Fan Chang Tien (1907 – 1987), the artist arrived in Singapore in 1956. Although a latecomer to the local arts scene amongst the pioneer generation of artists, Fan was instrumental in leading the development of Chinese ink painting in Singapore, laying a strong foundation for an entire generation of successful Chinese ink artists. Trained in Shanghai School of Art, excelling in Chinese ink-brush painting, he was an excellent art educator who evoked the creative instincts of his many students, firing their imagination as to what a simple brush and ink could do.
Past retrospective exhibitions were held to commerorate Fan’s contribution to Singapore Art.
Featuring a collection of about 25 ink works by the first-generation master, this show is a timely follow-up to last year’s successful exhibition in Beijing, Fan Chang Tien: Homecoming of a Heritage held at the China International Cultural Exchange Centre from 21 to 30 August 2019. Fan Chang Tien’s work has been very well-received in China and it is only natural that his artistic journey and achievements should also be celebrated in Singapore, where he dedicated much of his life to art and helped nurtured a new generation of local ink artists.
Some of his notable students include Nai Swee Leng, Lim Kay Hiong, Tan Oe Pang, Henri Chen Kezhan, Lim Cher Eng, and Chua Ek Kay. Being a link between the Haipai tradition in China and the burgeoning art scene in Singapore, Fan was essential in providing Singaporean artists an alternative mode of modernist ink paintings that, though with an entwined heritage, was ultimately different from that taught in NAFA.
Links to Event Reports:
In 2017 – The exhibition Fan Chang Tien Master and His School on Ink Artists was held at the 4th level of Chui Huay Lim Teochew Club at Keng Lee Road. The event was officiated by Guest of Honour Low Sin Leng, Chairman of NAFA Board Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore. Apart from the opening ceremony which was attended by notable artists, collectors, fans and family, on two separate days, there was a painting demonstration by first generation students of the late Fan. Artists- Nai Swee Leng and Lim Kay Hiong showcased their skills.
We would also like to thank all student, friends and sponsors:
Mr & Mrs Daniel Teo Tong How
Dr. Stanley Quek
Jean Yip Group
as this event would not have been possible without their kind support.
In 2014 – A comprehensive bilingual book titled “Fan Chang Tien- The Literati Artist” was launched at the Arts House, on 12th August 2014 featuring 160 pieces of Fan’s artworks including ten masterpieces from the National collection Singapore. It was officiated by Ms Jane Ittogi, Chair of Board, Singapore Art Museu,. A symposium was conducted on the same day by the following.
Director (Curatorial & Collections) National Gallery Singapore
Art Advisor and Writer
Artist, Mr Fan’s Student
Professor and Dean
School of Design and Environment, NUS
Water Colour Artist and Art Lover
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