Marvin Chew

Watercolour Artist

I am a professional watercolour artist and the former Vice-President of the Singapore Watercolor Society, who is actively involved in many exhibitions and competitions, both locally and internationally.


I love watercolour, my main medium of expression. I love the luminous colours that glow and how they mix and flow with water.  There are minimal margins for error when it comes to watercolour painting, and yet it’s not a perfectionist’s medium as it is almost impossible to tame its natural flow. I have spent the past decade practicing how best to control and to dictate it. But I begin to realize that it’s not meant to be controlled, but to let it flow while I just guide its course to create what I feel is artistically beautiful.


I usually paint in semi-realistic, impressionist style, using transparent watercolors that highlight the play of lights and shades, using spontaneous, bold brushstrokes which imbues the energy of Chinese calligraphy in my works.   


My favourite subjects are landscapes as well as street scenes and lifestyles of the locals. I'm often likened to a 'beautician', transferring mundane scenes, into impressionistic works of art with the emphasis of evoking a sense of nostalgia and belonging. I seek inspiration from observing the world around me.  People’s lifestyle and culture, are what triggered my curiosity to study and paint them.


I regularly paint my surrounding 'live' on location known as plein air painting. The direct and close observation on the painting subjects provide me with an intimate knowledge and understanding, and to study them through formation of shapes and form, depiction of lights and shades, and to be communicated through this unspoken language of expressive colours, rendered with lucious washes and bold, decisive brushstrokes.  



Solo Exhibition


2012              Held first solo exhibition “In Living Colours” at Galerie Sogan & Art, Singapore

2014              Held second solo exhibition “Eat • Drink • Paint” at Utterly Art Gallery, Singapore

2016              Held third solo exhibition "My Watercolour Story" and launch of art book of the same name at ArtSafe Exhibition Hall, Singapore



Group Shows, Awards and Other Achievements


2003              Merit Award - Project Search, Discover South East Painting Competition, Singapore.

2004 – 14     Participated in SWS 35th to 45th Annual Exhibitions, Singapore.

2005              Juried into the 28th International Exhibition of Watercolor Art Society-Houston (WAS-H), USA.

2005              Participated in the 17th Asia International Watercolour 2005, Singapore.

2006 & 08    Participated in the Singapore Chinese Cultural Festival Grand Art Exhibition, Singapore.

2006              Participated in Penang-Singapore Watercolour Exhibition 2006 in Penang, Malaysia.

2007              Participated in Sarawak Cultural Arts & Craft Festival 2007 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.

2008              Participated in Telok Kurau Studios - Commemorating A Decade Exhibition, Singapore.

2008              Participated in Folk Art Forum exhibition held in conjunction with Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.

2008              Telok Kurau Studios Annual Exhibition 2008 - Mountains As Non-Mountain, Singapore

2009              Participated in Singapore Art Show 2009, “The Call of Tradition”, Black Earth Art Museum.

2009              Participated in Singapore Hainanese Association Art Exhibition 2009, Singapore.

2010              Participated in National Day Calligraphy and Painting Exhibition 2010, Singapore.

2010              Juried into the National Watercolor Society 90th Annual Exhibition 2010, Los Angeles, USA.

2011              Participated in Tiong Bahru Revisited Exhibition, White Canvas Gallery, Singapore.

2011              Participated in the first group exhibition of Urban Sketchers Singapore (USk-SG) and its book launch at URA Centre, Singapore.

2012              Participated in Mini Paintings Exhibition organised by Federation of Art Societies, Singapore.

2012              Participated in $uper $ingapore $ale Art Exhibition at ION Orchard Gallery, Singapore.

2012              Participated in “Our Journey” Watercolour Exhibition with Loy Chye Chuan & Students.

2012              Participated in “Affordable Art Fair Singapore”, represented by Galerie Sogan & Art.

2013              Juried into the 36th International Exhibition of Watercolor Art Society-Houston (WAS-H), USA.

2013              Juried into and won the “Christopher J. Doré Memorial Award” - 43rd Louisiana Watercolor Society (LWS) International Exhibition, USA.

