See Hiang To was born in Fujian in 1906 into a family of calligraphers and Chinese literati painters. At a young age, he picked up calligraphy and seal carving from his father and grandfather, who were also masters of the mediums. See also cited calligrapher Wu Changshuo and the Shanghai School (a style of Chinese art originating from Shanghai during the late 19th century) as his major influences. See emigrated to Singapore in 1938, and over time, the subject matter in his paintings began to steer away from traditional Shanghai School themes of birds and flowers. Instead, he increasingly depicted scenes and the living environment in Southeast Asia.
Here, an eagle is perched on the edge of the rock in the painting. Hunching forward, the bird stares intensely into the distance as if looking for its next prey. Bold dark strokes illustrate the eagle’s feathers, evincing magnificence. Below, the leaves on the shrubs, created with rhythmically repeated foliage patterns, bring texture into the ink painting.