Overview

Tan Kok Leong suffered a serious injury of the cervical vertebrae after making a somersault during a lion dance practice in 1983, which resulted in the complete paralysis of all four of his limbs and left him wheelchair bound. With the greatest strength of will he taught himself mouth painting in 1988. One year after his first attempts at painting he received a scholarship from the Association, giving him the opportunity to intensify his commitment to painting. Two dominant stylistic elements can be recognised in the work of Tan Kok Leong. On the one hand his work is characterised by the classical Far Eastern tradition of painting, which can be seen in particular in his preferred subjects of mythological and fantasy scenes depicting monsters and good and evil spirits, but also in his watercolour studies of flowers and animals. On the other hand the paintings of Tan Kok Leong also reveal the influence of European and American art. Portraits are his favourite subjects and he has a special fondness for oil painting. He has also studied the technique of traditional Chinese painting, discovering his love of Chinese art in the process and putting the techniques he learned to great effect in his work. Tan Kok Leong has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Singapore and has also presented his work in one-man shows. He has been awarded prizes and honours for his painting, helping him achieve considerable fame. 

Artist Gallery

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Overview

Gilbert Tan Yue Liang broke his neck in a swimming accident in 1983 which left him tetraplegic and wheelchair bound. He began to take lessons in mouth painting in 1989 and made such progress in the art that he was able to contribute works to a group exhibition in the same year.

The preferred themes in the work of Gilbert Tan are elaborate subjects such as animals, flowers, bamboo and landscapes, which he portrays primarily in Chinese ink. He pays a great deal of attention to the chromatic effects of the colours, lending a three-dimensional appearance to his two-dimensional painting on rice paper. The lines and shades of his work underline the natural qualities of his motifs. Gilbert Tan Yue Liang has studied the old pictures in detail until they have become a source of inspiration for his own creative work. Both his pictures and the circumstances of his life also convey the comforting aspect of art. The fate that is the source of such pictures as those painted by Gilbert Tan reveals more than a little of the heroic deeds in the sagas and myths on which his culture is based. Gilbert Tan has taken part in numerous group exhibitions both at home and internationally. His pictures have also been exhibited in Vienna, Osaka, Kuala Lumpur and Taiwan and are shown in permanent exhibitions in San Francisco, Washington D.C. and in London.

Website:  gilberttan.com

Artist Gallery

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Overview

Wan Tack Wei is a military aviation enthusiast, he had always wanted to join the Air Force since young. So in 1986, he grabbed the opportunity when the Republic of Singapore Air Force offered him a scholarship at Singapore Polytechnic to study for a technical diploma. He was going to start his career as an electronics engineer. A month after passing his diploma and about to turn 19, someone higher up decided his life needed a change. On the morning of the 12 May 1990, he attended a swimming training session with the Armed Forces unit he was just posted to. He plunged into a swimming pool, hit his head at the bottom, which cause his neck to hyper-extend, causing the C5-6 cervical vertebrae to dislocate, crushing his spinal cord. His life has now taken a radical turn. A 20 months hospitalization followed. It was in 1991 that he came to know a mouth artist, Gilbert Tan. And ever since, he has been bugging him to try mouth-painting. Before the accident, his father used to receive postcards bearing pictures by mouth and foot painting artist, and he has always shudder at the thought of having to use his mouth to draw. Furthermore, he was inclined towards technical subjects and sports, and art has never been a favourite. The thought of having to paint with his mouth made him feel more disabled. But Gilbert never gave up and even showed him his Chinese Painting and how it was done. It was one fine day in early 1996 that someone higher up decided his computer to break down. Feeling bored , he started to draw on a notepad with a felt pen. The first subject was his lovable pet rabbit, which turns into some mutant rat on paper, and his coconut trees looks lightning-struck. A few months went by, amid further buggings from Gilbert , he bought a beginners book on chinese painting, some brushes, poster colours and drawing paper. And it was how it all started. After some practices and confidence, he finally joined MFPA in 1998. 

