Self-taught artist Lim Tze Peng is one of Singapore’s most prominent artists. His artworks do not adhere to the traditions of Western painting nor Chinese calligraphy. Instead, he adopts different aspects of art forms that appeal to him and, by doing so, envisions creating artworks that are universal.
Lim is an avid traveller who enjoys painting en plein air. In the summer of 2000, he embarked on a two-month residency in Paris and explored the French capital with his paintbrushes in hand. Each day, as he observed the sights and sounds of the city, he captured his observations and experiences by painting. At the end of his residency, he painted over 60 works showcasing the city’s beauty. Out of these works, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts is honoured to receive 45 paintings as a personal donation by Lim – the largest contribution by an artist to the NAFA collection.
Inaugurated in 1836, the Arc de Triomphe was erected to pay tribute to patriots who fought and lost their lives in the French Revolutionary Wars during the late 18th century. Lim paints Arc de Triomphe and amplifies its grandeur. His use of deliberate and short strokes mirrors the intricate details of the architecture. Beyond the arc, numerous parts of the work also grab our attention: the crowd tinged in multiple colours and the lush tree standing behind them. Undoubtedly, Lim creates a picture that is a feast for the eyes and captures the bustling spirit of a city like Paris.