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.
Tan is fond of painting birds, flowers, fish and animals in xieyi, or freehand style, as it offers an expressive quality of spiritedness in his subjects through spontaneous brushstrokes and ink application. In this series of pictorial works, Tan renders simple and symbolic subjects like koi fish, angelfish and wisteria to convey his thoughts and expression. Tan utilises the symbolic meaning of fish (鱼 yu) to represent the love of a couple, auspicious wishes of wealth and abundance. The wisteria in bloom suggests one should remain carefree and adventurous in life. Perfection, renders ten fish to represent perfection and excellence. In all, the moving fish and spirally tendrils exude life.