Born in 1937, Singaporean artist Ho Kah Leong is known for his en plein air paintings and Chinese calligraphy. Trained at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) for one and a half years in the mid-1950s, Ho explored with various mediums such as outdoor sketching, woodblock printing, photography and painting. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science Nanyang University in 1963, Ho continues to hone his skills and participates actively in the local art scene even when he was a teacher and politician. Serving as a NAFA’s principal from 1997 to 2003, Ho is passionate in working outdoor and painting on-site to capture the essence and life of a scene, which he believes can evoke emotional experience.
In this work, Ho focuses on one of Singapore’s most well-loved spots, Swan Lake at Singapore Botanic Gardens. Built in 1866, this is the first and ornamental lake of the garden. Ho documents the iconic feature of tall, slender Nibong palms and gracefully swans gliding in the lake are the iconic features of the lake.
Recognized and remembered by many who visited the garden, the work evokes a sense of tranquility against the backdrop of the garden. The slender palms and swimming swans at the lake against the backdrop of the garden evoke a sense of tranquility.