Lim Tze Peng (b. 1921) Harmony

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Lot 8
Lim Tze Peng
(b. 1921)
Harmony

Sold for HK$ 190,000 (US$ 24,405) inc. premium
Lim Tze Peng (b. 1921)
Harmony
1973

signed and dated 癸丑秋月 (Autumn 1973)
ink and colour on paper

107.5 by 45 cm.
42 3/8 by 16 6/8 in.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private Collection, Singapore

    Exhibited
    Singapore, My Kampong, My Home: Lim Tze Peng , Singapore Management University Gallery, 8 December-18 December 2010.

    Literature
    Woon Tai Ho, My Kampong My Home: Conversations with Lim Tze Peng, published by Friends of Lim Tze Peng in conjunction with the exhibition My Kampong, My Home: Lim Tze Peng at Singapore Management University Gallery, 2010, p.16.

    林子平
    和諧
    一九七三年秋作

    簽名:林子平 癸丑秋月 藝術家鈐印
    水墨設色紙本

    來源
    新加坡私人收藏

    展覽
    新加坡,「我的甘榜,我的家」,新加坡管理大學畫廊,2010年12月8日至18日

    出版
    雲大箎,《情繫甘榜》,由林子平之友與「我的甘榜,我的家」展覽聯合出版,新加坡,2010年,第16頁,彩圖

    Considered one of Singapore's most revered artists Lim Tze Peng belongs to the second generation of Nanyang School Artists. He is also the last living member of the Ten Men Art Group, which similarly, travelled all over Southeast Asia during the 1960s and 1970s in search of inspiration.

    However, the story of Lim Tze Peng, especially as told in his Kampong series, is in many ways the story of early Singapore."[1]

    Both Lot 7 Fishing Village and Lot 8 Harmony, 1973, published in "My Kampong, My Home", have a distinct theme and singularity. Lim was still living in the village, where he painted en plein air and recorded life in his kampong—traditional Southeast Asian villages or settlements. No scene from this series of his first home in Singapore is repeated, each painting unique to the place and characters who were his family and neighbours.

    With Harmony, 1973 the artist captured his neighbours' daily routine of harvesting bananas. This ritual carried much significance as every part of the plant was used; nothing was wasted. The trunk would have been used as pig feed, its fibre to make string and leaves to wrap food long before there was plastic, while its flowers and fruit provided sustenance. To the artist, kampong living represents the humble days when people lived in harmony with each other and nature.

    An affectionate scene is depicted in Fishing Village. A Malay family is seen on their veranda in bright sarongs and with busy hands while empty sampans or wooden boats are parked on the left. Kampong Pasir Ris was where Lim was born and where his parents farmed. In English, Pasir Ris means fine sand. The kampong was situated on a stretch of white sandy beach along the northeastern coastline of Singapore which was called 白沙 (White Sands) in Chinese.[2] These villages of yesteryear have since been replaced by government housing projects.

    Both works display the quintessential Nanyang trait of mixing Western and Chinese techniques. The influence of the Chinese artist Huang Binhong is evident in Lim's works. Like Huang, he views 'brush-and-ink' (bimo in Chinese) as the core of his ink art. Lim Tze Peng innovates and elevates Chinese traditional brushwork by employing thicker and more expressive, fluid lines and strokes to create the mood and atmosphere of his artwork. Using his profound knowledge of Chinese calligraphy, he skillfully integrates the art of Chinese writing into the creation of his ink paintings and his own unique visual language.

    In 2003, Lim was awarded the Cultural Medallion—Singapore's highest honour for an artist—for his outstanding contributions to the local art scene. On 15 June 2021, the Prime Minister of Singapore Mr. Lee Hsien Loong opened the exhibition Soul of Ink: Lim Tze Peng at 100 at The Arts House Singapore in honour of the artist's 100th birthday.

    It is noteworthy that Lim's mastery of Chinese ink has, over the years, gained him a strong following not only in his native Singapore but also mainland China. In 2009, he became the first Singaporean to have a solo exhibition entitled Inroads: The Ink Journey of Lim Tze Peng at The National Art Museum of China in Beijing and The Liu Haisu Art Museum in Shanghai respectively; this retrospective show received considerable public and critical acclaim.




    1. Tai Ho Woon, My Kampong, My Home: Conversations with Lim Tze Peng (Singapore: Friends of Lim Tze Peng, 2010), 15.

    2. See Urban Redevelopment Authority, Pasir Ris Planning Area: Planning Report (Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority, 1995).

    在新加坡備受尊崇的林子平被視為南洋畫派第二代畫家,也是「十人畫會」碩果僅存之成員。南洋畫派與「十人畫會」的藝術家們於上世紀60至70年代造訪東南亞各地,藉此汲取創作靈感。

    在林氏諸多創作當中,呈現新加坡故事的「甘榜系列」最為特別,其中曾被納入《情繫甘榜》一書的兩幅畫作《和諧》(1973)與《漁村》(約1970年代)主題獨特。當時住在傳統東南亞鄉村(甘榜)的林氏常在戶外寫生,借其畫筆展現甘榜居民的日常,畫中不同種族的居民融洽地在鄉村裡一起生活和工作。「甘榜系列」的畫作皆描繪林氏舊時家園的景致與人物(包括其家人和鄰居),題材從未重複,實屬難得。

    林氏在《和諧》這幅作品當中捕捉鄰居採收香蕉的日常生活,這是在地居民生活里十分重要的活動。畢竟蕉樹的每一個部分都可以被利用而不能被丟棄,其樹幹可以餵豬;在塑料袋盛行之前,蕉樹的纖維可做成綁繩,並與蕉葉一同用來包裝食物。此外,蕉樹的花朵和果實可被食用。對於林氏而言,甘榜生活最能展現往昔人們和諧寧靜地共處於大自然之中的簡樸時日。

    《漁村》呈現溫馨親情的畫面,馬來家庭的成員們身著色彩鮮明的紗籠,不得閒似的忙著,一艘舢板或木船左側則是閒置左側。「甘榜巴西利」是林子平出生及其雙親務農之處。巴西利的字義乃是細沙,華人稱該地為「白沙」,因其位於新加坡東北海岸的一片白沙海灘。然而,這個別具風情的甘榜日後被政府規劃為組屋區。

    這兩幅林子平的早期畫作饒富南洋風情,同時展現南洋畫派中西合璧的精髓,而中國近現代書畫名家黃賓虹的影響也反映在林氏的作品當中。林子平師法黃賓虹的理念,將「筆墨」視為其水墨創作的核心。他進一步創新和提昇中國傳統的筆觸,運用濃郁和生動流暢的線條來營造作品的情緒與氛圍。「書畫同源」乃中國筆墨之特質,林子平深厚的書法根底使他從容地將中國書法融入其水墨作品當中,創造林氏獨特的視覺藝術語言。

    2003年,林子平榮獲象徵新加坡藝術家最高榮譽之文化獎章,代表這位畫家對於當地的藝術發展貢獻卓越。新加坡總理李顯龍在今年6月15日為新加坡藝術之家所舉辦的畫展《墨魂:百歲林子平》擔任主賓,向這位邁入百歲的耆老書畫大師致敬。

    值得注目的是,林子平精湛的水墨作品不只在新加坡受到重視,其創作在海外和中國亦獲得同樣的肯定。2009年,北京中國美術館和上海劉海粟美術館先後籌辦《心向—林子平水墨歷程》個展,使林氏成為首位在這兩間中國知名美術館舉辦個展之新加坡畫家,該項回顧展廣受各界好評。
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