Malaysian artist Tew Nai Tong came to Singapore at age 21 to pursue his art education at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts before enrolling at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts, Paris, in 1967. Tew was a co-founder of the Malaysian Watercolour Society and Contemporary Malaysian Watercolourist Association and was awarded Grand Prize Asia Art Award in Seoul, South Korea, in 2009, for his artistic contributions to Malaysia and the wider Asian community. Tew passed away in 2013.
Nude 3, painted in 2007, features a figure with almond-shaped eyes—a typical style in Tew’s oeuvre. A female figure lying on white sheets against a crimson backdrop has her head tilted towards the viewer. Placid in facial expression with outstretched hands and a hiked leg, she appears at ease and relaxed. Perhaps what is most notable about the work is also the composition. Here, the figure does not occupy the centre plane and appears to tower over the viewer, creating a new approach to representing reality. Tew created his first nude painting when he was studying in Paris. There, he developed an appreciation for the delicate contours of the female form and remained one of Malaysia’s rare painters of nudes.