Lim Tze Peng



Lim Tze Peng (林子平) (b. 28 September 1921, Singapore–)1 is an artist, and a winner of the Cultural Medallion in 2003.Self-taught, Lim started painting in the 1950s when he was a teacher in Xin Min School.3 Having a strong foundation in Chinese philosophy, art and culture, Lim’s paintings are often deeply rooted in tradition, and yet exude a contemporary feel at the same time.4

Early life
The eldest of seven children, Lim was born in 1921 in a kampong in Pasir Ris. His parents were farmers who reared pigs and chickens and tapped rubber trees.5


Lim was educated at Guangyang Primary School and Chung Cheng High School. It was during this period when his love for Chinese calligraphy and oil painting was cultivated under the tutelage of art teachers such as Lu Heng, Gao Peize, Wong Jai Ling and Yeh Chi Wei. In calligraphy, Lim was much influenced by master calligrapher, Kang Youwei, and Kang’s discussion of the aesthetics of Chinese calligraphy in one of his works, Guang Yi Zhou Shuang Ji (《广艺舟双楫》).6 Lim’s ink paintings, on the other hand, were heavily influenced by Huang Bin Hong.7

Lee took up teaching in Xin Min School in 1949. He became the school’s principal in 1951 and remained in the position until 1981.8

Art works

Lim is known for “Muddled Writing” (糊涂字), his series of calligraphy during the late 2000s, which helmed a new stylistic discourse in which form takes precedence over the meaning of the characters. He is also recognised for his “Colour Calligraphy”, which are calligraphic expressions that involve the use of colour pigments – a practice uncommon in traditional Chinese calligraphy.9

Lim participated actively in artist field trips around the Southeast Asian region, especially in the 1960s to 1970s with the Ten Men Group.10 His well-known Bali series was painted during such field trips, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s. The 1970s pieces are recognised by broad washes of opaque, glasslike ink, harmonised with looser compositions as compared to those painted in the 1980s, which are characterised by brisk, deft and definitive lines.11

Lim is also known for his Chinese ink paintings of Chinatown and the Singapore River in the early 1980s, when urban redevelopment focused on these two areas.12

Accomplishments
Lim has participated in a number of solo and group exhibitions.13 His first solo exhibition was held in 1970. Since then, he has exhibited his works widely, both in Singapore and abroad. In 2009, he became the first Singaporean to have a solo exhibition at the National Art Museum of China.14

Through donations made by Lim and collectors of his art, a large number of his works have entered the Singapore Art Museum and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.15

For his contributions to art, Lim has received several awards, including the Cultural Medallion in 2003.16

Selected solo exhibitions
1970: First solo exhibition, Singapore.17
1991: Second solo exhibition, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.18
1995: Moments by Lim Tze Peng, Takashimaya Gallery, Singapore.19
1998: Meeting Places in Fleeting Spaces, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore.20
2003: Tze Peng, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore.21
06: Infinite Gestures – Recent Paintings by Lim Tze Peng, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore.22
2006:
Tze Peng in Paris, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore.23
2007:
Springtime Echo – Lim Tze Peng Recent Paintings, Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, Singapore.24
07: Lim Tze Peng: Singapore River Memory, Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, Singapore.25
2008:
Inroads, Lim Tze Peng’s New Ink Work, Art Retreat Ltd., Singapore.26

2009: Inroads: The Ink Journey of Lim Tze Peng, National Art Museum of China and Liu Haisu Art Museum, China.27
2009:
The Calligraphic Impulses of Lim Tze Peng, Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, Singapore.28
10: My Kampong, My Home, Singapore Management University Gallery, Singapore.29
2012:
Nostalgic Memories of Chinatown – Paintings and Calligraphy by Lim Tze Peng, Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, Singapore.30

2012: Lim Tze Peng: Black and White, Ode To Art Gallery, Singapore.31
2013: Lim Tze Peng: A Private Collection, The Private Museum, Singapore.32
2014: Tze Peng: Songs from the Heart, de Suantio Gallery, Singapore Management University, Singapore.33
2015: Impressions by Lim Tze Peng, Ode To Art Gallery, Singapore.34
2016: Evening Climb: The Later Style of Lim Tze Peng, Lee Kong Chian Gallery, NUS Museum, Singapore.35

