LIM TZE PENG (B. 1923)
LIM TZE PENG (B. 1921)
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LIM TZE PENG (B. 1921)

At The Marketplace

LIM TZE PENG (B. 1921)
At The Marketplace
signed in Chinese and dated ‘02’ (lower right)
oil on canvas
65 x 90 cm. (25 5⁄8 x 35 3⁄8 in.)
Painted in 2002
Private Collection, Singapore

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Lot Essay

Most notable for depicting familiar scene of Singapore, Lim Tze Peng reiterates his constant endeavour in capturing immediate environments and expressing them in his distinctive style in At The Marketplace. Lim’s composition of this scene which highlights the hustle and bustle of a busy marketplace brings across the dynamic atmosphere through the use of forms, lines and colours. This work is a rare find that encompasses Lim’s favourite subject in his unique style.

Dated 2002, At The Marketplace was painted by the artist at almost 80 years old, during what is arguably his most inventive and creative period. Too old to paint outdoors, he resolved himself to working in his studio. Paradoxically, the challenge of painting in an enclosed space unleashed a new creativity. Instead of painting what he was seeing, he was painting what he felt, thus experimenting with abstraction. Boldly expressive and innovatively original, this work is without a doubt an emblematic portrayal of Lim’s best painted everyday subject.

One of Singapore’s most prolific artist, Lim started off as a self-taught artist and developed a gift to capture light and atmospheric mood with ease in ink, watercolour and oil painting. The unique painting style Lim employs fuses both Western and Eastern concepts and practices through the graceful lines and versatile tone in expressing space, light and colours.

A teacher by training and profession, Lim was an educator and principal of Xinmin Secondary School and had foundation in Chinese philosophy, arts and culture. His contributions to the arts and culture scene in Singapore was recognized when Lim was awarded the 2003 Cultural Medallion (Visual Arts) after having previously received the 1963 Public Administration medal, 1977 Commonwealth Art Exhibition special prize and 1981 Public Service Medal. Lim’s contributions to arts and culture sees him donating significant pieces of works to the Singapore Art Museum and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA).

Since Lim’s first solo exhibition in 1970, he has extensively showcased his works both abroad and in the Singapore National Museum, Singapore Art Museum, NAFA and the Arts House. Lim was also invited to hold solo exhibitions at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing and the Liu Haisu Art Museum in Shanghai.

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