VIEW

What's In My Portfolio: Richard Hoon

Interview by Anton D. Javier
Photography by Chino Sardea
12 Dec 2017

Richard Hoon is the CEO of I-Search Worldwide, Chairman of the Centre for Fathering and Dads for Life, and an art collector

"I started collecting art about 37 years ago when I had my first apartment. Over the years, the love for art became a passion and to a certain extant, an obsession. That said, this journey has been truly satisfying and meaningful for me. Looking back, here are top five pieces in my collection that stand out the most."

  • MOST MEMORABLE
  • MOST INTRIGUING
  • MOST DIFFICULT TO ACQUIRE
  • MOST RELUCTANT TO SELL
  • THE NEWEST ADDITION

Most Memorable

“Sungei Road” by Leng Joon Wong

This painting was done in 1995 by the artist Leng Joon Wong, who was one of the founding members of the Singapore Watercolour Society. If you look at the painting, you will see Pasar Lane and Pitt Street, and unfortunately, this scene doesn't exist anymore because three months after he painted it, a fire broke and burned the whole place down.

  • MOST MEMORABLE
  • MOST INTRIGUING
  • MOST DIFFICULT TO ACQUIRE
  • MOST RELUCTANT TO SELL
  • THE NEWEST ADDITION

Most Intriguing

“Le Pitre Rose” by Joan Miró

Joan Miró is one of the founding members of the surrealistic movement, together with the likes of Dali and Picasso and Matta. This piece, called “Le Pitre Rose”, intrigues me because as you know, Miró's work reflects the inner being, as well as the fun side of a person. I feel that if your mood is positive, this painting will bring a lot of joy. But if you are a bit sad, the dark side of you will also comfort you in many ways as well.

  • MOST MEMORABLE
  • MOST INTRIGUING
  • MOST DIFFICULT TO ACQUIRE
  • MOST RELUCTANT TO SELL
  • THE NEWEST ADDITION

Most Difficult to Acquire

“Mt. Huangshan” by Tan Swee Hien

This piece by Tan Swee Hian is one of the hardest pieces to acquire. I had to spend a lot of time with him at his studio at Telok Kurau. We shared a bottle of wine and it was at 3 in the morning that he finally agreed to sell this piece to me. He only did two pieces of this and I was privileged enough that he allowed a piece to be sold to me, because he always believed that it should be kept as a pair.

  • MOST MEMORABLE
  • MOST INTRIGUING
  • MOST DIFFICULT TO ACQUIRE
  • MOST RELUCTANT TO SELL
  • THE NEWEST ADDITION

Most Reluctant to Sell

“Diorama” by Ronald Ventura

It’s very hard to part with these three dioramas by Philippine artist Ronald Ventura because it has a lot of meaning. The first diorama, “A Closet Full of Armor”, represents man’s vanity. The second one is called “Body Shop” and represents women’s vanity. Finally, the third one is called “Extinction”, which shows that all these physical attributes and Earthly possessions won’t matter once we all die. The things of the world are temporal, but what will live on are our spirit and our soul.

  • MOST MEMORABLE
  • MOST INTRIGUING
  • MOST DIFFICULT TO ACQUIRE
  • MOST RELUCTANT TO SELL
  • THE NEWEST ADDITION

The Newest Addition

“Bronze Serpent” by Elson Yeo

When I got this piece, not a lot of people liked it, because it's quite eerie and dark. Therefore, I had to put it in my closet. But if you understand the meaning of it, then I think you'll be enlightened. It reflects the Bible verse Numbers 21, where Moses used a bronze serpent to heal the people. This piece is very diabolic. You see the dark side of art, but if you understand the deeper meaning, then it can be a great spiritual healer for all of us too.