Born in Singapore in 1947, Poon Lian graduated from NAFA in 1969 and majored in Western Painting. He learnt Chinese ink painting under pioneer artist Chen Wen Hsi and is adept at Western and Chinese painting techniques. While running his own business, Poon Lian contributed to NAFA in various capacities as an alumnus and continued his art practice. He retired in 2003 and became a full-time artist to paint and travel. In 2020, he was named the Ngee Ann Artist of the Year for his achievements and contribution to the local artist community.
Though Poon Lian focused on Chinese ink and colour in his early artistic career, in the new millennium, he began to delve into the Western tradition of oils. Poon's meticulous selection of still-life objects in Roses and Fruit reveals his sensitivity to contrast, especially in his depiction of light soft roses against a dark wooden surface.