Tan Kee Sek (1951 - )
Singaporean artist Tan Kee Sek began honing his art practice in 1968 when he enrolled at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). During his time at NAFA, he was trained under pioneer artists See Hiang To and Chen Chong Swee—both of whom were well-known for their outstanding works in Chinese ink. In 1970, Tan graduated with a Diploma in Fine Art and, in the following year, founded the Siaw-Tao Chinese Seal-Carving, Calligraphy and Painting Society with several artists. Today, he serves as an Honorary Chairman of the committee and has served as a judge in several art competitions and exhibitions. Besides being an advocate for Chinese art, Tan is also an educator, nurturing students at his alma mater since 1982, initially as a part-time lecturer and later as an adjunct lecturer. Tan continues to teach Chinese ink painting in NAFA today.
An active member of the art community, Tan has participated in more than 60 group exhibitions globally, including in Taiwan and New York. His first solo exhibition was held in 1994 at Empress Place Museum Art Gallery in Singapore, and later, in 2003, he had his second solo show at The Drawing Gallery, Singapore. Tan’s Chinese ink painting, calligraphy and seal carving style is often perceived as embodiments of the Nanyang Style. While a master at traditional methods and techniques, he persistently seeks to incorporate modern elements and motifs while imbuing his own identity in his works, ensuring his artworks are pertinent to contemporary society.