An exhibition of contemporary paintings
inspired by the Peranakan Culture
of South East Asia




My childhood and youth in Singapore imbued me with a rich blend of cultural influences. The inspiration for creating these current works embraces that eclecticism, and the ornamentation of the rich Peranakan culture.

These works are based on the traditional design principles used in fabric printing techniques of the Sarong-Kebaya. The cloth, divided into vertical and horizontal shapes, was filled with abstract and figurative designs. Using sumptuous colours to seduce the eye, the Peranakans’ often told a story, or marked a significant event or status in their lives, making the cloth a treasured family heir-loom.

My mediums are mixed to express ideas and thoughts. I respond to the aura of nature in all its mystery and grandeur. The frailty of the human spirit reveals a sensitivity... a moment in time brings back a memory or idea... a word will inspire, a gesture floats into a composition... light will dance... music dictates a mood, a colour... found objects inspire sculpture, adornment and more.

A theatrical, and magical sense pervades my vision. Unrestricted by particular schools of thought, style or method, I work with both Eastern and Western principles. Always aspiring to beauty, the latter is unashamedly rejoiced in my work. At first viewing, visual impact is paramount. It holds the key to engage further with the art.

Opinions will sometimes differ, but the integrity of the work will always speak for itself in the end.

’Ambience’ is about beauty within a space, paying homage to the matriarchs of a highly complex and visually refined culture. The material culture of the Peranakans, absorbing new imagery to change in colonial times, embodied an adapting visual language that expressed the unique diversity and social evolutions in the region. This visually dynamic attitude brought new aesthetics to the Peranakan lifestyle as they breached modernism. The hybrid of that cultural-mix holds a constant fascination for me. ‘Ambience’ is not a depiction of that period as such. They are images inspired by the culture, viewed within a contemporary frame, with an emphasis on narrative through design.

At this time in my career, this would be an impossible venture without the encouragement and dedication of a dear friend and colleague, Glenise Anderson, a champion for the welfare of the modern woman, and their role in a world that is hopeful for change. Together we share the sentiment this exhibition reflects, to honour all women in the world, who show us that, in gentleness, there is... great strength.

Hugh Oliveiro
Oliveiro Art



I first met Hugh at one of his talks on Art and Creativity. It was held in Tamworth NSW at Weswal Gallery in 2015.

In revealing his passion to create, it was his views on the importance of thinking ‘beyond the square’ that held my attention. “It is essential in opening up avenues – to enlighten, discover and move forward – yet, respect traditional values and to inspire new ones” he said.

He was delighted to know I was also born in Singapore and needless to say, we connected immediately. Hugh’s dream to exhibit in Singapore one day was a dream which makes this collaboration and friendship, more than serendipitous.

I am delighted to be assisting Hugh on this unique and important venture, albeit ‘off the beaten track’ as he would say.

In the process of his creating a collection of ten major works in the last two years, Hugh’s subject matter and total concept reflected so much of my own ethic within my business practice which is designed to elevate the status and importance of women in the public arena and work force of the 21st Century.

Through his art, and by way of breath-taking imagery, we embark on an allegorical journey of awareness. He unveils the plight of women in an exotic culture of Asia, that against all odds, emerge triumphant, strong and powerful, with a focus that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

THE GILDED CAGE..... This work reflects the beauty and charm displayed and practiced by the Peranakan women in history, even while constricted by a culture of male dominance. In today’s world, I see brilliant women who are sitting in their respective cages and not seeing the door is already open.

HER PRIDE, AND JOY..... Among the many skills that flourished, the fine art of embroidery, and particularly fine beading in their footwear, has become an established and essential component to their wardrobe. The result and quality of this craft would often determine her future, in terms of marriage, and her place in society. This work reflects on the steps taken, to shape one’s destiny. Again, this is so relevant to today’s woman who is crafting and shaping her world, so she can leave a positive footprint and legacy.

CANOPY OF FIREFLIES..... This work is purely a visual joy, and experience, often seen at dusk, in gardens in south east Asia.  A silent symphony of ambient light, and the perfect backdrop in a Peranakan world.  We have some amazing talent among the women in our workplace – some are already shining brightly and others are harder to find. These women are the silent symphony needing encouragement to step forward.

Like Hugh's art in 'AMBIENCE' my business aims to create within a space, 'Self Confident Women' who shine, lighting the way to a brighter future.

Together we hope you will enjoy this exhibition as we have had in bringing it to you.

Glenise Anderson
CEO, Self Confident Women


For further information contact Glenise Anderson directly on +61 418 482 450 or