Fujian-born Huang Baofang was a key figure who had made significant contributions to the art scene in Singapore. Huang was trained under two eminent artists, Liu Haisu at the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts and later, Wu Changshuo. At 26, Huang moved to Singapore, where he took up the role of an art educator at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and was a board member of the Singapore Chinese Art Research Association in the 1950s and Singapore’s Society of Chinese Artists in 1980. Huang was a Chinese ink painter who combined local subject matter with traditional Chinese ink painting.
The Niah Cave is an archaeological wonder. Rich in fossils dated to be over 40,000 years old, findings from the cave shed light on early human civilisation in Borneo. Huang’s depiction of this magnificent site draws attention to the beauty of this natural site. The wet ink and soft lines add layers of texture to the artwork. The painting overlooks a lake, and on the opposite bank, the trees stand tall and sway with the gentle breeze.