I chanced upon an article, 'The Rest is.... Know where, how and why to be quiet’ in the Christmas Double Issue of the The Economist (pg 106) and saw a work by Willem de Kooning, Untitled. It reminded me so much of Goh Beng Kwan's painting Blue City at Dusk, Jaipur. I know that Beng Kwan was in New York between (1962-1967) when Abstract Expressionism was at its boiling point in America. Inspired, I decided to call Beng Kwan in a few days ago. He said he had never seen that particular work before, and was surprised at how similar their works were - the emphasis on brush strokes, the symphony of colours they employ and how they allow the colours to “float” in space. Beng Kwan fondly recalled how Willem de Kooning was one of his favourite artists when he roamed the halls of MOMA and Kootz Gallery (now defunct). It shows that experiences that influenced us continue to stay with us.
I asked camera-trotting Patricia Chen to join us for the chat and she left me with these photos to remember our morning together. I have known Beng Kwan since 1978, I don’t think we ever had any proper pictures together.