Chen Ren Hao (1908 – 1976)
Chen Ren Hao, also known as Chen Jen Hao, was born in 1908, Fuzhou, China. An alumnus of the Xinhua Art Academy in Shanghai, Chen furthered his studies at the distinguished Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris between 1928 and 1932. Upon graduation, Chen returned to China to teach at the Shanghai Art Academy. In 1937, Chen fled to Malaysia during the Japanese invasion of China and subsequently moved to Singapore in 1956. Chen contributed to the budding art scene in Singapore as a school principal, artist and art educator. His roles as a Chinese art teacher at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and his talent as an outstanding calligrapher were instrumental to developing Singapore’s art education and training landscape.
As an exponent of Chinese calligraphy, Chen became an honorary adviser to the Lee Kong Chian Museum of Asian Art at the Nanyang University (now named National University of Singapore) and served as President of the Salon Art Society (now known as the Society of Chinese Artists) in 1970. Passionate about the education and promotion of Chinese and local art, Chen was heavily involved in educational associations and unions in Singapore and Malaysia. In recognition of his contributions to Singapore’s culture and society, Chen was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Silver) as part of the 1970 National Day Awards. Chen passed away in 1976.