00 Poster of the exhibition

Hosted by the Beijing Fine Art Academy, “Intuitive Insight – Singaporean Artist Tan Kian Por Exhibition of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, Seal Carving” was inaugurated at the Art Museum of Beijing Fine Art Academy at 10:00 on May 28, 2015, to feature more than 80 Chinese paintings and calligraphy by the artists, more than 20 seal carvings. The exhibition continues to 13:00 on June 4. Intuitive insight originated from the Zen “Wu Deng Hui Yuan (Five Lamps Merged in the Source)”, removing the misperceptions and surpassing the bondage of consciousness as well as clarifying comprehension, beingfree and at ease. Intuitive insight reflects the creative aesthetic of the things and ego forgetting each other, so the exhibition collectively and comprehensively showcases the art exploration and achievements of the artist under the background of a new era.

The Singaporean artist Tan Kian Por was born in Guangdong province when new China was founded, he moved to Singapore together with his family when he was 13 years old, but the spirit of the Chinese traditional culture was deeply implanted in his mind. The teenager Tan Kian Por learned seal carving which was impacted by his teachers Chen Zongrui and Shi Xiangtuo when he studied in a middle school and gradually started to love Chinese painting and calligraphy. Then he studied sketching and oil painting in the Western painting department, he began to specialize in traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy when he graduated.

Tan took full advantage of the natural and humanistic environment of Nanyang, using a new form to express the Chinese traditional themes and Nanyang themes, to create the unique “Figure Series”. In the “Figure Series” the artist often showcased the Indian, Singaporean Indian traditional Thaipusam Festival, Bali street vendors in Indonesia, Hindu temples, as well as the ordinary people they encountered in the tour to China, the ordinary folk are the real lives in life, especially the Hindu ethnic living in Nanyang and Malay islanders living in Bali, who both have a persistent attitude and simple feeling towards tradition, deeply touching the painter and the performance of local customs in Nanyang is also one of the highlights of the exhibition.

“Intuitive Insight” is the combination of the representational and abstract, a blending based on water. He painted fish only to express the “shape and shadow”, like the moon on water that is virtual and real, representational and abstract is also virtual and real. Tan Kian Por created the exclusive red abstract symbol which could be considered as the light and shadow in water, both virtual and real, revealing the beauty of all flowing things. Tan Kian Por particularly prefers using black, red and blue. In the Orient, black is the mother of all things, red represents happiness, blue is the azure rich in cultural temperament. The unique composition of color gives the abstract symbol a strong Oriental flavor.

The Beijing Fine Art Academy invites Tan Kian Por to hold a solo exhibition at the Art Museum, to showcase the development situation of traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy in Singapore. It is the first time for Tan Kian Por together with his works, to have a direct art exchange with art circles and the public in Beijing, so it is a “North-South exchange” activity witha special meaning.

About the artist

Tan Kian Por (b. 26 November 1949, Chaozhou, China), graduated from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore, is a Chinese calligrapher, painter and seal carver. His paintings have a distinctive style and are displayed in major art galleries in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea. Tan’s works are recognized internationally; they are considered masterpieces in the Nanyang Style and regarded alongside those of pioneer artists Aw Tee Hong and Chen Wen His. For his contributions to the local art scene, Tan was awarded the Cultural Medallion for Visual Arts in 2001.

Solo Exhibitions

2000 Ninth Solo Art Exhibition in Singapore

1988 Seven Solo Art Exhibition at National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore

1981 Six Solo Modern Chinese Calligraphy Exhibition held in Melbourne, Australia

1979 Fourth & Fifth Solo Art Exhibition held in Singapore

1978 Third Solo Exhibition on “Chinese Brush Painting” held in Melbourne, Australia

1976 Second Solo exhibition on “Modern Chinese Calligraphy” held in Melbourne, Australia

1972 First Solo Art Exhibition in Singapore

Group Exhibitions

1973″Three Men Art Exhibition” held in the National Library, Singapore

1975 Participated “Contemporary Art Exhibition” held in Orchard Towers, Singapore

1977 Two Men Chinese Art Exhibition held at Raya Art Gallery, Melbourne, Australia

1977 Two Men Chinese Brush Painting Exhibition held at Grace Art Gallery, Singapore

1980 Participated in the 5th Festival of Asian Arts for the contemporary Singapore Painting

1980 Participated in the 1st International of Chinese Calligraphy in Hong Kong

1982 Two Men Chinese Arts Exhibition, Singapore

1983 Two Men Chinese Arts Exhibition held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

1984 Participated in the 1st International seal-carving engraving Art held in Seoul, Korea

1985 Participated the International Calligraphy Exhibition at Cheng Chow, China

1986 Participated in the Exhibition of the International Calligraphy at Seoul Korea

1986 Participated the commerce of Singapore and Hong Kong Calligraphy Exhibition

1987 Joint Exhibition “The International Teochew Artists”, Singapore

1987 Participated in the Modern Art Exhibition at the National Museum, Singapore

1988 One Man Tour Arts Exhibition in Taiwan.

2000 5th International Chinese Calligraphy Exchange Exhibition, Taipei

2000 Swatow Art Exhibition, Guangdong Art Museum & Beijing Art Museum Exhibition, China

2001 Walking into the 21st Century Grand Art Exhibition, Singapore

2001 International Chow Tens Art Exhibition, China, Beijing

2002 International Painting Exchange Art Exhibition, Japan

2002 Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan touring Art Exhibition

2002 The National Calligraphy (Local Poetry Writing) Exhibition


1978 National Day Special Art Award, Singapore

1987 National Day Special Art Award, Singapore

2000 Calligraphy Award by Tan Keng Cheow

2001 The Culture Medallion Visual Art Awards


1972 “Tan Kian Por”

1988 “The Arts of Tan Kian Por”

2000 “Tan KianP or : Chinese Brush Paintings Calligraphy and Seal Carving Exhibition”

2004 “The Art of Tan Kian Por”

2008“The Book Launch of ‘The Journey of the Heart’ by Tan Kian Por”

Courtesy of the artist and Beijing Fine Art Academy, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

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