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Born in China, Chen Wen Hsi (1906-1991) settled in Singapore in 1949 and taught at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in the 1950s. Chen was instrumental in the development of the Nanyang Style and is recognised as one of the pioneer artists of Singapore. Highly influential, Chen is regarded as the doyen of Singapore Chinese-brush artists. Although he painted mainly in Chinese brush, he often ventured into a cubistic style, executed in either oil or ink. An ardent student of nature, Chen is best known for his paintings of gibbons and animals developed from the Lingnan style. �'Abstract Cranes'� is composed entirely of planes of flat colours of various shapes, arranged against a blue background. Triangular shapes resemble paper folded cranes while the sharp corners recall beaks and wings.

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