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.
An Old Town portrays a quaint side of Paris. Residential buildings, depicted in cross-hatched brushstrokes, are erected on both sides of the road. Nestled behind these structures is a church at the end of the road. Beyond highlighting this site, he also details commuters walking into the distance. Moving from one location to the other, perhaps they are on the way to visit the religious site or are merely passing by. Regardless of how one may interpret the scene, what is crucial is the way Lim captures and embraces the beauty of this liminal space in Paris.