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Resources > Collections > Artist Pan Shou 潘受

Pan Shou (1911 – 1999) 

The late Pan Shou, previously named Pan Guo Qu, was born in 1911 in Nan’an, Quanzhou, China. In 1929, he moved to Malaya to work as a feature editor of Lat Pau (叻报), the first Chinese daily in Singapore. Pan also taught at The Chinese High School and became principal of Tao Nan School from 1935-1940, before the Second World War forced him to flee. After the war, Pan returned to Singapore and played a pivotal role in establishing the Nanyang University (also known as Nantah 南大) where he served as its Secretary-General and Acting Vice-Chancellor before resigning in 1960.


Between 1977 and 1999, Pan served as an honorary adviser to the Chinese Calligraphy Society of Singapore, committing himself to the pursuit of Classical Chinese literature and poetry. Inspired by the work of Qing dynasty scholar He Shaoji, Pan began to cultivate a distinctive calligraphic style in the semi-cursive script (xingshu 行书). His works of art were exhibited in two major shows at the National Museum of Singapore in 1984 and 1991. In 1986, Pan was awarded the Cultural Medallion. He was bestowed the insignia of Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1991 and was later awarded the Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Meritorious Service Medal) in Singapore in 1994 and the ASEAN Cultural Medal in Jakarta in 1997. He went on to receive an honorary doctorate from the Nanyang Technological University in 1998. Pan’s calligraphic works were held in high esteem among calligraphers and scholars in his time. His poetic oeuvre – in the critically acclaimed collections – 海外庐诗 (1970), 云南园诗集 (1984), 潘受诗选 (1997) – remains eulogised to this day.