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IMPRESSIONS Lim Tze Peng


IMPRESSIONS Lim Tze Peng


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IMPRESSIONS


LIM TZE PENG

林子平

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FOREWORD Jazz Chong Director, Ode to Art

It is a herculean task to condense the work of a paragon of art, over almost a century, into a few words. The artistic mythos, is an apt description that comes to mind. For here we have a living legend—an exemplar of Singapore whose art transcends the imagination. He is both champion and icon, immortalising his impressions and crafting unforgettable tales that serve as imprints of history itself. It is exhilarating to trace the beginnings of his legacy like the strokes that make up a line, curving into familiar characters and culminating in unique meaning. Words and characters—Lim Tze Peng has spent a lifetime familiarising himself with this sacred language and the secrets that lie behind strokes of ink. The brush moves powerfully across paper, preserving colours of nostalgia and an idyllic past. Words may fail some, but to Lim Tze Peng, they are his lexicons—constituting 95 years of impressions. In a tribute to one of Singapore’s greatest artistic icons and his wondrous journey, Ode to Art is honoured to present IMPRESSIONS—a collection of 95 original works by the 95-year-old artist who has rendered his own piece of Singaporean history in the sublime beauty of Chinese ink. A man that needs little introduction, Lim Tze Peng began creating artistic impressions as a boy—familiarising himself with the fluidity of watercolours and oil paints. As teacher, principal, artist and scholar, his journey and oeuvre of work both form a distinct part of Singapore’s artistic history and provides a mirror to its present. Part of the awakening of the Nanyang style in Singapore, Lim Tze Peng’s art exudes expression and scenes of colour;

seamlessly weaving visions of Bali and the Singapore of old—depicting the river that formed the lifeblood of the island state. On occasion, his works resemble the artist himself—towering over the viewers that stand before them and exuding a lost charm of days gone by. Meandering across one’s field of vision, the words meld into each other and the script is transformed. His calligraphy reveals a confident and steadfast hand, powerful grip and disciplined strokes that are softened by his unique expression. A spectrum of emotion is interspersed with monochromatic technique. Lim Tze Peng’s body of work represents a history of Singapore—a melding of cultures, a timeless frieze and encapsulation of the soul of a city that surfaces amidst humble roofs and bustling markets brimming with life. Stories are illuminated in poetry and worlds ensconced within a single character or word. Lim Tze Peng is both a constant source of inspiration and a remarkable human being. As he turns 95 this year, we turn to his art to reflect and project anew the ideals that he has always exemplified—timeless vitality and an unending search for meaning. Nothing could be more telling of his tremendous contribution to Singapore art history than the undulations of his artistic endeavours— at times gargantuan, at times humble; but always steeped in expression. Join us as we trace a journey of art, history, inspiration and legacy. At 95, Lim Tze Peng is a man who is larger than life, surpassing definitions with the power of his Impressions.


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IMPRESSIONS

TZE PENG IN BLACK AND WHITE Bridget Tracy Tan MA (Hons) History of Art Director (Institute of Southeast Asian Arts) Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore

The pillars of Chinese art have always been painting, calligraphy, poetry and seal carving: four practices that have together developed the skills of any literati painting to produce some of the more sophisticated examples of fine Chinese art. Practice aside, scholarly influences through philosophy and access to deeper reflections that invoked greater refinement and elevation were also part of grooming a great painter. “When ink is used well, the strokes itself can encapsulate the artistic intention,” Tze Peng says, when asked about the monochromatic medium he has employed of late.1 He harks back to the era of calligraphic writing and scholarly intent, where strokes are as equally significant as the written word itself. The forms are dominated by careful application of ink and handling of the brush.

1 Interview with Tze Peng, 11 June 2012. All quotes by Tze Peng following are taken ad verbatim from this interview, unless otherwise stated.

