Chen Wen Hsi is one of Singapore’s pioneer artists, known for his avant-garde Chinese paintings.He was born in Baigong in Guangdong province, and had his early education at Chen Li Primary School and St. Joseph Middle School.
After graduation from secondary school, Chen Wen Hsi decided to study full-time in fine art at the Shanghai College of Art in 1928, despite his uncle’s objection. Unhappy with the college, Chen transferred to the Xinhua College of Art in Shanghai, where he was taught by renowned artists such as Pan Tianshou, with half of his classmates a year later. It was at Xinhua that he became acquainted with Chen Jen Hao, Chen Chong Swee and Liu Kang, all of whom were to become Singapore’s Nanyang pioneer artists and art educationists. After four years at Xinhua, Chen graduated and returned to Baigong.
Fu Baoshi, or Fu Pao-Shih, (1904-1965) was a Chinese painter from Xinyu, Jiangxi Province. He went to Japan to study the History of Oriental Art in the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1933. He translated many books from Japanese and carried out his own research. In painting itself, he brought Japanese visual elements to the Chinese ink painting tradition.
He was the Director of the Jiangsu Province Chinese Painting School and a Vice-Chairman of the Federation of Chinese Artists. He also taught in the Art Department of Central University (now Nanjing University).His works of landscape painting employed skillful use of dots and inking methods, creating a new technique encompassing many varieties within traditional rules. He was able to create an old, elegant style through his integration of poetic atmosphere and painting techniques. He has held many personal exhibitions in China and has won favourable comments.
Fu had strong feelings towards the land of China. During his travel to many places, he recorded the splendors of the rivers and mountains, drawing inspiration from nature and becoming the representative landscape painter of his time.