Artist: Tan Peng

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The first openly gay artist in Singapore, Tan Peng held a pioneering exhibition of homo-erotic art entitled "Out of the Closet" in the early 1990s.

It consisted mainly of realist charcoal sketches depicting amongst other subjects, furtive sex between two men in a toilet cubicle, an obese naked man squatting next to a child and a frank, nude self-portrait. These three samples of his work were published in the Straits Times. They did not provoke any adverse reactions as any genitalia depicted were minuscule. However, when interviewed by the periodical, a male member of the general public remarked that artists should keep their sexuality under wraps and not be so blatant about it.

From February 20-28, 1993, Tan Peng and American artist, John C. Goss , held Singapore's first openly gay-themed art exhibition entitled Flowing Forest, Burning Hearts, at The Substation public gallery. This two-man show was Tan's third exhibition of homoerotic work, but the first in which he came out publicly in the press as a gay man. His large pastel drawings tackled issues of importance to local gays: oppression, pressure to marry, invisibility, repressive religions, safer sex and HIV caregiving, and police entrapment.