About

grace-tan

Born in Singapore, the 6th child of 15 children to parents heavily laden with the burdens of proverty, I was given away to a childless relative when I was 4 months old. Life was harsh back then, we all had to work part time while schooling to afford the basic necessities. My day started with chores at 5 a.m and ended with studying under candlelight at midnight.

Education was a luxury that we could ill afford and my uneducated parents would much rather I helped out with the chores.

Even then, I was drawn to the creative arts, having a special affinity for sketching, watercolor and illustration. It was a world where nothing else mattered and dreams could come true. It provided endless hours of escapism from the mundane life in the village.

When I was 10, I had a cycling accident on the way home from the market. My left lung was punctured by the bicycle brake handle and I was rushed to the hospital. Since that traumatizing event, I started having severe headache attacks that can only be relieved via banging my head against the wall.

This aliment followed me for many years, my health was the same again.

During one such episode, I started drawing in an attempt to distract myself. I soon discovered that drawing often put me into a meditative stage where I would have an out of body experience. Floating above my physical body, I was pain-free. But this did not last, when I wasn’t in that stage, it was hell on earth.

Finally in 1970, after decades of searching for a permanent cure for my headaches, I stumbled across some books on qigong and felt instinctively drawn to them. At that time, China was still a closed economy, inaccessible to outsiders. Fortunately, my husband had business ties in China and I was able to enter the country . There in China, I studied gigong and started taking traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy classes. I discovered that the combination of gigong meditation with art therapy was the cure for my physical and mental agony. Finding Chinese brush painting a fascinating artistic tradition with a rich history, I was overwhelmed by my passion for it. I knew there was no turning back.

I have found peace at long last.

I got married in 1971 and currently have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. Some of my children are living in Texas and I often shuttle between Singapore and the US. I am in the process of established my roots in the US and exploring the boom of  the Asian market in general.

It is my dream to travel frequently between Singapore and the US, especially to promote Singaporean female artists.

After spending 7 years studying with Professor Yung Yiung Wu, I progressed to immerse myself in all aspects of the arts by accruing a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Huddersfield at the ripe age of 55, becoming the oldest student to date.

After my children have flown the coop, I started exploring my artistic interests once again, with the intention of becoming a professional artist. My art continues to be a therapeutic outlet for personal and spiritual growth. I believe is is central to a healthy mind, body and soul. It triggers parts of our brain that remain dormant in everyday practical usage.