Malaysian artist Tew Nai Tong came to Singapore at age 21 to pursue his art education at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts before enrolling at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts, Paris, in 1967. Tew was a co-founder of the Malaysian Watercolour Society and Contemporary Malaysian Watercolourist Association and was awarded Grand Prize Asia Art Award in Seoul, South Korea, in 2009, for his artistic contributions to Malaysia and the wider Asian community. Tew passed away in 2013.
Boat Jetty, painted in 1989, features a cool palette predominantly present in Tew’s earlier works. The encroached scene creates an image of a crowded jetty as boats of various shapes, and sizes get docked by the shore. Despite its packed composition, Tew imbues the scene with a sense of tranquillity by using cool colours and depicting calm waters and almost empty boats.