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Resources > Collections > Artwork Raining in Kampong

Year of execution:  1938
Year of acquisition:  2012
Medium:   Oil on canvas
Dimension:  38 x 45  cm
Gift of Mr Chen Chi Sing

Chen Chong Swee, also known as Chen Khai, was born in 1910, Chenghai County, Guangdong, China. He graduated from the Xinhua Arts Academy in Shanghai and Union High School in Shantou, China, before settling in Singapore in 1934. Known as one of Singapore’s pioneer artists, Chen was also an influential art educator and writer passionate about the state of the arts in Singapore. He spent his early years in Singapore teaching at Tuan Mong High School and Chung Cheng High School before heading the Chinese Painting Department at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), where he remained for over 20 years. Proficient in various mediums, including watercolour, oil, and Chinese ink, Chen was best known for his realist works and application of Chinese ink painting techniques. Mixing Chinese and Western pictorial traditions, Chen was one of the first to capture the Southeast Asian landscape and people in the Chinese ink and brush landscape format. 

Raining in Kampong is one of Chen’s early works from the 1930s, completed just a few years after he moved to Singapore. The 1930s marked a period when the artist was acquainted with the tropical island. Many of his early landscape paintings presented his refreshing take on Southeast Asia, depicting local subject matters such as kampongs, fishing jetties, and tropical storms. 


Chen Chong Swee 陈宗端