The Heroine’s Journey of Gloria Keh

What is the best thing that I love about my work That I can create art alone with just my soul for company. That I can connect with Spirit through my art and fulfill my soul’s purpose. Am grateful for the blessing to be able to paint what I want and what my intuition guides me to paint. I have this privilege that i do not have to paint what is commercially viable. I paint 100% for charity, so through my art I am able to do my bit for humanity.  Art brings beauty and “beauty is in itself a form of healing” (quote by my teacher Margaret Jacobs of Tasmania). This in turn, is one way of increasing peace in this world. And our planet definitely needs healing.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? On a global level, that there is no more terrorism in this world. On a personal level, contentment. To know that whatever I have is ENOUGH. And not need to press on for more. To realise that I am ‘fullness’. That I am this unique perfect imperfection.
What is my greatest fear? To loose my mind and the ability to think. It is important to me that the mind should be capable of discerning.  To be able to make one’s own choices. To be in a state of mind where I would be unable to decide things for myself would be an awful waste of time and life to me.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? My impatience. This is something that I am  at 67, still working on. I tend to be impatient and am perhaps a tad too active for most folks I know. Slowing down does not come easy, but i know it helps. But slowing down is not in my essential nature.
Which living persons in my profession do I admire most?
Ai Wei Wei (China)
Yayoi Kasuma (Japan)
Georgina Fode (Australia)
Gregory Burns (USA)
Tan Swie Hian (Singapore)
What is my greatest extravagance? Art. At this stage of my life, buying art materials often with great abandon. I love trying out new techniques, exploring and seeing if I can master a particular media. This costs money. Also participating in several international art events demands much expenditure. But like an avid golfer who wants to play on world class golf courses, I aim at showing my art at as many prime international venues as possible.
On what occasion would I lie? If telling the truth would cause more domestic dramas, and disrupt the peace, I will lie. For example: when an elderly parent had terminal cancer, I agreed with the family and lied to spare her the emotional pain of facing the medical truth.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? The  required internet and computer stuff. I have a major mental block for many technical applications. I goof and get frustrated with my inadequacy. That I have to depend so much on others for help in this area.
When and where was I the happiest in my work? Painting huge canvases alone in the studio.
If I could what would I change about myself? My spine if the medical procedure was painless. To be painfree physically  and be so flexible and supple with a fantastic range of motion to dance the tango in killer high heels.
What is my greatest achievement in my work? The founding and continuation of my charity outreach programme, Circles of Love that raises money through the sales of my art to support various charities both locally in Singapore as well as internationally. Selling my large canvases for charity.
Where would I most like to live? I am living there now, in Singapore.
What is my most treasured possession? The paintings  by my late father, Martin Fu, the oil painter. He died a poor man but led a very rich life filled with art, classical and ballet music, European opera and this uncanny ability to dream.
What is my most marked characteristic? Determination and the ability to focus. Without focus there is no success.
What is the most inspirational location in my city? The Botanic Gardens. Because of my love for trees and the  foliage of Mother Nature.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink in my city? A non-airconditioned all day restaurant by the edge of the water at the Changi sailing facility.
What books influenced my life and how?Angelic Mistakes by the Trappist monk Thomas Merton.The book features the Zen calligraphy of Merton along with his writings. I enjoyed the seemingly simplicity of the art that was in fact profound in its message.Transforming The Mind by the Dalai Lama. A beautiful write on understanding the mind and how to work towards its upliftment. Creating Mandalas by Susanne Fincher. This book serves like my bible in my mandala practice. Vivekacudamani by Adi Sankara with commentary by Swami Chinmayananda I was a student of Vedanta for many years.  There were many recommended books to read and study. But this book threw great light on the subject. And helped me begin to finally understand myself. The Tao of Watercolor by Jeanne Carbonetti. This book opened a whole new world in the art of watercolor for me. After reading this book, i never painted watercolors the same way again. It opened new avenues in art for me.The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Following this book and hearing Tolle speak in Vancouver, Canada, I began to experience glimpses of the freedom that I so long desired.
Who are your favourite writers? Woody Allen, Oscar Wilde, Henry Miller, Truman Capote and when i was a child, Enid Blyton.
You only die once. What music would I listen on my last day? Frank Sinatra, Burt Bacharach, the operas Madama Butterfly and La Boheme. Not necessarily in that order.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Katharina in The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare. James Bond by Ian Fleming
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’
What role plays art in my life and work? Besides medical requirements, all i have is my art. Art is my life. So it plays a paramount role.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My husband, the second one, Keh Peng Hooi. He’a definitely is my sole patron and sponsor. On being my greatest fan? He is, but not by choice. As he often quips: “Gloria speaks softly but carries a big stick.” The poor sod.
Whom would I like to work with in 2019? A major book publisher in Europe  or the USA on a book in English, on my art.
Which people in my profession would  I love to meet in 2019? Yayoi Kusama and Pierre Soulages.
What project in 2019 am I looking forward to work on? Another self published book on my art and poetry.
Where can you see me and my work? At Haegeumgang Theme Museum, South Korea. On Facebook, Instagram, my website www.gloriakeh.com. I live in Singapore but exhibit several times a year internationally. Announcements are posted on Facebook.
What do the words ‘Passion Never Dies’ mean to me? That there’s no age limit to one’s passion, one’s calling, one’s creative involvements.  As long as there is reasonable physical and mental health, the desire to create and in my case, art, will always thrive. There is no use-by date to one’s passion. It lives as does life.
Which heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Geraldine Lee, founder of Arc’s Children Centre, Singapore. Supporting children with cancer and other serious illnesses.
How can you contact me? Email gloriak@singnet.com.sg

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