Lim Tze Peng evolved in his own illustrious career for over 6 decades at least. A teacher and headmaster of school, painting for him was a concurrent pursuit that mirrored his own passions for the vitality of life in his community. Self taught and dedicated to his own personal study, Tze Peng has over the years, developed his practice employing the traditional techniques of Chinese brushwork, all the while incorporating strands of influence from both East and West.

Old Singapore has particularly endeared itself to Tze Peng, whose early series of paintings provide a considerable record of the community and life prior to official urban redevelopment. This particularly applies to his scenes of Chinatown and the Singapore river. He has travelled around the region painting scenes of local landscapes that personify that beauty that is Southeast Asia, from kampongs to bustling street markets; traditional kelongs to sites of coastal industry. Most of these paintings provide a generous insight for how Tze Peng’s paintings have redefined Chinese ink painting. Many works are serial and collate as a group. The nature of the renderings is based on a predominant Western discipline: that of sketching or drawing on the site itself. What differentiates Tze Peng’s form of ‘sketching’ is how he completes each painting as a fully realized work. It is not merely a drawing as part of practice, but a full rendering of the sight and scene before him. The quality most evident in his Chinese ink is the density of his brushstrokes, carefully mediated by his attention to balance and harmonious composition within the space. Tze Peng is quick to acknowledge his own development as an artist in our modern metropolis, critically evaluating issues in his practice and production as a means to improve, to progress, to refine, to cross new thresholds.


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The established value of many of Tze Peng’s works derive from a greater appreciation of both the subjects he presents, landscapes and unique perspectives so beautifully rendered and expressively coloured. The black and white works of Tze Peng revisit many of his familiar subjects already rendered in colour, images of old Chinatown scenes, shophouses, people, streets and the more rural dimension of kampongs and countryside. He does not repeat these as copies, but instead plays with the idea in his mind, electing to construct details he has both remembered and forgotten. The lines are bold and confident, articulating defined forms such as umbrellas, boats, trees and architecture (buildings, kelongs, bridges). On the other hand, passages and spaces, such as alleys, streets and water, are created from the consecration of black and white shades over white, defining the negative space in rich tonal harmonies. White also alleviates the density, such as the clearly bare umbrella tops, and tarpaulin in some images. The patterns constructed with the line are dynamic and distinct, with the white clearly emphasised. The exacting details of trees, roofs, figures, boat shapes and buildings for instance, demonstrate his skilled draughtsmanship, familiar with realistic and natural forms alike. They may be composites from his imagination and memory, but are articulated with accuracy and balance. The vivid detail in his mind’s eye combined with the skilled modulations by Tze Peng in shades of black, white and grey, provides a vigorous familiarity for our memories and our senses. These are real spaces, infused with both memory and currency.

The beauty of this combination asserts the vintage flair of Tze Peng’s renderings, even while monochromatic hues represent his practice at his most modern and visually agile state.

The dominant feature of the black and white works may be the line and form, but we cannot overlook the fundamentals of Chinese ink execution that are presented so vividly still through Tze Peng’s enterprise. Taking the cue from his practice of calligraphy and the importance of rendering both line and form in many permutations, Tze Peng’s black and white works highlight equally his deftness at the wet and dry brush in dispersing his ink across his paper. The loaded brush describes opaque, rich jewellike qualities, while the dry brush executes textures that convey chiaroscuro (light and dark) in the work, modulating fresh forms, while ‘ageing’ them as the same time.

