Xiamen-born Cheong Soo Pieng began his art education at age 16 at the Xiamen Fine Art Academy under Lim Hak Tai. In 1936, to further his studies, Cheong enrolled in Xinhua Academy of Fine Arts in Shanghai briefly before returning to teach at his alma mater. In 1946, Cheong relocated to Singapore and found employment at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, which was headed and founded by his ex-tutor Lim Hak Tai. Cheong inspired many young artists during his 14-year employment at the academy before retiring to be a full-time artist in 1959. Cheong was part of the group of five artists who embarked on a landmark trip to Bali in 1952 to portray the beauty of Southeast Asia.
Following his retirement in 1961, Cheong explored a variety of techniques and media. The 1960-70s marked a period where he became increasingly invested in the abstract expression movement. Motion and Stillness showcases the artist’s impasto painting technique, which he grew familiar with in the preceding decade. This artwork demonstrates Cheong’s understanding of how different media complement each other.