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Resources > Collections > Artwork In the Demeanour of Wei and Jin

Year of execution:  2013
Year of acquisition:  2021
Medium:   Nanshan Stone
Dimension:  7.4 x 7 x 4.5  cm
Acquired in 2021

The late Singaporean artist Tan Kian Por was formally trained in Western painting and learnt Chinese brush painting under the mentorship of pioneer artists See Hiang To and Chen Chong Swee at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts from 1968 to 1970. Born in Chaozhou, China, Tan’s passion and interest were Chinese painting, calligraphy and seal carving. Upon his graduation from the Academy, Tan continued to focus on Chinese art and literature. He was an active member of the Siaw Tao Chinese Seal-Carving, Calligraphy & Painting Society, where he furthered his practice and gained knowledge in traditional Chinese art. Tan established himself as an artist known for incorporating abstract expressionist features in his Chinese ink paintings.

Seal carving is a pivotal art form in China’s cultural heritage and traditional culture, popularised during the sixteenth century. Seals are often made with soft rocks, wood and ivory. While the seal was a signature of power and authority in the past, it has since developed into an accessible art form used by people of various social classes. Tan meticulously carved numerous Chinese characters on this organically shaped stone. While it is common for the signature of a seal to occupy a flat surface, the artist carves the characters following the rock’s contours.


Tan Kian Por 陈建坡