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Beyond the two dimensional quality that is obvious to any painting, for Tze Peng, the sensations and expressiveness that are critical can be found in the tactile qualities of the sculptural, the incised, the carved, the reliefs of stone and jade. “An artistic intention can be seen through lines and brushstrokes. An artist plays around with different types of lines, and executes them through a variety of brush strokes to create a good piece. With paintings, success can be easily attained through a masterful choice of colours; but stripped off colours, what is left behind is still, lines.” Through the years, Tze Peng has identified himself with his Chinese heritage, and many of his works pay homage to the handling and expressive tendencies that underline the formal composition of any painting. Though equally adept in western oil painting and Chinese ink, the latter has dominated his practice for the greater part of his career. I asked Tze Peng, who has easily created more than a thousand artworks on paper that are documented, if he has been known to destroy works as is the custom of ink painters who deem the work produced is flawed. His response is an unequivocal assent, fully cognizant of the literati tradition he follows with pride and humility. Tze Peng is mindful of the diligence in his practice that yields his finer work. “I only do my black and white pieces at home,” he says, “when I am mentally and physically alert.” Alongside his paintings, Tze Peng has continued to pursue his calligraphic practice. He resolves to paint everyday, even if it is simply to write calligraphy. “The highest aesthetic in Chinese art is still calligraphy, not ink paintings.” In his range there are pieces that resemble ancient stone rubbings and these are a variation of either writing in both ink and white pigments to shadow the script forms, or ‘writing’ the negative space and colouring in the positives, to result in words appearing as intaglio carved scripts onto a surface printed onto the paper. The gestures found in his calligraphy of this style demonstrate the full-


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ness of handmade markings, creating a rough, simplicity that he enjoys and appreciates. Further, in exploring his many calligraphic renderings, one becomes aware of his agility in transforming the practice into a hybrid of new form that present abstraction and a contemporary vibe. Words written in the cursive grass script style are written over, condensed and with deft generosity of wet and dry brush, come together like an ancient yet visibly contemporary allure of kaleidoscopic life. “To me,” Tze Peng confesses, “black and white paintings are much harder to execute than coloured ones. A well-executed black and white painting can give people a sense of primitive simplicity with bold and vigorous strokes.” After decades of practice and studied revisions, travels, explorations and worldly experiences, his paintings rightfully draw on his known repertoire that continues to yield ever new and fresh takes on what he considers his discipline of making art using Chinese ink. Ultimately, he is humble about and humbled by his success and asserts, “To me, drawing is about the heart of the object, not only the superficial and the external.” Tze Peng in black and white allows us to appreciate that the artist’s practice has come full circle, embodying in its richness, both the historical depth and the contemporary relevance of his painterly art. Somewhere amid the infinite possibilities of black, the white and the greys, are revealed indeed, the true essence of a thousand things.

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Calligraphy

“(Lim Tze Peng) harks back to the era of calligraphic writing and scholarly intent, where the strokes are as equally significant as the written word itself. The forms are dominated by careful application of ink and handling of the brush.” Dr. Bridget Tracy Tan Director (Institute of Southeast Asian Arts & Galleries), Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore

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Calligraphy Series Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm

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Left (Top): Calligraphy Series Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Left (Bottom): Calligraphy Series Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Right: Calligraphy Series Ink on rice paper, 183 x 97 cm

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Calligraphy Series Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm

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Left: Story of Three Kingdoms by Yang Shen 临江仙 - 杨慎 Ink on rice paper, 180 x 97 cm Right: Temple of Su Wu by Wen Ting Yun 苏武庙 - 温庭筠 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm

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秋登萬山寄張五 - 孟浩然

A U T U M N A S C E N T O F W A N M O U N TA I N — A POEM FOR ZHANG WU BY MENG HAORAN

北山白雲里,隱者自怡悅。 相望始登高,心隨雁飛滅。 愁因薄暮起,興是清秋髮。 時見歸村人,平沙渡頭歇。 天邊樹若薺,江畔洲如月。 何當載酒來,共醉重陽節。 That northern peak enveloped in pearly clouds, brings jubilation to my reclusive heart. I attempt the climb to survey the land from up high, while my heart soars with the swans. Twilight is the harbinger of gloom, but late autumn is a time for joyous merriment. From a vantage point I observe the villagers returning home, watching as they recline on sandy beaches at the ferry crossing. The horizon is filled with trees as small as a shepherd’s satchel, gazing downward I view the banks of the shore in the moonlight. What harm could befall me if I were to bring fine wine up to the mountain, to gaily celebrate the Double Ninth Festival.

