Singaporean artist, Tan Khim Ser is noted for his contributions in developing artistic talent and promoting greater awareness in the local arts. Besides teaching Chinese ink painting for the past 50 years after he graduated from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1966, he founded Life Art Society in 1972. The society is involved in numerous art activities and exhibitions, including live art demonstrations by Tan. While he is trained in both Chinese and Western painting and techniques, most of Tan’s works are Chinese ink paintings and calligraphy.
Back view of a lady was rendered as part of Tan’s Western foundation training with the Academy. These trainings were key drawing exercises in equipping Tan with the skills to master figure drawing, a transferrable skill that can be exercised across a variety of subjects, styles and medium. The Chinese seal carving on the right lends an impression of a Chinese ink artwork to an otherwise Western medium led work composed in watercolour. The writing penned in Chinese describes the drawn figure, which, roughly translates to: 'Why are you back-facing us?'.