Born in Singapore in 1947, Poon Lian graduated from NAFA in 1969 and majored in Western Painting. He learnt Chinese ink painting under pioneer artist Chen Wen Hsi and is adept at Western and Chinese painting techniques. While running his own business, Poon Lian contributed to NAFA in various capacities as an alumnus and continued his art practice. He retired in 2003 and became a full-time artist to paint and travel. In 2020, he was named the Ngee Ann Artist of the Year for his achievements and contribution to the local artist community.
Influenced by his teachers at NAFA and peers, Poon Lian enjoys sojourns around Southeast Asia and regions in Nepal, Taiwan, and China to capture landscapes and imbibe the daily rhythms of life in his paintings. Blending traditional Chinese ink and colour with Western techniques, as seen in Impressions of a Fishing Village in Penang, Malaysia, Poon Lian renders the scene of the shore with fishing boats in the foreground. The composition includes houses located at sea built on wooden stilts in the background. Poon Lian employs delicate white lines using a cross-hatching technique to convey a unique perspective of looking at a scene through fishing nets, bringing texture and suggesting form to the overall piece of work.