Autumn Ascent of Wan Mountain—A Poem for Zhang Wu by Meng Haoran 秋登萬山寄張五 - 孟浩然 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm

Meng Haoran (689-740) was a poet in the Tang Dynasty. Reference is made to the Double Ninth or Chong Yang Festival, which is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. During this occasion, it is customary to partake in wine made from chrysanthemums and to climb the mountains to appreciate the beauty of chrysanthemum flowers. The poet is enamoured with his idyllic surroundings and pens down his lyrical observations in a letter.


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Left (Top): Autumn Ascent of Wan Mountain—A Poem for Zhang Wu by Meng Haoran 登萬山寄張五 - 孟浩然 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Left (Bottom): Autumn Ascent of Wan Mountain—A Poem for Zhang Wu by Meng Haoran 登萬山寄張五 - 孟浩然 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Right: On Yueyang Tower by Du Fu 登岳阳楼 - 杜甫 Ink on rice paper, 183 x 97 cm

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Left: The Bamboo Lodge by Wang Wei 竹里馆 - 王维 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Right: The Bamboo Lodge by Wang Wei 竹里馆 - 王维 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm

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竹里馆- 王维

T H E B A M B O O LO D G E B Y W A N G W E I

独坐幽篁里, 弹琴复长啸; 深林人不知, 明月来相照.

Seated alone in the remote bamboo grove, I strum the lute and sing aloud. Deep in the woods, no one knows I exist, only the bright moon shines its light upon me. Wang Wei (699-759) was one of the foremost poets of the Tang Dynasty, as well as a poet, musician and government official. This particular poem brings to mind a surreal and meditative experience amidst tranquil scenery. Lim Tze Peng breathes life into the words with spirited strokes of ink. The boldness of his calligraphy is juxtaposed against the lilting delicacy of the poem, creating a moving and expressive dynamic.

The Bamboo Lodge by Wang Wei 竹里馆 - 王维 Ink on rice paper, 183 x 97 cm

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Autumn in the Mountains by Wang Wei 山居秋暝 - 王维 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm

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Left: Autumn in the Mountains by Wang Wei 山居秋暝 - 王维 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm Right: Autumn in the Mountains by Wang Wei 山居秋暝 - 王维 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm

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Left: In Search of One Who Could Not be Found by Jia Dao 寻隐者不遇 - 贾岛 Ink on rice paper, 150 x 83 cm Right (Top): Emptiness 空 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Right (Bottom): Peace 安 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm

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Boundless Ocean of Art 藝海無涯 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm

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天容万物, 海纳百川

T H E U N I V E R S E E M B R A C E S A L L O F N AT U R E , A L L R I V E R S R U N I NTO T H E S E A

Top: The Universe Embraces All of Nature 天容万物 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Bottom: All Rivers Run Into the Sea 海纳百川 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm

Translated literally, this statement means that the sky itself is wide enough to contain all of nature, whilst the sea is deep enough to take in the currents of rivers and creeks. With regard to human nature, it extols the virtues of being magnanimous, tolerant and forgiving to others, with hearts as open and wide as the expanse of sea and sky.


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Left (Top): The Universe Embraces All of Nature 天容万物 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Left (Bottom): Infinite Sea and Sky 海闊天空 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Right: A Song of Liangzhou by Wang Zhi Huan 凉州词 - 王之换 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm

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Abstract Calligraphy 无题 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm

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Top (Left): Autumn Morning by Xu Hun 早秋 - 许浑 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Top (Right): Autumn Morning by Xu Hun 早秋 - 许浑 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Bottom: Autumn Morning by Xu Hun 早秋 - 许浑 Ink on rice paper, 145 x 365 cm

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Autumn Morning by Xu Hun 早秋 - 许浑 Ink on rice paper, 190 x 235 cm

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Autumn Morning by Xu Hun 早秋 - 许浑 Ink on rice paper, 200 x 235 cm