Artist Gallery

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Overview

Rajinder Singh was 32 years old when a road accident left him paralysed from chest down. He was riding a motorbike, which skidded while he was making a u-turn. Now he is a complete tetraplegic. He has a fractured, dislocation at C5 and C6 region of the spinal cord. Before his accident he was undergoing training for a petrochemical company (Seraya Chemicals) as a process technician. He has been a member of Handicaps Welfare Association since 1996 after the accident in 1995. He often goes there for his rehabilition exercises. He had tried doing telemarketing over the phone hoping that it could help him earn some income. But due to his inability to use his hands it was impossible. He then decided to do painting as he always had interest in it. He was doing arts in his school days. So he picked up the brush and started painting using his mouth, He felt the joy of the outcome of his paintings and actually he enjoys it. It has been 12 years now that Mouth and Foot Painting Artists has helped him to have a career as an artist. 

Artist Gallery

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Overview

Zhang Kaini met with a car accident which caused her to be paralysed from her shoulders down. The formal Chinese language teacher resolved not to allow herself to sink into a state of depression but to move on. She was inspired by Joni Erickson and started to hold the brush between her teeth to paint. It was tremendously difficult for her at the beginning due to her poor health. She was unable to steady the brush and often suffer from dizziness. However, Kaini did not give up. She was undaunted and persisted in overcoming all the odds. She taught herself painting and became a very successful artist. “My paintings are colourful and cheerful” she explains of her work, “They reflect my life. I want my art works to inspire others to be courageous and optimistic.” Kaini is currently working for the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artist Worldwide. Kaini hopes to have a solo exhibition someday. Through her active participation in life and art, she wants society at large to take notice and care more for physically challenged citizens like her. 

Artist Gallery

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Overview

Aaron Yeo Kwok Chian was born on 21 January 1979. On 12 November 2006 he was involved in a motorbike accident on his way home from work which forever changed his life. He sustained a grave injury to his spinal cord. For a long time after the hospital stay he did not know what to do until he met another tetraplegic, Gilbert Tan Yue Liang, who introduced him to mouth painting. In painting he has discovered a hidden talent that he can pursue. And being part of the Association of Mouth & Foot Painting Artists, he is free from being a burden to his family financially. 

Artist Gallery

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Overview

Raymond Tan was born in 1965 as an only son in his family. Being an only son, his family has high hopes on him to continue a family business managing a drink stall in one of the coffeshops here. Until one fateful day, 17 August 1993, he met with a traffic accident when travelling back home from dinner with his friends. The car he was in was hit by a taxi and it was overturned.
Since then his life has totally changed. He was paralysed chest down with fractured C1/C5 vertibra. He can only grip slightly in his right hand using the centre finger. He was then married with a 1 year old son. His wife and family have given him all the support to help him accept the changes in his life.
It took him almost 17 years after the accident that he thought he should do something to help his family financially and not to be a burden to them. Before that he was so confused and could not bring himself to decide on what to do in his life. Recently, his interest in art starts to blossom. He starts to learn the art of painting through youtube. After many tries of learning to control the brush in his mouth, he finally decided to join MFPA in 2011. 

Artist Gallery

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Overview

Stanley Lim was born on 3rd Nov 1977. It has been 9 years since he met with a traffic accident. It was a motorcycle accident involving a passenger car. He was thrown off and hit the ground several meters away from his bike. He suffered a serious neck injury which broke his spinal cord. As a result, he lost the functions of his hands and legs and has no movement or feeling from his chest down. The date was 29 Oct 2005. It was a turning point in his life.
Before the accident, he was an engineer with a local aerospace company. He was a newly qualified licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer back then. After his accident, he could not pursue his career aspirations as he was left a quadraplegic.
In many ways, this accident has changed his life and taken him on a different route from the life he had previously enjoyed as an able-bodied. He is now dependent on another person’s assistance to be his hands and feet to perform the most basic functions of eating, bathing, bowel and bladder care, etc.
Although he is paralysed, it has not stopped him to continue leading an active life as much as he possibly can. To keep active, he has been keeping to a 3 times weekly swimming routine on his own. In addition, he has also enrolled in a once a week swimming program supported by Singapore Disability Sports Council. Apart from swimming, he goes to a physiotherapy session once weekly with Handicapped Welfare Association as another form of physical therapy.
Mouth-Painting was introduced to him by a local mouth artist, Gilbert Tan. After seeing what Gilbert had achieved through the years of hard work, he inspires him that he can do the same. The initial stage of Mouth-painting was very tough but it gives him great sense of fulfillment and satisfaction on every piece of work that he has completed. The interest of loving to paint is growing in him. He is encouraged to pursue in his mouth painting and he hopes his works will also bring motivation to the lives of others who encounter difficulties in life. 

