The beauty of serendipity is you don’t know there will be a rainbow, much less a pot of gold at the end of it. For Rose Rasink, that serendipitous moment happened in a sauna. And she certainly didn’t expect her world to be painted with resplendent colours as a result of that chance encounter. But it did.
Rose moved to Germany in 2001 and met a German lady who was into painting when she was in a sauna. The Singaporean, whose artistic expression was limited to drawing using crayons in primary school, started picking up acrylic painting after becoming friends with the German. “We talked and talked. We encouraged each other and we painted side by side in her attic. It went from afternoon to midnight. We were so engrossed in it. She’s into oil and I’m into acrylic. We gave each other tips.” In 2003, she followed her husband to Israel on his job posting and started dabbling with pastel. Sitting in front of the Mediterranean Sea with friends, thoughts and ideas for her paintings poured forth.
Before she knew it, the accidental artist was invited to hold her private exhibition in Korschenbroich, Germany in 2006. “It took me a while to have the courage to do it because it’s a one-woman show. It’s a bigger responsibility and I have no experience doing my own show,” the 47-year-old reminisces. But with some help to set up the paintings and display, she not only held a successful exhibition -- it was the first of many solo exhibitions to come in Germany. She was also featured in a few German publications.
Rose describes her work as “folk art”, something that can be easily understood by people. Looking at her paintings, it is palpable that inspiration for some of her paintings stem from Singapore and being Singaporean. “I’m proud of Singapore and I want to share our Singapore roots and history, the cultures we have and how harmonious we live,” she explains. However, her proudest work yet is that of her husband in front of a vintage BMW. Recalling the day she revealed the painting to him, she laughs: “He was shocked that I did it because I didn’t tell him. I had to shut the room I was painting in and I didn’t allow him to come in.”
The most telling sign that Rose has found her calling as an artist is when she talks about the creative process involved in painting and how she revels in that. “When I’m with my painting and canvas, it’s an amazing feeling that’s indescribable. You mix the colours and you let them dance. Happiness comes from within when you start to let your brush dance, swirl and flow. It’s like a magical moment.”
Who would have thought that the start of her magical moments began in a nondescript sauna?
To view Rose’s work, visit
By Yee Wei Zhen, Overseas Singaporean Unit