“This charismatic tree possessed many virtues: wisdom of age, the feeling of modernity and eternal solidarity. Here, like most of the works in the Romance in Shangri-la Series, I explored fully the possibilities of Chinese Ink techniques — inventing, discovering, and expressing my intense sentimentality for the subject.” -Terence Teo
In 2007 when Teo arrived with Hong Ling in Shangri-la for the first time, he was completely elated with its conducive ambience — its clarity of light, invigorating air, infinite space. One of his first encounters of the dazzling imageries was the rainforest which he found irresistible. Painting from a high altitude poses daunting problems. Maintaining the equilibrium of the perspective, capturing the open space, evoking the atmospheric effects, rendering the near and the far — these elements are among the most crucial and elusive.
In Shangri-la, Teo sighted an unusual tree which — because of its forceful structure, entangled forms and intricate details — instantly captured his imagination. He immediately recognized the fact that it would be a painting composition which challenged the artist’s ingenuity in observation, interpretation and innovation.