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.
Located in the heart of Paris is Île de la Cité, a natural island on the River Seine. Connected to the mainland by the historic Pont Neuf and a few other bridges, this island is home to many of Paris’ attractions such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and Sainte-Chapelle. In this two-point perspective ink painting, Lim uses delicate and detached lines to enhance the details of the Notre Dame Cathedral and the tactile quality of the work. Behind the monument, with dashes of yellow, Lim shows the sun bleeding into the horizon, signalling the beginning of a sunrise or a sunset. This artwork testifies to Lim’s meticulous attention to detail and mastery of capturing beauty in a fleeting moment.