Victor Tan, a practicing sculptor, earned himself a reputation in the art scene with his unusual and persistent choice of medium, wire.  His work is characterized by the use of wire and wire alone. Coupled with his unique techniques, which he employs with great success, he investigates existential ideas about humanity, the isolation of the human emotions in the moment, and through the passage of time and life.  Sculpture to him, is a way of exploring and experiencing the constant change and movement around him.  For Victor, each change, each movement, each experience suggests a new possibility.

The vast majority of Victor’s sculptures have been centered on the human figure, birds, horses etc. His earliest pieces seemed to express a language or voice which Victor uses to work through his anxieties and traumas. Or perhaps a therapy even to release his inner fears and thoughts, through a language that words cannot express. Creating sculpture at this point in his existence is about healing, about seeking happiness, about contemplation, about finding meanings in life.

As he grows in his artistic career, Victor continues to find inspiration from his feelings, and also through his interactions with people, his beliefs and through world issues that touch and move him. In his hands, the everyday are reworked such that it makes one starts to ponder. His work highlights the mundane, the humble person that we are, caught perhaps in a certain journey, examining and perhaps releasing a variety of emotions and wonderings.

Victor has completed work for numerous prestigious commissions including his first commission in 1998, a dramatic pageant of five larger than life human figures representing the fingers of a hand making the ‘OK’ sign. In the same year, he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculpture) from RMIT.  His works are now held in many corporate and private collections in US, The Netherlands, Japan, Hong Kong, Mexico and Singapore.

In 1999 Victor was awarded The Commonwealth Arts and Crafts Award, which led to a 6 months residency in London and in 2000 his first solo exhibition was staged in London.  The experience was eye-opening and exposed Victor to the arts scene in London, meeting with students and artists, museums and galleries, giving him a clearer idea on his artistic career path.

The second solo exhibition, in his home country “between 2 and 3” re-affirmed the growth of a young exciting sculptor.  His sold-out pieces were of a series of entrances; man in the moment of crossing through a frame into a new space. The artist’s statement for the works suggests a metaphor for human existence being in a continual state of flux and that the frame does not draw out the boundaries but instead offers a platform of possibilities.

Numerous other exhibitions followed in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.  At the same time, he was also commissioned to work on sculptures now permanently at the Singapore Botanical Gardens, Orchard Central, Sentosa and more.

A visit to Victor’s studio at Telok Kurau Studios, sees a large gathering of sculptures, each sending his own message whilst relaying and connecting with the rest in their own ways.  In his next solo exhibition which lasted 3 long months at the concourse of the Singapore Esplanade in 2006-7, Victor brought his studio, and his works spanning the past 10 years into the public eye. The sheer number of works being exhibited, nearly a hundred  of them, an explosion of sorts, all seemingly floating and dancing around in a dreamlike state, this site specific installation imbued them with new meaning and demanded their re-evaluation.

Even as he continues to enjoy the process of making art in this studio, it is also here that Victor explores and deals with life’s frustrations and the constant questioning of what he can do to help the needful.  The world remains much more to be understood, the outrage happenings of the world, the calamities happening one after another, and many  more appalling stories from the BBC radio that is kept on while Victor is working. This probably explains why the sculptures that Victor creates seem to explore on one side the calm, light and reflective contemplation of human life, and on the other, the serious philosophical concerns and frustrations of the world we now live in.

Many would agree that Victor’s work makes one feel time, see mood and touches one’s heart. As for Victor, who is still searching for ways artists can contribute to make this world a better place for everyone.

“My sculptures are about being on a journey.  Whether you are standing, sitting or lying down, the journey continues. In my journey and through my sculptures, I hope I can touch the hearts and influence the minds of fellow passengers. And if I can in some way alleviate human sufferings through my art; that would make my journey a worthy one.”