About the artworkThe Joy series shows award-winning watercolourist Aaron Gan's take on a much beloved genre of the Chinese literati, the bird-and-flowers painting (花鳥畫). Exploiting the congruencies between Chinese ink painting and watercolours, Aaron has explored the use of wash, wet and dry brush strokes, oriental subjects and negative space, but all in his chosen medium of watercolour. In Joy, the insouciance of his birds and vibrant colour of his fruits and flowers add to the light and festive nature of the works. The long watercolour half-sheet obtained by dividing a full sheet lengthwise is reminiscent of the long format of a Chinese scroll painting.In Lotus - Compassion, a bird hovers over a lotus in full bloom, its defined outline contrasting with the softer outlines of the flower. In Buddhist art, a fully-blooming lotus flower signifies enlightenment; the lotus has been a symbol of purity even before the time of Buddha as the bloom rises above the mud, clean and fragrant. A red lotus is associated with Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. The bird glancing backwards represents gratitude to the people who have helped us along our path to success.
Aaron Gan is the 2015 UOB Painting of the Year, Gold Award, Established Artist Category, Singapore winner.
Born in Singapore in 1979, Gan graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Dean’s List) from the University of Western Australia in 2003. In 2012, he gave up his corporate career to fufill his childhood dream of becoming a professional artist. Following his numerous sell-out shows, Gan’s artworks have been collected and commissioned widely both in Singapore and internationally.
Gan's works have been presented to foreign dignitaries around the world. During Singapore's PM Lee's official inaugural visit to the US in 2016, his painting Balestier Road was presented to US President Barack Obama. He belongs to institutional and corporate collections of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, National Library Board, GIC, Keppel FELS, Julius Baer, United Overseas Bank, The Association of Banks in Singapore, TruMarine, Wheelock Properties and many more.
In 2017, he collaborated with Nespresso on a regional media campaign spanning Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Gan was appointed Art Ambassador for Faber-Castell, Singapore, in 2018. In 2019, he was selected to represent the upcoming Year of the Rat in wine label Castiglion del Bosco’s Zodiac series.