Maquette for Endless Flow

Tan Teng-Kee (1937-2016) was a leading sculptor in Singapore during the 1970s and 1980s, an influential teacher, an active member of the Modern Art Society, and a pioneer of public art. Born in Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia, Tan studied Chinese and Western painting in Hong Kong and metal sculpture and printmaking at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, Germany before moving to Singapore in 1970 to take up a position in the applied sculpture department at the Baharuddin Vocational Institute. Tan introduced a new form of sculpture to Singapore, using metal and industrial materials to construct abstract forms, rather than modelling based on the human figure. His work in public sculpture constitutes some of the earliest examples of commissioned public art in Singapore, where he could expand his approach to form and material into an accessible and distinctive aesthetic. Endless Flow was commissioned by OCBC Bank and installed outside its headquarters in 1980. It was moved to a park off Orchard Road in 1983, where it remains today. The maquette was produced in 1979, and was exhibited in Tan’s renowned outdoor exhibition, known as ‘The Picnic’, in that year.