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Satay Stall

Chen Chong Swee1910 - 1985

National Heritage Board, Singapore

National Heritage Board, Singapore
Singapore, Singapore

Born in Guangdong Province, China, Chen Chong Swee (1910-1985) came to Singapore in 1931 shortly after graduating from Xinhua Academy of Art, Shanghai. He co-founded the Salon Art Society (now the Singapore Society of Chinese Artists) in 1935 and was a teacher with Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts for over 20 years. In 1952, Chen, together with fellow artists Chen Wen Hsi, Cheong Soo Pieng and Liu Kang, went on what would eventually turn out be a historically significant trip to Bali, Indonesia in search of new inspiration and topics. As one of the first artists instrumental in developing the Nanyang Style, Chen pioneered attempts to interpret local landscapes according to the Chinese concept of pictorial composition with Western watercolour techniques. A realist painter, Chen often painted scenes from his surroundings. Framed by the foliage and branches of a humongous tree is a satay seller awaiting his customers. With Singapore'�s fast changing landscape, this work documents a world that is unfamiliar to the younger generation.

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