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.
The above figure drawings rendered in pencil by Tan were part of his Western foundation training with the Academy. These trainings were key drawing exercises in equipping Tan the practice and skills in mastering the anatomy of the human figure as seen evidently in Back View of Man I. With very minimal shading, Tan focused on the use of hard and soft pencil strokes to render the form of his figures. Tan’s finesse in rendering the form of his subjects is also demonstratable in his more prolific mode of artmaking, namely, Chinese ink painting.