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Left: An Evening View of Youzhou After Arriving at Parrot Island from Hankou—A Poem to Governor Yuan by Liu Changqing 自夏口至鸚洲夕望岳阳寄源中丞 -劉長卿 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm Right: An Evening View of Youzhou After Arriving at Parrot Island from Hankou—A Poem to Governor Yuan by Liu Changqing 自夏口至鸚洲夕望岳阳寄源中丞 -劉長卿 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm

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卜算子詠梅 – 陆游

O D E T O T H E P L U M B LO S S O M B Y L U Y O U

驿外断桥边,寂寞开无主。 已是黄昏独自愁,更著风和雨。 无意苦争春,一任群芳妒。 零落成泥碾作尘,只有香如故。 Near the broken bridge outside the fortress I go, lonely and disoriented. Already dusk, I am alone and anxious; more so when the rain and wind start to blow. I do not mean to fight for Spring, I would rather be alone and envied by the crowd. I will fall, become earth, be crushed to dust; my glory will be the same as before. Lu You (1125-1210) was a famous Song Dynasty poet and government official. The poem addresses the loneliness of the plum blossom, which thrives in winter when other plants fail and is a symbol of resilience and perseverance in Chinese culture. In the same vein, the poet Lu You felt gloomy and disappointed with his corrupt fellow officials. He preferred to forge a path on his own and be envied and excluded by others, in order to remain steadfast to his beliefs. Ode to the Plum Blossom by Lu You 卜算子詠梅 - 陆游 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm


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Left: Ode to the Plum Blossom by Lu You 卜算子詠梅 - 陆游 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm Right: Climbing White Stork Tower by Wang Zhi Huan 登鹳雀楼 - 王之换 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm

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Top (Left): Dragon 龍 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Top (Right): Harmony 和 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Bottom (Left): Floating Clouds Flowing Water 行雲流水 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Bottom (Right): Song of the Pipa Player by Bai Juyi 琵琶行 - 白居易 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm

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The River Runs Red by Yue Fei 满江红 - 岳飞, Ink on rice paper, 145 x 278 cm

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Left: A Pleasant Encounter with an Old Acquaintance on River Huai by Wei Ying Wu 淮上喜會梁川故人 - 韦应物 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm

Right: A View of the Han River by Wang Wei 汉江临泛 - 王维 Ink on rice paper, 183 x 97 cm

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The People’s Liberation Army Captures Nanjing by Mao Zedong 七律·人民解放军占领南京 - 毛泽东 Ink on rice paper, 97 x 212 cm

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Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong (1893-1976) wrote this poem in April 1949. Structurally, it consists of eight lines of seven syllables each and alternating lines rhyme. In the poem, Mao lauds the capture of Nanjing by the People’s Liberation Army as a revolutionary victory and highlights his military strategy.


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Left: Memories of the Past at Red Cliff by Su Shi 念奴娇·赤壁怀古 - 苏轼 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm Right: Mountains and Forests of Autumn by Huang Gong Wang 秋山林木 - 黄公望 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm

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Left: The East Turns White as the Five Continents Look On 东方既白, 五洲已曙 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm Right: Thinking of You by Su Shi 水调歌头 - 苏轼 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm

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Top (Left): Resting by the Maple Bridge by Zhang Ji 枫桥夜泊 - 张继 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Top (Right): On an Autumn Night to Councillor Qiu by Wei Ying Wu 秋夜寄邱员外 - 韦应物 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Bottom: Looking Beyond Universal Ideals 放眼四海 Ink on rice paper, 71 x 143 cm

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Left: On an Autumn Night to Councillor Qiu by Wei Ying Wu 秋夜寄邱员外 - 韦应物 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm Right: Setting Off from Baidi City by Li Bai 早發白帝城 - 李白 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm

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字乃心畫

PORTRAIT OF THE HEART

Lim Tze Peng renders his calligraphy with passion and raw energy, breathing new life into the symbolic characters he chooses to represent. He places much importance on calligraphy, signified in the phrase 字乃心畫, as he believes it is a reflection of one’s temperament. As elucidated by second and third-century writer Zhao Yi in the text Collected Ancient Chinese Essays on Calligraphy, the way that cursive script is formed is an indication of the painter’s personality.

