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Resources > Collections > Artist Foo Chee San 符致珊

Foo Chee San (1928 – 2017)

Foo Chee San was a distinguished artist based in Singapore. Born in Hainan province, China, he left his hometown at a young age to settle in Malaya. He first trained under the pioneer artists at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1953 before attending Singapore Teachers’ Training College in 1956. He later attained a Certificate in Arts and Crafts from the Industrial Art Institute in Tokyo, Japan, in 1963 and a Diploma in Art Education at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, in 1984.

Foo had an extensive artistic and academic career spanning over five decades. As an educator, he worked at the National Institute of Education in Singapore before returning to teach at NAFA until his retirement. Foo’s other professional accomplishments include being an Assistant Specialist Inspector of School (Arts and Crafts) at the Singapore Ministry of Education, a Member of the Ministry of Community Development Art Advisory Committee, a Board Member of the Singapore Art Museum, Vice President of the Singapore Art Society and Chairman of the Society of Chinese Artists. As an artist, Foo did not restrict himself to a specific medium, experimenting with oil paint on canvas, woodblock printing, lacquer and Chinese ink. His works often depict the environment and everyday life of Southeast Asia and its people.

In 1985, Foo received a Distinguished Service Medal from the Singapore Art Society, and in 1989, he was awarded the National Day Award (Long Service) from the Singapore government. A critical figure in the local art scene, Foo also held exhibitions in several countries during his lifetime. Organisations and collectors have collected his works worldwide. Foo eventually returned to his hometown in China and passed away in 2017.