Lotus in a Breeze
Oil on canvas
81 x 81 cm
Georgette Chen enjoyed working outdoors to capture the fleeting light. She wrote of her fascination with painting lotuses: "For ten days, the day began for me at 7am and ended at 6pm. Under my painting sun shade, I feasted on these delicate white and pink beauties…" This is a classic example of a Nanyang School artist using European pictorial techniques to depict local subject matter.
Born in Zhejiang Province, China, Georgette Chen Li Ying (1906-1993) received her art education in Paris, New York, and Shanghai. She settled in Singapore in 1953 and taught at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts until she retired in 1980. Chen's artistic career can be divided into three phases: French period (1927-1933), China-Hong Kong period (1934-1948) and Penang-Singapore period (1949-1980). She is best known for her accomplished still life paintings, portraits and landscapes. Regarded as a pioneer artist of Singapore, Chen was instrumental in developing the Nanyang Style and was awarded the Cultural Medallion in 1982.
Gift of Lee Foundation.
Collection of National Gallery Singapore.
Image courtesy of National Heritage Board.