Self-taught artist Lim Tze Peng is one of Singapore’s most prominent artists. His artworks do not adhere to the traditions of Western painting nor Chinese calligraphy. Instead, he adopts different aspects of art forms that appeal to him and, by doing so, envisions creating artworks that are universal.
Lim is an avid traveller who enjoys painting en plein air. In the summer of 2000, he embarked on a two-month residency in Paris and explored the French capital with his paintbrushes in hand. Each day, as he observed the sights and sounds of the city, he captured his observations and experiences by painting. At the end of his residency, he painted over 60 works showcasing the city’s beauty. Out of these works, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts is honoured to receive 45 paintings as a personal donation by Lim – the largest contribution by an artist to the NAFA collection.
To modernise Paris in the 19th century, urban planner Baron Haussmann redeveloped the buildings in Paris to follow a uniform façade with cream-coloured stone walls and angled grey roofs. Old Street in Paris illustrates Rue Galande, a street that resisted Haussmann’s redevelopment plans and kept its architectural style which originated in the Medieval period. Here, Lim lauds the unique identity of these buildings, painting them in bright reds and blues.