Born in 1937, Singaporean artist Ho Kah Leong is known for his en plein air paintings and Chinese calligraphy. Trained at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) for one and a half years in the mid-1950s, Ho explored with various mediums such as outdoor sketching, woodblock printing, photography and painting. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science Nanyang University in 1963, Ho continues to hone his skills and participates actively in the local art scene even when he was a teacher and politician. Serving as a NAFA’s principal from 1997 to 2003, Ho is passionate in working outdoor and painting on-site to capture the essence and life of a scene, which he believes can evoke emotional experience.
When Ho was leading the Academy, NAFA’s administrative office was situated at Middle Road, Singapore. The former building of St Anthony’s Convent built in 1953, Ho painted the exterior front of the Academy to commemorate her 60th celebration. Employing light and shadow to amplify the façade of the building, Ho renders the piece of work with bold and vivid colour palette of red flags to document the celebratory atmosphere at that time. Framing the composition of the work at the cross junction of Middle Road, Ho captures the Academy’s historical memory remembered by many.