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.
Located on the summit of the Montmartre hill is the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, the second highest point in the city after the Eiffel Tower. An iconic feature of the Sacré-Coeur is its pristine white exterior, ornamented in the Romano-Byzantine style. The Roman Catholic church was built following France’s defeat in the 1870 Franco-Prussian war to atone for the sins they committed during the period of turmoil and honour the lives lost. Surrounding Sacre-Coeur, people coloured in vibrant shades of pink, orange, and yellow scatter around the site. Lim made a creative choice to contrast the greyish-white tones of Sacre-Coeur with this colourful display.