Selected group exhibitions
1977:
Royal Overseas League Exhibition, England.36

1978: Singapore Historical Monuments Exhibition, Singapore.37
1978: Singapore Artists Group Exhibition, Moscow, Russia.38

1980: Fifth Festival of Asian Art, Hong Kong.39
1981: Singapore Calligraphy Exhibition, Singapore.40
1982: Seventh International Artists Art Exhibition, Taiwan.41
1986: Eighth International Artists Art Exhibition, Taiwan.42
1986: ASEAN Art Exhibition, various ASEAN countries.43
1987: Three-man Art Exhibition, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan.44
1988: Salon des Artists Francais, Grand Palais, Paris, France.45
1988: NAFA Lecturers Art Exhibition 88, Singapore.46
1989: New York Art Expo 89, New York, USA.47
1989: 1st Bru-Sin Art Exhibition 89, National Museum Art Gallery, Brunei.48
1989: Contemporary Art in Singapore: Where East Meets West, Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam; Deutsche Bank AG, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Nuremburg; Mannheimer Kunstverein, Mannheim; Federal Republic of Germany.49
1990: International Chinese Calligraphy Exhibition, Seoul, South Korea.50
1991: International Chinese Calligraphy Exhibition, Beijing, China.51
1993: CAP III Inkscape, Shenn’s Fine Art Gallery, Singapore.52
1996: The Reflection of Europe, organised by the Society of the Artists.53
1999: Singapore Art Society 50th Anniversary Exhibition, Singapore.54
2000: 65th Anniversary Exhibition of the Society of Chinese Artists, Singapore.55
2004: Crossroads: Collective Works of Second-Generation Artists, NUS Museum, Singapore.56
2005: The Society of Chinese Artists 70th Anniversary Commemorative Exhibition, Singapore.57
2006: Highlights of Southeast Asian Collection, NUS Museum, Singapore.58
2012: Celebrating at ION – Living with Art: An Exhibition of Modern and Classic Paintings, ION Art Gallery, Singapore.59
2013: The Singapore Showcase: Growing Roots and Venturing Beyond, Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, Singapore.60
2014: Nanyang Visionaries: Ten Second Generation Singaporean Artists & Their Innovations in Nanyang Style, ION Art Gallery, Singapore.61

Awards
1963:
National Day Award (PPA), Singapore.62

1977: Special prize, Commonwealth Art Exhibition, England.63
1981: National Day Award (PBM), Singapore.64
2003: Cultural Medallion Award, Singapore.65
2016: National Day Award (Meritorious Service Medal), Singapore.66

