Eston paints impressionistic pictures reflective of his private emotions, his recollections and his experiences. This body of three years work is an autobiographical journey of his life thus far.
Eston Tan, born in Penang, started painting watercolours at an early age. In school, Eston began participating in several group exhibitions and by the age of 17 he began to capture much attention by winning several prizes and a scholarship to study at the Malaysian Institute of Art.
Having spent much of his early years in Penang, it is clear to see the manner in which Eston captures the charm of the bygone age. Quiet lined streets of Penang with old Chinese shophouses, the rustic sundry shop, the fruit sellers and food stalls are all treated with an aged look, giving a true sense of nostalgia and hailed as icons of our remembered heritage.
The mood portrayed in Eston’s paintings is often one of solemnity and sombreness. The feeling of neglect liken to the crumbling walls of the shop houses, the lonely trishaw rider represents a concern for cultural and historical preservation. “It is in our roots that we find answers to our struggles.”
The play on light and shadow enhances the character of the edifices. The vintage signs on wooden blinds that represents the emotional content of the building, the willow tree that stands at the corner of the road all add to our colourful past and memories.
Eston Tan’s documentation of our slowly fading past is an endeavour to rediscover not only his past memories but also to depict an empathetic concern for the treatment of our environment and rich cultural roots. Such traces of time is in fact a recollection of his own struggle to survive and to succeed .It is in Eston’s realism in art that one seeks to find a key to a deeper understanding of life, time and history.