Hey! It’s About …Us!

ART is about “Connection”  which is sometimes also known as “Relationship”.

(Divine) INSPIRATION stirs up the PASSION in me, compelling me to make Artful CREATION, which helps me make CONNECTION with you. That in turn helps you to relate to (DIVINE) INSPIRATION! Pretty simple isn’t it?
Inspiration-PCC-RMDo you ever get totally frustrated when something you own, say a piece of furniture, a watch, a “smart” phone, anything, breaks or stops working just shortly after you’ve got it? I can definitely relate.

I strolled down a little old street and noticed a flashing neon sign outside a hair-salon that said “PERMANENT WAVES – Guaranteed to Last 3 Months!” How’s that for “PERMANENT”!?

Some of you might have read Alvin Toffler’s “Future Shock” published by Random House in 1970, and remember he envisioned a world in which everything changes quickly – a transient, restless, “use-and-throw-away” world where everything from consumer and consumable products (think “fast-food”) to human relationships no longer last. Well, we are already deeply entrenched in the kind of world that Toffler talked about! In truth, its far more extreme and serious than he imagined or could have imagined. Sadly!

Here’s a picture I came across one time in Facebook that really got stuck in my head, because it’s so precious!

I recently went to Art Friend, a contemporary and popular local Art material and supplies shop and asked if they have a burnisher that I could buy, and the young man attending to me gave me a very quizzical look for a full 5 seconds before saying, as politely as he can, “Uncle, we don’t carry that kind of thing here anymore…that’s uhm… “Old School!

So….I belong to the “Old School” now.

Its okay.


That’s what Studio MC  have always stood for, at least in terms of the values I treasure and hope to always uphold.


I never had the privilege or opportunity for formal Art school, even till this day, but I have a very wise, generous and talented father with a very keen eye and a great pair of hands, a mother with great sensitivity for crafts and a very loving and supportive wife and family who continue to give me the liberty to pursue my dreams.

I started Origami when I was 3 years old, and began my practice as a professional Artist doing simple design work and sculpture in 1988 when I was still an undergraduate student in Montréal, Québec (Canada). It was only in 1992 that I commenced learning pottery and I’ve loved it since, because there’s something both very human and divine about working with clay. I really believe my Heavenly Father is the Master Potter.

“But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” (Isa 64:8 NKJV)


The very wonderful mentors and teachers I’ve had all these years, from the late Madame Lillian Oppenheimer (1898-1992) and  Brother Joseph McNally (1923-2002), to Raymond Woo (Raymond Woo & Associates Architects) and the brothers Chua Soo Kim and Chua Soo Khim (Sam Mui Kuang Pottery), as well as countless others…they have all molded me and helped equipped me to do what I do today, and I am ever completely thankful for every one of them!MinChen-BroJosephMcNally-inSMC-RM

From almost the very beginning of my career I’ve been an Arts Educator and have taught in various Arts and non-Arts schools, full-time and part-time, private as well as public schools, from University to most recently early Primary school levels. And after all these years of teaching experience, I came away with a most serious concern for the progressively lack of “discipline” and “depth” in terms of Art students’ attitudes especially as regards skills acquisition and mastery. “Craft” is almost a “dirty” word these days to most students, as well as unfortunately possibly a growing number of Art teachers and practitioners. But my own stand is that without the devotion, passion and definitely necessary pain-staking investment of time and effort by any Artist or Craftsperson in his or her “Craft”, true mastery of whatever their chosen medium would always be elusive.

Discipline, Patience, Focus and Practice, Practice, Practice, is about the only way to real excellence in one’s Craft. Sadly, this is a price most present day aspiring Artists are unwilling to pay.

I’m a “perfectionist”…that I must agree, without hesitation. I know and do confess that I’m almost obsessively driven by the need to perfect the Artworks I do, all the time, every time. The words that I most often hear when someone describes my works are “Very Fine”…and sometimes even, “Too Fine”. I’ve been variously told “You’re too…clean; neat; tidy; clinical; organized; disciplined(???) for an Artist!” No matter, because I really appreciate and enjoy the very very “Fine” things, in life. Because it is the very very “Fine” things, crafted with uncompromising quality of materials and care, skill, love and devotion that endures and last; that are meaningfully, inspiring, beautiful and true.
I live for Art and all things well and finely crafted. This is my personal Calling and so I commit to the continued practice and perfection of my Craft and to the creation of only such kinds of Art that I may conscionably consider Wholesome, Excellent and True. However, I am a simple man with few possessions and I am NOT promoting Materialism nor the mere acquisition of “things”. The true value of an Art object is after all not so much the object itself but rather the spirit in which the object was conceived and crafted. The fine finishing of every Artwork I create is not a bonus but rather a pre-requisite, a basic requirement, a sort of necessary foundation upon which the “building” itself needs to stand on.

In so very many ways, Studio MC and all the works that I have done (and continue to do) would not have been possible if not for all the wonderful, dedicated and passionate friends and colleagues that I have had the great privilege to work and collaborate with over the many years. I am ever grateful and enriched by having them with me through this journey. I am very confident and comforted by the thought that because the value of a thing is very often determined by its meaning, its rarity, its fineness and excellence, and especially its ability to “connect” (hearts and souls), the Art I continue to create will always be appreciated and be of value somehow to somebody.

Welcome to my world. Welcome,… to OUR World!

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