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Resources > Collections > Artist Chen Cheng Mei / Tan Seah Boey 陈城梅

Chen Cheng Mei (1972 - )

Chen Cheng Mei, also known as Tan Seah Boey, was born in 1927, Singapore. An alumna of Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Chen graduated from the academy in 1954 with a major in Western painting. A second-generation Singaporean artist, Chen was mentored by pioneer artists of early Singapore who spearheaded the development of the Nanyang style of art. Under the tutelage of luminaries including Cheong Soo Pieng, Lim Hak Tai and See Hiang Toh, Chen was exposed to a variety of mediums such as oil and ink painting, printmaking and Chinese calligraphy, which she learnt from Chui Ta Tee. After her graduation, Chen worked as a French translator at the Bank of China and journeyed to faraway places such as Tahiti, Papua New Guinea and Mexico during her vacations. Between the 1960s and 70s, Chen was one of the three female artists who were part of the Ten Men Art Group, an informal gathering of artists who travelled around Southeast Asia to paint and seek new imaginations.

Widely travelled, Chen captures what she sees on canvas with an open heart. Stylistically naïve in her approach, Chen mostly enjoys creating vivid works of landscapes and topography. Her preferred usage of bold colours, often rendered in blocks within bold, well-defined outlines, seeks to capture a certain rawness exuded by her chosen subject. A traveler at heart who actively seeks and imbibes new experience, Chen, who is now a nonagenarian, has since turned to her surroundings nearer to home for inspiration. Just like it’s painter, Chen’s works have travelled across the world to be exhibited widely, from Monaco to Japan, Australia and even Mexico.