Portrait of the Heart 字乃心畫 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm

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Left: Self Mockery by Lu Xun 自嘲 - 鲁迅 Ink on rice paper, 135 x 67 cm Right: Tolerance to Diversity 海纳百川 Ink on rice paper, 135.5 x 68 cm

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Left: Song of the Travelling Son by Meng Jiao 游子吟 - 孟郊 Ink on rice paper, 134 x 67 cm Right: Thoughts on a Quiet Night by Li Bai 静夜思 - 李白 Ink on rice paper, 183 x 97 cm

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The River Runs Red by Yue Fei 满江红 - 岳飞, Ink on rice paper, 180 x 150 cm

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Lim Tze Peng achieved a stylistic breakthrough in 2005 with the development of a new style of calligraphy termed ‘muddled writing’ or 糊涂字. Emphasizing expressiveness and elegance of strokes instead of the actual meaning of the words, some of the works have layers written atop each other—with the words appearing so cursive and abstract that it is difficult to decipher the characters that are written. Introducing this dynamic concept into his calligraphy, one is reminded of the desire for experimentation and focus on abstraction and processes as opposed to fixed subject matter in Modernism.

Abstract Calligraphy 无题 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm

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Left: Abstract Calligraphy 无题 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm Right: Snow River by Liu Zongyuan 江雪 - 柳宗元 Ink on rice paper, 100 x 100 cm

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Left: Snow River by Liu Zongyuan 江雪 - 柳宗元 Ink on rice paper, 140 x 70 cm Right: Spring View by Du Fu 春望 - 杜甫 Ink on rice paper, 183 x 97 cm

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Painting

“When I write, impressions of paintings form in my mind,” Lim Tze Peng states. To him, calligraphy and paintings are inextricably linked together. It is no wonder that when you look upon his writings, there is both ebb and flow, fluidity and rhythm—in much the same way that his paintings speak to viewers.


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Singapore River Scenes VIII Ink on paper, 145 x 370 cm

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Top: Singapore River V Ink on paper, 140 x 365 cm Bottom: Singapore River (Four Boats) Ink on paper, 133 x 266 cm

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Left: Roots Ink on paper, 105 x 105 cm Right: Roots II Ink on paper, 103 x 105 cm

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Bustling Streets of Chinatown Ink on paper, 200 x 235 cm

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Left: Duck Rice Store Ink on paper, 144 x 179 cm Right: My Neighbourhood Ink on paper, 144 x 179 cm

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Under the Coconut Tree Ink on paper, 104 x 100 cm

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Top (Left): Banana Shop Ink on paper, 65 x 65 cm Top (Right): Grove of Trees Ink on paper, 65 x 65 cm Bottom (Left): Temple Front Ink on paper, 65 x 65 cm Bottom (Right): Old Singapore Scene Ink on paper, 69 x 69 cm

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Top (Left): Bali Fruit Stall Ink on paper, 70 x 70 cm Top (Right): Banana Stall Ink on paper, 67 x 67 cm Bottom (Left): Drawing Water Ink on paper, 70 x 70 cm Bottom (Right): Street Stalls Ink on paper, 70 x 70 cm

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Top (Left): Boats on Balinese Shores Ink on paper, 70 x 70 cm Top (Right): Balinese Vendors Ink on paper, 67 x 67 cm Bottom (Left): Chestnuts for Sale Ink on paper, 70 x 70 cm Bottom (Right): Fishermen Along the Seashore Ink on paper, 100 x 105 cm

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Top (Left): Morning Markets Ink on paper, 200 x 228 cm Top (Right): Chinatown Scene Ink on paper, 164 x 187 cm Bottom: Old Street Landscape Ink on paper, 165 x 228 cm

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A Busy Day at Chinatown Ink on paper, 199 x 239 cm

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Old Singapore Scene Ink on paper, 165 x 227 cm

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Riverside Ink on paper, 65 x 65 cm

