Irena Kurkova trained and worked as a civil engineer in Prague in her native Czech Republic. On moving to Singapore in 2011, Irena took the opportunity to pursue her passion for painting under the tutelage of academic Singaporean painter Wee Shoo Leong. “Painting has been my joy and great hobby for a long time. Yet, in the past few years, I did not find the right opportunity and time for it. During a posting to Singapore, I started to paint again. With a great pleasure and for about 4 years, I attended oil painting classes given by Mr.Wee Shoo Leong, who is a great and inspirational teacher. For four months I was also taught by American portrait painter and commissioned artist, Mr Clayton Hudnall. I love to paint, as it gives me a sense of freedom and great relaxation. I enjoy expressing myself through colors.”


Irena has painted a number of commissioned pieces which are now held in collections in Singapore, Middle East, UK, USA, Denmark, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Romania and Australia. In 2014 Irena illustrated a book of poems written by Eva Crasimová.  Since August 2015, Irena has been living in Zurich, Switzerland, with her husband and two daughters. Passion for painting remained and Irena is attending art classes of Johanna Franco. “Johanna has a great contribution to my artistic journey “. Since 2017, Irena Kurkova has been supporting Room to Read by donating her paintings. Room to Read is a non-profit organization for improving literacy and gender equality in education in the developing world. 


Artist Statement


"Abstract paintings, landscapes and portraits are my greatest passion and focus. They reflect my expressive use of color, rich brush strokes and spontaneity. Living abroad for several years in Singapore and Switzerland has definitely influenced my use of vibrant color, bold lines, a selection of portraits and my esteem for nature. When I paint, I start with an intention like a word, thought, feeling, color and composition to help me focus to begin a painting and what I would like to achieve. The painting process is always about conversation rather than something planned.

I have found that the best paintings came from conversation in which I have listened to my heart." Irena Kurkova


Selected Exhibitions



  • "Essence of Nature" - group show, ZContemporary gallery, Hamburg, Germany


  • "Points of View" - group exhibition, ZContemporary, Hamburg, Germany
  • "Love & Other Stories" - group exhibition, ZContemporary, Hamburg, Germany


  • "Abstract Matters" - group exhibition, ZContemporary, Hamburg, Germany
  • "Autumn Moods" - group exhibition, ZContemporary, Hamburg, Germany
  • "Connecting Opposites" - group exhibition, ZContemporary, Hamburg, Germany
  • "2020: A Retrospective" - group exhibition, ZContemporary, Hamburg, Germany

2019 - Solo exhibition "Joy of Life, Retrospective" in Zürich

2016 - Solo exhibition "Asia Reflections" in Zürich, inspired by 5 years of living in Asia

2018 - PaviArt, Art Parma Fair, Italy

"Autumn Blooming"

Oil on canvas, 90 x 90 cm 

"River of Mystery"

Oil on canvas, 120 x 120 cm

"Autumn Lake"

Oil on canvas, 90 x 60 cm

"Wind in the Garden"

Oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm 

"Wildflower Meadow"

Oil on canvas, 120 x 120 cm

"Autumn is leaving"

Oil on canvas, 90 x 70 cm