Born on Hainan Island in 1931, Aw Tee Hong was raised in Kelantan, Malaysia. In Singapore, he later enrolled in and graduated from NAFA and pursued further art studies at the Central Academy of Fine Art and Craft in Beijing. His artworks visually articulate diverse cultures and communities inspired by what he learnt in school and his immediate surroundings. The quality of his artmaking resides in his robust academic rigour and his playful intent to experiment and be spontaneous through various mediums. Known to work in charcoal, pastels, oil and acrylic as well as Chinese ink, Aw also created artworks in papier-mâché, bronze and ceramic.
This artwork was rendered in Chinese ink and pastels, creating a surface that evokes a textural quality, imbuing life and vibrancy into the rural scene before us. The fishing village bordering the coastline is a common sight in the Peninsula, such as Terengganu, a possible area from which this scene was derived. Stilt houses with roof trusses are typical for kampong dwellings, often constructed around the coconut trees surrounding them. Aw is deft at creating dense humidity within a tropical region with the textural application of pastels.