ITE deputy principal inspires students with his art
ITE College West's deputy principal showcases five of his paintings at ITE show
As their deputy principal, he was often thought of by his students as strict about discipline and formal in his mannerisms.
What many of them did not know was that he is also an accomplished painter.
So when an exhibition was held at their school recently, their perceptions of the man changed.
And Mr Liew Beng Keong hopes that by showing them his hidden talents, he will inspire them to pursue their own passions.
The 58-year-old joined the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West as deputy principal in 2010, and has spent over 20 years teaching.
Last weekend, the school held the ITE Visual Arts Show 2016 called "Seasons".
More than 200 pieces of work by ITE staff and students were featured, including projections on mannequins, fabric displays and holograms, all displaying unique interpretations of the seasons.
Five of Mr Liew's works - watercolour paintings Penang Trishaw, Racing Ahead, Bouquet At The Bay and Kopi Socks, and acrylic painting Asher My Cat - were displayed.
Some of the artworks at the show were for sale, and 20 were sold for almost $500 in total.
Profits from the sales will go towards children's homes and orphanages in Thailand and Myanmar, needy students in Singapore and sponsoring healthcare aid in Myanmar villages.
Mr Liew, who graduated from Salford University, UK, with a first class honours joint degree in computer science and statistics in 1981, said: "Art is something I've always been interested in. I have an eye for colour, form, function."
He has been painting since secondary school and his speciality is watercolour painting. He said he likes the liveliness of the medium.
"If you control the watercolours well, you can create many interesting effects."
Several ITE College West students were surprised to find out that their deputy principal was such a talented painter.
Nurul Ain, 18, said: "As a deputy principal, he's not only just doing office work, but also showcasing his talent."
Mr Eddy Tay Kai Xin, 23, felt that Mr Liew's rendition of a cat in Asher My Cat was very "realistic".
Another student, Rachel Sapphire James, 19, commented: "It's truly inspiring."
Mr Liew, who teaches art at the ITE, has initiated student projects at ITE College West including art shows and musicals such as West Side Story, Fame and Becoming Home.
He is a member of The Singapore Watercolour Societyand has his work displayed at Lion City Art Gallery in Tanglin Shopping Centre.
Mr Liew believes his students will benefit from an art education.
He said: "Industries are becoming more competitive. If we have artistic flair in addition to engineering strength, we can greatly value-add to the Singapore economy."