Han Sai Por has spent more than four decades honing her craft and is undoubtedly one of Singapore’s most eminent sculptors. Her works can be seen at the Istana, the Esplanade, the Singapore Revenue House, OUB Centre, Changi Airport Terminal 3, the National Gallery Singapore, and the Singapore Art Museum.
Her creations are also displayed internationally at the National Museum in Beijing, Australian Parliament House, the Chancery of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Singapore to the United Nations in New York, the Singapore Embassy in Washington D.C., as well as in public spaces and private collections.
A recipient of the Singapore Cultural Medallion Award in 1995, and founder and honorary president of the Sculpture Society Singapore, Han is best known for her striking, monolithic stone sculptures that feature sensual organic forms. Examples include Orchid Journey in Suzhou Park, China, the Seeds series at The Esplanade, and Tropical Leaf at One Raffles Quay.
Han sees sculpture as “an art of life experiences, an art of feeling through touching, observation and imagination, and an art of engineering and technology.”
According to Singapore’s foremost art historian, curator and critic T.K. Sabapathy, Han’s work is “sculpture in its embryonic form” and a study of the “uneasy” relationship between man and nature in the modern age. “Her works are made up of a compact, entirely solid mass of material, which she shapes but does not perforate or open up.
They are the outcome of a single-minded concentration on mass and volume,” said Sabapathy. He added that her sculptures have “the strength and durability of primal or elementary forms”, and that they “retain the presence and weight of the monolith, and appeal to us with their provocative simplicity.”
Han’s latest collection — currently on display at STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery until May22 — on the other hand, is a departure from her usual medium. Experimenting with new methods and materials, The Forest and Its Soul, conceived during Han’s second residency with STPI, is a series of 35 prints created with technologies such as photo intaglio — a printmaking technique where an image is cut into a surface and ink is applied to the recessed area — and laser cutting, a fabrication process using a thin, precise laser beam to cut and etch materials into designs.