Paris-based artist, Mo Maurice Tan

Metropolis is the name of Mo Maurice Tan’s exhibition of artwork at Alliance Française de Singapour, and, as the name implies, the Singapore-born artist is famous for his modern urban cityscapes, depicted mostly through a bird’s eye-view. This time he explores the various modes of transport in cities, and attempts to weave together a common thread, possibly based upon the predictability of the urban landscape. We’re sure those who brave the morning commute to work every morning will identify with that.
So you’re obviously a city boy. Why?
I like the edge that comes with city living—the din, stress, pollution, etc.
What’s the inspiration for your art?
Anything a great city can offer me—from its skyline and architecture, to its people.
Speaking of which, there aren’t many people in your artworks, although cities are full of them. Are you just not a people person?
It’s more because I really would like to have the city all to myself.
Would you say then that the most crowded places are actually the loneliest places?
Crowded places are the most anonymous places, not the loneliest.
Your architectural background shows in the architectural detail of your work. Why didn’t you become an architect?
Architects work in a collective and socially demanding environment; I can only paint when I am alone.
We know peak-hour traffic in Paris is hell. So did you base your latest exhibition upon your transportation woes?
Peak-hour traffic in big cities across the world is hell for commuters, but not for the observer. I particularly enjoy sitting amid stressed out city dwellers hurrying from home to work and back again.
Having lived and toured all the great cities of the world, which city is your favorite?
If I had to choose only one, it has to be New York. Tokyo and Paris are close behind, with Istanbul a not very distant fourth.