Meet the 77-Year-Old Man Who Turns Twigs Into Art

A 77-year-old man from Singapore has gone viral for portraits he created using only twigs he found on the street.

Uncle Thien rose to fame after videos displaying his resourcefulness and artistic talent were shared online by social media users last week, according to AsiaOne.

Squatting down on the pavement in Pek Kio, Thien arranges the small branches he finds to create a beautiful portrait of a woman. He gained a lot of online followers for his display at the open parking lot near Block 44 Owen Road.

Creating twig art was not something Uncle Thien was passionate about. It only came to him while he was walking outside.

“One day I passed by the carpark and saw some branches on the ground. I had the sudden inspiration to see what I could create from arranging them,” the elderly man told Lianhe Wanbao. “In the past, I loved buying magazines and books to study their drawing techniques, so I decided to create some portraits.”

Uncle Thien added that he feels more confident continuing his art after he received encouragement from residents.

Thien, who is originally from Fujian, China before he came to Singapore at 18, is not a newcomer in the art world. He was a member of a Chinese opera group and helped build sets and illustrated ads.

The elderly artist also confessed that he wanted to attend art school after he arrived in Singapore, but he hit a roadblock and did not know anyone in the country to help him.

On July 5, Tanjong Pagar GRC MP-elect Alvin Tan promoted Thien’s work on Facebook after meeting the talented uncle.

Tan also said they are planning to include the artist in future projects around the Pek Kio community.

Feature Image (left) via Alvin Tan, (right) screenshot via @arethalsy

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