Self-taught artist Lim Tze Peng is one of Singapore’s most prominent artists. His artworks do not adhere to the traditions of Western painting nor Chinese calligraphy. Instead, he adopts different aspects of art forms that appeal to him and, by doing so, envisions creating artworks that are universal.
Lim is an avid traveller who enjoys painting en plein air. In the summer of 2000, he embarked on a two-month residency in Paris and explored the French capital with his paintbrushes in hand. Each day, as he observed the sights and sounds of the city, he captured his observations and experiences by painting. At the end of his residency, he painted over 60 works showcasing the city’s beauty. Out of these works, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts is honoured to receive 45 paintings as a personal donation by Lim – the largest contribution by an artist to the NAFA collection.
One of his most impressive works in the collection is the Eiffel Tower. Painted entirely on-site, the magnificence of this iconic Parisian landmark is amplified through Lim’s clever use of negative space. The artist recalls wanting to buy a cup of coffee at a nearby café to secure a spot with a good view of the Eiffel Tower but was denied the pleasure by a waiter. However, upon seeing the completed painting, the waiter offered him a cup of coffee, to which Lim declined by simply saying that he had completed his paintings.