Singaporean artist Tan Khim Ser is a Chinese ink painter, calligrapher and teacher, who spends much of his career teaching Chinese calligraphy, Chinese ink painting and promoting Chinese culture through Life Art Society, a non-profit art organisation Tan founded in 1972. Tan graduated from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1966 and is trained in both Western and Chinese painting traditions. Birds and flowers in Chinese painting have metaphoric and allegorical elements that symbolise virtue, luck, beauty, political authority, and omens.
With Tan’s passion and knowledge in the Chinese culture, he has painted numerous prevalent Chinese subjects of the traditional bird-and-flower painting, fish-and-flower painting, landscape, and Chinese calligraphy. Tan fuses traditional medium and technique with xieyi or freehand style, which conveys a more abstract quality for some of his landscape works as seen in Running Waterfall in Autumn. Tan renders the majestic rocks of the waterfall using intense black Chinese ink and spontaneous brushstrokes, filling up three-quarter of the composition. He then filled in the details and colours of the autumn trees with more representational strokes. The work exudes a sense of calm with the depiction of flowing waterfall and trees.