Born in Singapore in 1947, Poon Lian graduated from NAFA in 1969 and majored in Western Painting. He learnt Chinese ink painting under pioneer artist Chen Wen Hsi and is adept at Western and Chinese painting techniques. While running his own business, Poon Lian contributed to NAFA in various capacities as an alumnus and continued his art practice. He retired in 2003 and became a full-time artist to paint and travel. In 2020, he was named the Ngee Ann Artist of the Year for his achievements and contribution to the local artist community.
Influenced by his peers and teachers at NAFA, Poon Lian enjoys sojourns around Southeast Asia and regions in Nepal, Taiwan, and China to capture landscapes and imbibe the daily rhythms of life in his paintings. He has a penchant for depicting solid contrasts, as seen in Bamboo Forest. The artwork demonstrates his mastery of melding Chinese ink tradition with Western practices. Fully charged with ink, Poon Lian manipulates the cadence of thin and heavy lines to create a verdant field of bamboo. The house, depicted in lighter colours, stands out upon the encroaching forest, enticing the viewer’s attention.