Tanoto Foundation Centre for Southeast Asian Arts at NAFA

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Tan Choh Tee was born in 1942 in China. He graduated from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1962 and was a designer with McGraw-Hill Inc. between 1963 and 1976. In 1976, he became a professional artist.

Making use of colours, lines and forms in expressing his oil paintings, he fully absorbs the characteristics of Western Arts - focusing on the comparative effects of colour blocks and emphasising on the vitality of colours. Putting together the good points of both Western and Oriental Arts and expresses them in his own ways to create his personal styles of consistency in quality, singularity of purpose and freshness of impression.

Landscapes and still life are Choh Tee's the dominant subject. He believes that art must flow out of the artist's personal experience and that the basis of his art must come from the visual phenomenon he has himself lived through. It is necessary to build a painting on the spot before the subject matter itself and not contrive it in the privacy of the studio.

Choh Tee was inspired by Chinese brush painting and had shifted his emphasis from colours to the character of brush strokes. As he shows great interest and expertise in depicting modern living within the old streets of Singapore, he has explored a new horizon for localised oil paintings.