“The relationship between art and everyday life, which has been variously referred to as the commonplace, the banal and the ordinary, is a recurring trope in art history and artistic practices. Robert Rauschenberg once said, “Painting relates to both art and life… I try to work in that gap between the two.” Rauscheberg’s declared affiliation to the commonplace was a deliberate resistance to the rejection of everyday life that had been espoused by the Abstract Expressionist painters... In a forum on Soo Pieng organized by the Nanyang Alumni Association, panelists discussed the Hokkien phrase “Ane tu xi ane,
” which Soo Pieng often used with his students at NAFA when correcting their work. “Ane tu xi ane
,” meaning this is how things are, is “a way of insisting on a personal way of perceiving and doing things,” thereby revealing his underlying personal convictions and beliefs, which remained fundamentally unchanged throughout his life.”1
1 Seng Yu Jin and Grace Tng, Cheong Soo Pieng: Visions of Southeast Asia, National Art Gallery, Singapore, p.53-54.