The First Generation 2000

The First Generation 2000
The sculpture was created as part of a series of sculptures by various sculptors, in the Open Air Interpretative Centre project by the Singapore Tourism Board. Chong’s sculpture was the first to be unveiled on 31 December 2000

Chong Fah Cheong is a Singaporean sculptor known for many public sculptures in Singapore. Though he worked in a variety of styles from abstract to figurative, his name is identified with a series of figurative sculptures depicting the life of people living and working along the Singapore River.

Chong was born to a large family of a general practitioner. Since the age of four, he loved to draw and sketch, and displayed talent in art. In school this talent continued to shine, but he was never good with his academic subjects. At the age of 14, the young Chong decided to quit school after completing Form 3 (Year 10) education at the St. Joseph’s Institution, to join the Lasalle Brothers novitiate in Penang. Chong spent the next 7 years with the teaching order, leading a cloistered life and training to be a teacher. In 1967, he returned to secular life and began his career as a school teacher in Teluk Anson in Malaysia. A year later, he left his job to read Social Science at the University of Singapore.

In 2001 Chong was commissioned by Wing Tai Holdings to create An Overture, a 3,700 tonne jade sculpture to be installed at the courtyard of the House of Tan Yeok Nee. The $80,0000 commission work began on 14 February that year, and unveiled at the House on 13 July 2001 to complement the finishing of the restoration work on the 115-year-old national monument, which was completed in September 2000 at a cost of $12 million.

In 2014, Chong was awarded the Cultural Medallion.

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