Adeline Yeo-Matsuzaki: The Ritual of Painting
Words by: Adeline Yeo-Matsuzaki and Tanya Singh
Photo Credit: Natasha Liok
Singapore’s first female finger-painting artist talks about her creative process and what art-making means to her.
Adeline Yeo-Matsuzaki, recognized as Singapore’s first female finger-painting artist, has won the hearts of hundreds of art lovers across the globe. Her works often evoke a sense of wonder with her unabashed finger strokes that radiate positive energy. Defying conventions, Adeline paints in a ritualistic trance producing exceptional artworks that are spellbinding and soulful.
Tell us about your artistic journey. How did you get to where you are now?
I come from a peranakan family and both my parents are very creative. My father is very fond of antique furniture and restoring pieces has been a hobby for a long time. My mother is a terrific baker and loves decorating. I think creativity was definitely something I got from them.
I took art in school and it stayed with me for a long time until I started my career in public relations. I worked really hard in the industry for 10 years but my art and creativity suffered. It was a hectic job and required most of my time. It was still a memorable experience though because it led me to the path I am on today.
After a decade of working long hours, I decided to make a huge change in my life and give my creativity a chance to thrive. In some ways, a career as an artist came quite naturally to me because my job in public relations was all about bringing color to people’s lives with events. It was just a way for me to step away from the noise and urgency of it all, and create for myself.
Of course, the transition didn’t happen immediately. I set up my own party planning company first and then did a lot of social work until I finally found my voice as an artist.
Cafés By The Ocean (Signature Collection)
What inspires you to create?
I am inspired by the energy around me. I absorb all the good things surrounding me and translate them onto my canvas.
Could you talk about your creative process?
The lifestyle that I was brought up in – lots of social gatherings with friends and family, surrounded by colorful energy – contributes a lot to my art. Positive energy is something I strive on and use in my creations.
I operate from a full space. I need to be in a joyful and content mood when I am creating. It’s almost like a ritual for me. The days that I know I am going to paint, I do all the things that I love like taking a relaxing bath or eating my favorite foods. I only start painting when I know I can produce something that exudes positive emotions. I also need to paint in complete silence – no distractions, not even music. I am also a very spiritual person and praying is another important aspect of my creative process.
I don’t normally sketch my artworks. I do have a sense of the color palette that I want to use. However, mine is a very spontaneous process – it’s almost like a trance that takes over and I let it guide me to the finished piece.
Musing II (Signature Collection)
What do you hope to convey to your viewers with your artworks?
I create beautiful works of art so I can share them with others and inspire positive emotions in them. Making art for me is a very personal process and it makes me extremely happy, but I am truly the happiest when I see a client put up one of my works in their home because it inspires joy in them.
Could you tell us about the collaboration with the breweries?
The artwork for each sake and liquor product is either selected or specially painted to pair the unique characteristics and history of the product with the emotive elements of my painting, thus creating a visually arresting story that is also a feast for the palette.
Because of my love for food and wines, and with the guidance of a family member who is a well-known master sake sommelier, my husband and I have selected fine alcoholic beverages that are great tasting and also my personal favorites to create an art labels liquor collection.
Sakura Japanese Craft Gin and Japanese Sake Collection
What are you currently working on?
I like to say that I have an eye for identifying trends even before they gain momentum. After creating a very special rice-based gin, we are now working on a whiskey drink. It’s quite an exciting project to be working on alongside my husband and I am looking forward to seeing where it gets us.
We are also working on an official launch for our Sakura Gin in Bangkok, where it has gained a lot of popularity. It’s going to be an exciting event that will bring people together to celebrate together.