplinary aritst painted the record-breaking work in Beijing earlier this year.

I have the honour of meeting and speaking with Tan Swie Hian on a few occasions because of the Singapore Blog Awards, organised by omy.sg.

Do you know that the Singapore Blog Awards trophies that omy.sg have been giving out the past five years are designed by Tan Swie Hian?

Singapore Blog Awards trophies designed by Tan Swie Hian
Singapore Blog Awards trophies designed by Tan Swie Hian

Like a wise sage, Tan Swie Hian shared with us some of his thoughts on organising a new media award like this and how we needed to have far-reaching visions in order to succeed. The team at omy.sg is thankful for his valuable contributions and advice.

Some had asked us about the unique shape of the trophy, mistaking it for an urn. Much thought went into the conceptualisation and design of the trophy. You can read more about it HERE.

This is how Tan Swie Hian describe the trophy design in his own words:

“鼎是权威的象征,我采用鼎的形式来设计部落格奖座,新言论权威既是通过新的意念新传播方式建立,便形成新的游戏规则,所以我用立体的圆方三角这几个基本造型,组成象征这种新规则的鼎足,也即是权威的支柱。”

“这是一个全新的鼎。得奖人同时可以从这个新鼎看到传统形制的保留,比如鼎身虽然减去二耳又接近警鸣器的罄,但还保留原有的烹器容器的圆体,不是直立而是外倾的鼎足还是保留传统的三柱足。这是说不论网上言路有多新式、全面及自由,一些传统的价值还是得遵守,如诚实公正客观,言论自由并不等于可以不负责任。”

For the past years Singapore Blog Awards winners, there are currently 47 trophies designed by Tan Swie Hian and given out by omy.sg in circulation globally. Don’t you feel honoured to be among one of the few individuals in the world holding on to such an exqusite piece of art? 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Tan Swie Hian – The Most Expensive Living Artist in Singapore”

  1. Many years Mr, Tan graced a mixed media artists exhibition that I was involved in. I work on copper.
    I emboss my art pieces with sand, beads, glass etc . I also paint my pieces. All the works of art were for sale. The selection committee selected some of my better works but alos chose 2 early pieces of mine of Picasso’s ink sketches of the bull fighter. The pieces were 6″ square etched in black and backed by plywood and unframed. They were the first pieces I did as an experiment and to me looked unfinished and I was not keen to show them but as they insisted I agreed but attached a not for sale tag.
    Mr Tan took a liking to them and asked if I would part with one of the pieces. I was so delighted that such a well know established artist would consider keep a work that an amature like me had done. I wanted to give it to him but he refused and said that I should price it accordingly. I was at a loss. I blurted $20 but he said an artiste must value his work. We finaly settled for $100 which way above what I had in mind. I found him kind, humble and generous to budding artist and I still feel he has not changed through all the years. He is Singapore’s asset and will be treasured.

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