2013              Participated in “Unity-In-Diversity” 7-man Group Exhibition, National Library Board, Singapore.

2013              Participated in “Artist’s Favourite II” Group Exhibition, Penang State Museum, Malaysia.

2013              Represented Singapore in “China-ASEAN Youth Artists Workshop & Residency” in Beijing, where 6 paintings are permanently collected by China's          

                       Ministry of Culture. 

2013 - 14      Participated in “Affordable Art Fair Singapore”, represented by Utterly Art.

2014              Participated in “Art Apart Fair 2014”, represented by Utterly Art.

2014              Participated in “A Changed World” exhibition jointly organized by Urban Sketchers Singapore and National Museum of Singapore.

2014              Juried into the 37th International Exhibition of Watercolor Art Society-Houston (WAS-H), USA

2014              Participated in “Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong 2014”, represented by Utterly Art, Hong Kong

2014              “Re-Interpretation” International Watercolor Exhibition 2014, Suzhou, China

2014              Participated in “National Day Calligraphy and Painting Exhibition 2014”, Singapore

2014              Participated in “Langkawi Art Biennale 2014”, Langkawi, Malaysia

2014              Participated in World Hainanese Calligraphy and Art Exhibition 2014, Singapore

2015              Participated in Singapore Art Society’s 65th Anniversary Art Exhibition, Singapore.

2015              Selected and Participated as one of the 50 artists in “A Brush with Singapore Art Society”, Singapore.

2015              Juried into the 38th International Exhibition of Watercolor Art Society-Houston (WAS-H), USA.

2015              Juried into 2015 Watercolor Missouri International Exhibition, USA.

2015              Juried into the 45th Louisiana Watercolor Society (LWS) International Exhibition, USA.

2015              Participated in World Artists Alliance Exhibitions in Penang, Malaysia and Hua Lien, Taiwan.

2015              Participated in “National Day Calligraphy and Painting Exhibition 2015”, Singapore.
2015              Juried into the National Watercolour Society 95th International Annual Exhibition 2015, USA.
2015 - 16      Participated in Dr Tan Tsze Chor Art Exhibition, organized by Singapore Art Society.
2015              Participated in “50 Cultural Landscapes of Singapore” Watercolour Exhibition by jointly hosted by Lianhe Zaobao and SWS in conjunction with                 

                       Singapore’s SG50 jubilee celebration.
2016              Participated in the National Watercolor Society Invitational Plein Air Painting Exhibition at Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Los Angeles, USA.
2016              Participated in the International Festival of Watercolour Artists for the 234th anniversary of Rattanakosin (Bangkok), Thailand.
2016              Participated in “Memoirs of City Port Scenes” exhibition jointly organized by Maritime Port Authority and Singapore Watercolour Society, held at Visual

                       Arts Centre, Singapore.
2016              Participated in “A Journey to Hue” Watercolour painting tour and exhibition in Hue City, Vietnam.

2016              Included in “Singapore’s Visual Artists Directory”, published by National Arts Council (NAC)
2016              One-page feature in the 23rd issue of “The Art of Watercolour” magazine, “Revelations”, June-September 2016 issue.
2016              “Fruit Stalls in Penang, Malaysia” selected for publication in “Splash 17 Inspiring Subjects” by North Light Books.

2016 -17       Participated in the Annual Exhibition of Singapore Art Society’s Annual Exhibition.

2017              Participated in “Commemorating NS50 Through Art” series of exhibitions in conjunction of 50th Anniversary of National Service in Singapore, jointly   

                       organized by Singapore Art Society and Singapore Armed Forces.

2017              Participated in the 4th Silk Road International Art Exhibition 2017 held in Xi’an, China.

2017              Participated in “Water Rhyme On the Maritime Silk Road” Singapore-Shantou (China) joint exhibition, China.

2018              Participated in "Interlace" - A group show featuring sketches by 20 artists on The Perfect Sketchbook, Singapore.

2018              Participated in the inaugural "International Watercolour Masters Exhibiion 2018" at Weston Park, United Kingdom.