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Left: Shops by the Street Ink on paper, 65 x 65 cm Right: Sceneries in Li Jiang Ink on paper, 70 x 70 cm

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Chinatown Scenes III Ink on paper, 69 x 69 cm

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BIOGRAPHY Lim Tze Peng, born in 1921, first established his art practice in the early 1950s with a series of oil paintings of Chinese landscapes. He is best known for the significant number of Chinese ink drawings and paintings of Chinatown and the Singapore River he produced during the early 1980s. Having a solid foundation in Chinese philosophy, art and culture, Lim Tze Peng also practiced Chinese calligraphy, especially in the 1990s. In 2009, Lim Tze Peng was invited to hold his solo exhibition in the prestigious Beijing and Shanghai Art Museums. Even though Lim was born and educated in Singapore, his diligent studies and daily dedication to practicing his craft enabled him to excel in the Chinese ink medium. His new ink works are deeply rooted in tradition, yet they have a palpably contemporary feel and can be enjoyed by all. Lim Tze Peng shows that Singapore’s multicultural environment may provide a context in which artists can respond to a variety of influences without being affected by defensive forms of traditionalism or superficial forms of cosmopolitanism. Lim Tze Peng describes his creative impulses for his new works, “I see and I paint, now it’s I reflect and I paint.” His latest series of calligraphic works reveal a new level of artistic maturity — their raw energy reflects an aggressive swiftness and decisive ferocity, Lim Tze Peng imbues his calligraphy with invigorating tension. ACCOMPLISHMENTS Lim Tze Peng participated actively in artist field trips around the Southeast Asian region in the 1960s. From the 1970s onwards, he participated in several solo and group exhibitions. His first solo exhibition was in 1970. Since then, he has exhibited his works widely in Singapore and abroad. He held three solo exhibitions in the 1990s and has participated in more than 20 group exhibitions to date. In the last four years, significant donations of his works have entered the Singapore Art Museum and Nanyang

Academy of Fine Arts courtesy of the artist and his collectors. In recognition of his contributions to art, Lim Tze Peng has received several awards including the prestigious Cultural Medallion in 2003. E A R LY L I F E Lim Tze Peng was educated at Chung Cheng High School. Upon graduation, he became a teacher in Xin Min School in 1949. In 1951, he became principal of the school where he remained until 1981. COLLECTIONS Singapore Art Museum, Singapore Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore National University of Singapore, Singapore Housing Development Board, Singapore Singapore Airlines Singapore Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore Lee Kong Chian Art Museum, Singapore Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore Nanyang University Art Museum, Singapore Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation, Singapore United Overseas Bank Group, Singapore IBM Singapore Pte Ltd, Singapore


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墨韵

IMPRESSIONS

SOLO EXHIBITION 2015 2014

Impressions by Lim Tze Peng, Ode to Art Gallery, Singapore

Inroads: Lim Tze Peng’s New Ink Work, Art Retreat Museum, Singapore

Spring Echo – Lim Tze Peng Recent Paintings, Cape of Good Hope Gallery, Singapore 2006 Tze Peng in Paris, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore

My Kampong, My Home, Singapore Management University Gallery, Singapore Inroads: The Ink Journey of Lim Tze Peng, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

Infinite Gestures—Recent Paintings by Lim Tze Peng, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore 2003 Tze Peng, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore 1998

Inroads: The Ink Journey of Lim Tze Peng, Liu Haisu Art Museum, Shanghai, China

Meeting Places in Fleeting Spaces, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore Fascinating Landscapes, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

2009 Journey: A Collection of Works by Lim Tze Peng, Ode to Art Gallery, Singapore The Calligraphic Impulses by Lim Tze Peng, Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, Singapore

Calligraphy, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore 1970

1995

Moments by Lim Tze Peng, Takashimaya Gallery, Singapore

1991

Lim Tze Peng Chinese Paintings and

1st Solo Exhibition, Singapore GROUP EXHIBITION

2014

Nanyang Visionaries, Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, ION Orchard, Singapore

