Foo Chee San apportioned a considerable part of his life nurturing the next generation of artists and is fondly remembered as a teacher to numerous younger artists. Foo was born in Hainan and later trained in Western painting and Chinese ink at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts from 1953 to 1956. Inspired by his teachers, pioneer artists Cheong Soo Pieng, Chen Chong Swee, Chen Wen Hsi, Georgette Chen and See Hiang To, Foo eventually became an art educator for over 50 years. To fulfil his other passions in life, Foo created a body of work consisting of woodblock prints, Chinese ink paintings and oil on canvas throughout his artistic career.
Foo was a recipient of the Colombo Plan Scholarship in 1963. That same year, he completed an Art and Craft course at the Industrial Art Institute in Tokyo, Japan. The print Urban City was inspired by his journey in Japan. The artwork reflects the country's rapidly developing economy, as apparent in depictions of railways and train tracks against the cityscape of Japan in 1964. The print was also created in the same year Japan's bullet train, and Tokyo Monorail came into operation in preparation for the 1964 Summer Olympics.