Family
Lim married Soh Siew Lay and he has six children.67



Author
Wang Zineng



References
1. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 29. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO)
2. Oon, C. (2003, September 27). Art landers. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, pp. 29, 37, 40. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO)
4. Lim, T. P. (2012). Black and white. Singapore: Ode To Art, p. 12. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIN)
5. Tan, C. (2010, December 13). The art of perseverance. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Ho, S. P., Ma, P., & Lee, D. (2014). Tze Peng: Songs from the heart. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, pp. 12–13. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 HO); Lim, T. P. (2013). Lim Tze Peng: A private collection. Singapore: The Private Museum, p. 1. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIN); Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, pp. 7–8. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
7. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 40. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO)
8. Lim, T. P. (2012). Black and white. Singapore: Ode To Art, p. 12. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIN)
9. Ho, S. P., Ma, P., & Lee, D. (2014). Tze Peng: Songs from the heart. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, pp. 15, 17. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 HO)
10. Tan, B. T. (2014). Lim Tze Peng in Bali. Singapore: Dominic Press, pp. 5, 17. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957074 TAN); Lim, T. P. (2013). Lim Tze Peng: A private collection. Singapore: The Private Museum, p. 4. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIN); Visual arts in ASEAN: Continuity and change. (2001). Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information, p. 185. (Call no.: RSING 709.59 VIS); Kwok, K. C. (1996). Channels & confluences: A history of Singapore art. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, pp. 96, 99. (Call no.: RSING 709.5957 KWO); Hsü, M. C. F. (1999). A brief history of Malayan art (C. K. Lai, Trans.). Singapore: Millennium Books, p. 95. (Call no.: YRSING 709.595 HSU); Lim, T. P. (1986). Lim Tze Peng recent paintings. Singapore: Author. (Call no.: RSING q759.95957074 LIM); Koh, B. S. (Ed.). (1997). South East Asian art: A new spirit. Singapore: Art & Artist Speak, p. 22. (Call no.: RSING 709.59 SOU); Gustafson, K. (2006, June 30). Closing the gap between painting and calligraphy. The Business Times, p. 35. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Tan, B. T. (2014). Lim Tze Peng in Bali. Singapore: Dominic Press, pp. 7, 11, 17. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957074 TAN)
12. Lim, T. P. (2012). Black and white. Singapore: Ode To Art, p. 12. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIN)
13. Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, pp. 232–233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
14. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, pp. 115, 182. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO)
15. Mak, M. S. (2003, October 4). A stroke of genius. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 7. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM); Lim, T. P. (2012). Black and white. Singapore: Ode To Art, p. 12. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIN)
16. Mak, M. S. (2003, October 4). A stroke of genius. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
17. Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 232. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
18. Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 232. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
19. Lim, T. P. (1996). Moments: The artist and his works, 8th–23rd July 1995. Singapore: Shenn’s Fine Art, pp. 3, 48. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
20. Leong, W. K. (1998, June 8). Architect lends his art collection to museumThe Straits Times, p. 27. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
21. Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 232. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
22. Lim, T. P. (2006). Infinite gestures: Recent paintings by Lim Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Tyler Print Institute, p. 72. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
23. Tan, B. T. (2006). Tze Peng in Paris. Singapore: Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, p. 2. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 TZE)
24. Lim, T. P. (2007). Springtime echo: Lim Tze Peng recent paintings. Singapore: Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, p. 6. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LZP)
25. Lim, T. P. (2007). Lim Tze Peng: Singapore River memory. Singapore: Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, p. 8. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LZP)
26. Lim, T. P. (2009). Inroads: Lim Tze Peng’s new ink work. Singapore: Art Retreat Ltd, Singapore, p. 6. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
27. Ho, S. P., Ma, P., & Lee, D. (2014). Tze Peng: Songs from the heart. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 118. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 HO)
28. Lim, T. P. (2009). The calligraphic impulses. Singapore: Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, p. 6. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIN)
29. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 9. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO)
30. Lim, T. P. (2012). Nostalgic memories of Chinatown: Paintings and calligraphy by Lim Tze Peng. Singapore: Haowangjiao Hua Lang, p. 6. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LZP)
31. Lim, T. P. (2012). Black and white. Singapore: Ode To Art, p. 13. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIN)
32. Lim, T. P. (2013). Lim Tze Peng: A private collection. Singapore: The Private Museum, p. 1. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIN)
33. Ho, S. P., Ma, P., & Lee, D. (2014). Tze Peng: Songs from the heart. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 9. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 HO)
34. Shetty, D. (2015, October 13). Still rooted in art at 95. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/
35. Cheah, U.-H. (2016, December 16). A meeting of image and calligraphy. The Business Times. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/

36. Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
37. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 183. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO); Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
38. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 183. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO); Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
39. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 183. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO); Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
40. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 183. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO); Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
41. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 183. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO); Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
42. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 183. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO); Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
43. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 183. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO); Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
44. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 183. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO); Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
45. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 183. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO); Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
46. 《南洋美专讲师纯美术作品展》[NAFA lecturers arts exhibition ’88]. (1988). 新加坡: 南洋美术专科学校, p. 11. (Call no.: Chinese RSING 709.5957 NAF)
47. 20 Singapore artists for New York art expo 1989. (1989). Singapore: Sun Craft Gallery of Fine Art, p. 42. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 TWE)
48. 1st Bru-Sin art exhibition 1989. (1989). Singapore: The Gallery, p. 70. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 BRU)
49. Contemporary art in Singapore: Where East meets West. (1989). Singapore: National Museum, p. 48. (Call no.: RSING q709.595707441443 CON)
50. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 183. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO); Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
51. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 183. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO); Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
52. Chua, C. K. (Ed.). (2003). Tze Peng . Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM).
53. Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
54. Lim, T. P. (2012). Black and white. Singapore: Ode To Art, p. 13. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIN)
55. 中华美术研究会 [The Society of Chinese Artists]. (2000). 《中华美术研究会65周年作品集》[65th anniversary exhibition art works of the Society of Chinese Artists]. 新加坡: 该会, p. 97. (Call no.: Chinese RSING q759.95957 SIX)
56. Crossroads: The making of new identities. (2004). Singapore: NUS Museums, National University of Singapore, p. 45. (Call no.: RSING 709.5957 CRO)
57. 中华美术研究会 [The Society of Chinese Artists]. (2005). 《迈拓新纪元》[New era new direction]. 新加坡: 该会, p. 76. (Call no.: Chinese RSING q759.95957 NEW)
58. Woon, T. H. (2010). My kampong, my home. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 183. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 WOO); Ho, S. P., Ma, P., & Lee, D. (2014). Tze Peng: Songs from the heart. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 118. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 HO)
59. [Page 18 advertisements column 1]. (2012, September 13). The Straits Times, p. 18. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
60. [Page 10 advertisements column 1]. (2013, November 14). The Straits Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
61. [Page 10 advertisements column 1]. (2014, July 4). The Straits Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
62. Ho, S. P., Ma, P., & Lee, D. (2014). Tze Peng: Songs from the heart. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 118. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 HO); Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
63. Ho, S. P., Ma, P., & Lee, D. (2014). Tze Peng: Songs from the heart. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 118. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 HO); Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
64. Ho, S. P., Ma, P., & Lee, D. (2014). Tze Peng: Songs from the heart. Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, p. 118. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 HO); Chua, C. K., & Tan, B. T. (Eds.). (2003). Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum, p. 233. (Call no.: RSING 759.95957 LIM)
65. Oon, C. (2003, September 27). Art landers. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
66. Leong, W. K. (2016, August 9). Pioneer artist who brought scenes of old Singapore to life. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/
67. Tan, C. (2010, December 13). The art of perseverance. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



Further resources
Contemporary art in Singapore: Where East meets West. (1989). Singapore: National Museum.

(Call no.: RSING q709.595707441443 CON)

Lim, R. (Ed.). (1990). Singapore artists speak. Singapore: C. H. Yeo, p. 221.
(Call no.: RSING 709.5957 SIN)

林子平 [Lin, Z. P.]. (1991). 《林子平墨迹》[A collection of calligraphy by Lim Tze Peng]. 新加坡: 古石齐.
(Call no.: Chinese RSING 745.619951 LTP)

Masterpieces from private collections. (1988). Singapore: The Museum.
(Call no.: RSING q709.5957 MAS)

Singapore artist directory. (1992). Singapore: Empress Place Museum.
(Call no.: RSING 709.59570922 SAD-[DIR])

Spink Singapore. (1998). The past revisited: Paintings by Lim Tze Peng. Singapore: Spink.
(Call no.: RCLOS 759.95957 PAS)

Tan, B. T. (1998). Fascinating landscapes: The art of Lim Tze Peng. Singapore: Singapore Art Museum.
(Call no.: RSING 759.95957 TAN)



The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic. 

Subject
Arts>>Painting
Lim, Tze Peng, 1923-
Cultural Medallion Recipients (Art)
Calligraphers
Painters (Art)
Arts>>Visual Arts>>Painting
Award winners
Painters--Singapore--Biography
Personalities>>Biographies>>Artists>>Cultural Medallion Recipients
Calligraphers—Singapore--Biography
Painting
Award winners--Singapore--Biography
Arts>>Decorative arts>>Calligraphy