The late Singaporean artist Lim Mu Hue was renowned for his skilful and intricate woodcut prints. Trained in Western painting at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts from 1952 to 1955, Lim was mentored by the founding principal of the Academy, Lim Hak Tai and pioneer artists like Cheong Soo Pieng, Chen Wen Hsi and Chen Chong Swee. He was pivotal in developing woodcuts in Singapore’s art history during the 1950s and 1960s.
Concerned about the declining art of woodcuts in Singapore, Lim has experimented with woodcuts since 1954. Lim devoted much of his time to creating a body of woodcut prints during his lifetime. He was instrumentally involved in the Woodcuts: Six-men Show in 1966. Drawing inspiration from his surroundings and everyday life, Lim documented the vanishing trades of Asia. The work Extracting Toddy, undated though most likely created after 2000, depicted workers from a rural village extracting toddy from a palm tree. Also known as palm wine, the alcoholic beverage is made from the sap of coconut palm. The village house and trees are richly textured, resulting in the opulent quality of the print—a distinctive style of Lim's woodcut print.