Yam Chew Oh grew up in Singapore and trained at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, one of America’s top art and design colleges. He was an awardee of San Francisco Art Institute’s Presidential Fellowship, and a current recipient of a merit scholarship from New York’s School of Visual Arts, at which he is completing his master’s in fine art. His works have been featured in several shows in the US and collected internationally, including through commissions.
Oh’s works transcend singular styles. Not shackled by norms and tastes, he employs varied approaches to bring ideas and intentions to life. His paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs explore psychological and mental landscapes - in particular, memory - as well as the built environment. They include spaces he inhabits, and places rich with people, memories, and deep emotions. He meditates on physical and metaphysical spaces that he enters and exits due to relocations across three continents and major life changes.
Drawing on his atypical upbringing – growing up in the now-extinct villages of modern Singapore – and international experience, Oh’s works frequently speak about shifting frames of mind and states of being. With extreme care and sensitivity, he portrays resilience as much as he does fragility.
Oh continues to be interested in the roads, routes, paths, passages, bearings and trajectories ever-present in our lives. He is fascinated by the straightforward ones, but even more so, those that are fluid and robbed of undeviating directionality. He probes and examines linkages, connections and attachment, but also dislocation and disenchantment.