Allen Tan


I am a self-taught artist, started painting since I was 6 years old in Melaka. During my school days, I support myself financially drawing cartoons for magazine and newspapers like Nanyang Siang Pau and Sin Chew Daily. I also drew portraits of others to earn money.

I like to express my emotions through my art, often using human relationships and psyche as my major themes. The “TRUEFACES” collection was initially meant to be a legacy for my family and friends, it was never meant to be exhibited publicly.

WHY “TRUEFACES”? The realities of life dictate that masks have to be worn at times be it in the business world or in the comfort of our homes. These masks or “faces” are inevitable as all of us have to interact with one another in different ways. Some faces are worn with the aim of achieving harmony, like compromises between loved ones, some to dispel trust, like business negotiations, while some are even worn to mesmerise and to enthral, like entertainment. All of us have so many faces to wear in life, but which one is? I believe the only true face of human beings is the innocent face of a newborn baby who just had an umbilical cord break.

As the baby grows into a child and adult, he or she will begin to wrestle with the concept of conscience and acknowledge real worth. Therefore, the “TRUEFACES” collection is my interpretation of the various projections of these concepts.
Allen Tan