Artist Gallery

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Overview

Daniel Tan met with a car accident in 1982 when he was 20 years old. He was certified by the doctor that he is paralyzed from his neck downwards. For about 27 years he could not do much on his own and he needed his family’s moral and financial help. In 2009, he met some friends who introduced him to the Mouth & Foot Painting Artists. He was presented with a challenge – to paint by mouth! The complete loss of all his finger movements means that wielding anything with the dexterity of his hands was an impossible feat. The thought of being able to create something of artistic value challenged him to persevere in the artistic endeavour. Besides, painting is known to be therapeutic. Indeed, it was a transformation from the endless television programmes/games for a bed ridden person. Obviously, he faced many problems in holding the paintbrush in his mouth. During all painting sessions, someone has to stand by him and be ready to help him. The setting up of the equipment and putting all the necessary tools in place were essential before he can begin his work. But he managed to overcome all the hassle because of the growing passion in mouth painting. His desire is to become an inspiring artist and hope to be financially independent so that he would not be a financial burden to his family. Besides, he began to find meaning and purpose in his life. 

Artist Gallery

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Overview

Chia Yong Liang was born in 1960. He became a quadraplegic in 1981 due to a diving accident.
He suffered from a stroke in 2007 and was confined to bed and was unable to talk at all. After much persistence and rehabilition, his condition improved and he is able to sit on a wheelchair.
He used to get the set of cards from Mouth & Foot Painting Artist but has never occurred to him that he will be one of the artists one day. In 2010, after an encouragement from his pretty wife, he started to play around with the brushes in his mouth. He was accepted as a student member of MFPA in March 2012. 

Artist Gallery

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Christina Lau was born in 1972. She used to be a Prison Officer before she was paralyzed. On 2nd April 2005, she and her husband met with a car accident in Malaysia. On that day, it was raining heavily and out of sudden the car skidded and came to a halt. Immediately, a car from behind came very fast and bang into their car. The impact of the bang was very strong. So it resulted in her being paralyzed from her chest down with complete loss of finger movements. And she is also suffering from C6 spinal cord injury. The doctor told her that she will be permanently disabled.
After the accident, she did not give up on herself. She started to join the Tetra activities in 2009 and from there she got to know a group of friends who used their mouth to paint. Then, she was very curious and wanted to find out more about what is mouth painting? As before the accident, she never used to like painting or drawing but life has changed. Therefore, she started to pick up painting and skilfully taught herself to paint. She was recognised by MFPA as a Student Member in March 2012. 

Artist Gallery

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William Ngo was born on 14 March 1965. He was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when he was 17 years old. Muscular dystrophy is a group of muscle diseases that weaken the musculoskeletal system and hamper locomotion. Muscular dystrophies are characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and the death of muscle cells and tissue. At the age of 30, the muscles in William Ngo’s hands became increasingly weak. He was forced to give up his job as a jewelry craftsman in a jewellery shop. Today he has lost all use of his upper extremities. With strong determination, he now learns mouth painting. He enjoys his mouth painting because it gives him great satisfaction each time he managed to complete a painting. He prefers painting landscapes using watercolours. He wishes to become a professional mouth painter one day. 

Artist Gallery

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Overview

Glen Tan met with a motorcycle accident in Nov 2009. He broke his neck and his lungs were punctured and was gasping for air. He sustained a spinal cord injury C5/C6 burst fracture, a cage was planted on his spinal cord to secure the injured area. He was confirmed paralyzed from chest downward with no finger function. Life was tough then. He met a mouth artist, Aaron Yeo who introduced him to mouth painting. He was truly amazed with Aaron’s paintings. He went to the library to get books on acylic and oil painting and was really interested then. In March 2013, he joined MFPA as a Student member receiving a monthly scholarship. 

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Kok Tuck Chong is a quadriplegic, which literally means paralysis of 4 limbs. He got his injury in 1990 when he was a sailor. After a night out drinking with his friends, he fell off the escalator at one of the MRT station. That left him confined to the wheelchair permanently. Even though he could use his shoulder, arm and wrist, he had very limited control over his fingers. He could feed himself but needs his wife to bathe him and clear the bowel. Kok Tuck Chong had always liked to paint, but it was not easy with the brushes held in the mouth. However, with perseverance and determination, he was able to overcome all the difficulties. He has participated in various exhibitions, some with the cooperation from Very Special Art Singapore. 

Artist Gallery

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