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.
Inspired by pristine landscapes and the simplicity of everyday life, Foo had a penchant for painting kampung scenes and fishing villages. Traditional structures and unique local aesthetics began to diminish as Singapore underwent rapid urban development. Foo started to travel to remote locations in China, Taiwan and Nepal. As an artist, Foo enjoyed painting on-site and immersed himself in the grandeur of nature, such as the one depicted in the work Waterfall. The mountainous range was depicted in this composition with expressive and heavy linework instead of detailed brush strokes, as seen in many of his landscape Chinese ink works.