tew nai tong

Artist Information

 tew nai tong


Tew's depictions of rural living and local culture are captured in distinctly sharp profiles and closed eyes of his signature figurative paintings. To Tew, it is his ideal of a beautiful woman and lover of the female form he surely is, being one of the rare painters of nudes in Malaysia.

His unique point-of-view begins from the perspectives of his paintings; seen from the inside looking out. Earlier in his career he was fond of using cool colours but now utilizes warm tones to accurately depict a tropical environment where the harsh sunlight casts an inimitable aura on the Asian landscape.

The horizon line of his paintings is varied and imaginary, resulting in seemingly flat vistas which evoke a sense of novelty and nostalgia. Despite the rich multiplicity of colours, there is a harmony to his paintings in the consistent values. The loose brushwork gives an array of texture and Tew's backgrounds and compositions have evolved to a contemporary use of forms and space.

There is an abstract look even to the animals that Tew paints and he is particularly fond of cows as he perceives their form to be highly adaptable to his compositions. He paints animals to show the familiarity of nature with humans, mostly depicting domestic animals such as goats and fowl. Other elements such as antique birdcages and decorated sarongs embody the rustic lifestyle of the kampong.

Post-expressionism is how Tew describes his artworks. He commits much research into the landscapes of the countryside and sometimes does sketches plein air or uses photos as a guide. Tew finds inspiration in Degas' masterpieces and Gauguin's exotic figures.