Tan Tee Chie (1928 – 2011)
Tan Tee Chie was born in Hainan, China, in 1928 and moved to Singapore at the height of the Sino-Japanese War in 1939. He later studied at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and returned to teach at his alma mater following his graduation in 1951. Tan remained at the academy for over four decades, committing himself to nurture the next generation of artists and imparting his knowledge to his students. In 1993, he was awarded the NAFA long service award for 40 years of service to the institution.
Besides being proficient in calligraphy, painting and seal carving, the artist was also skilled in woodcarving and contributed significantly to developing woodcarving practices in Singapore from the 1950s-1960s. His artworks often depict everyday subject matters, featuring the daily activities and struggles of disadvantaged communities in Singapore during the mid-twentieth century. He held five solo exhibitions during his lifetime and participated in group exhibitions locally and abroad, including in China and Italy. Tan passed away in 2011.