2013

The Singapore Showcase, The Luxe Art Museum, Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, Singapore

2012

Living with Art, Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, ION Orchard, Singapore

2007 Lim Tze Peng: Singapore River Memory, Cape of Good Hope Gallery, Singapore

Lim Tze Peng: Black and White, Ode to Art Gallery, Singapore Tze Peng in Bali, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore

2010

2008 Inaugural Exhibition: NTU Art and Heritage Gallery, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Lim Tze Peng: A Private Collection, The Private Museum, Singapore The Journey, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

2012

Inroads: The Ink Journey of Lim Tze Peng, National Art Museum of China, Beijing; Liu Haisu Art Museum, Shanghai, China

Lim Tze Peng: Larger than Life, Art Stage Singapore, Ode to Art, Singapore Songs from the Heart, de Suantio Gallery, Singapore Management University, Singapore

2013

Inroads: The Ink Journey of Lim Tze Peng, National Art Museum of China, Beijing

Nostalgic Memories of Chinatown, Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, Singapore 2006 Highlights of Southeast Asian Collection, National University of Singapore Museum, Singapore 5th International Ink Painting Biennial of Shenzhen, Shenzhen, China 2005 The Society of Chinese Artists 70th Anniversary Commemorative Exhibition, Singapore Style and Imagination: Art in the Nanyang Academy, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore 2004 Crossroads: Collected Works of SecondGeneration Artists, NUS Museum, Singapore


林子平

LIM TZE PENG

2000 65th Anniversary Exhibition of The Society of Chinese Artists, Singapore

1988

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Salon des Artists Francais, Grand Palais, Paris, France

Exhibition, England 1963

1999

Singapore Art Society 50th Anniversary Exhibition, Singapore

1993

Cap III Inkscape, Singapore Artists Directory Exhibition, Empress Place Museum, Singapore

NAFA Lecturers Art Exhibition 88, Singapore 1987

Three-man Art Exhibition, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

1986

ASEAN Art Exhibition, various ASEAN countries

Tze Peng by Himself, Art in Asia, Singapore Art Fair 1993, Shenns Fine Art Gallery, Singapore 1991

1990

Eighth International Artists Art Exhibition, Taiwan

International Chinese Calligraphy Exhibition, Beijing, China

1982

Seventh International Artists Art Exhibition, Taiwan

Singapore Art Fair, World Trade Centre, Singapore

1981

Singapore Calligraphy Exhibition, Singapore

Society of Chinese Artists Annual Art Exhibition, Singapore

1980

Fifth Festival of Asian Art, Hong Kong

1978

Singapore Artists Group Exhibition, Moscow, Russia

Singapore Art Society Annual Art Exhibition, Singapore The Senior Citizen Calligraphy and Painting Society Art Exhibition, Singapore

Singapore Historical Monuments Exhibition, Singapore 1977

International Chinese Calligraphy Exhibition, Seoul, South Korea

1989

Royal Overseas League Exhibition, England AWA R D S

Chinese Calligraphy Society of Singapore Art Exhibition, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore

2003 Cultural Medallion Award, Singapore

New York Art Expo 89, New York, USA

1981

National Day Award, Pingat Bakti Masyakarat (Public Service Medal), Singapore

1st Bru-Sin Art Exhibition 89, National Museum Art Gallery, Brunei

1977

Special Prize, Commonwealth Art

National Day Award (PPA), Singapore


IMPRESSIONS L IM T Z E P E N G First published 2015 Ode To Art Raffles City 252 North Bridge Road, Raffles City Shopping Centre, #01-36E/F, Singapore 179103 T +65 6250 1901 F +65 6250 5354 Ode To Art Kuala Lumpur 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, The Pavilion, #06-24E/F, Kuala Lumpur 55100, Malaysia Tel: +603 2148 9816 Fax: +603 2142 6816 info@odetoart.com odetoart.com Š Ode To Art 2015 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Printed and bound in Singapore

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