About The Artist
Chua Mia Tee was born on 25 November 1931 in China. In 1937, his family migrated to Singapore. He grew up, playing along the banks of the Singapore River. His childhood experiences influenced him in his choice of theme and subjects. He attended Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts from 1952 to 1957. He is one of Singapore’s pioneer artists. He starts by painting on location, refining and completing the process in his studio later. To him, Art must reflect real life. It need not necessarily be fully naturalistic but it must be firmly grounded in reality, so that the work is in no way ambiguous but rather offers an easily accessible point of reference for the viewer. A member of the Equator Art Society founded in 1956, he is one of the pioneer practitioners of Social Realism. His famous works include National Language Class (1950) (Collection of the Singapore Art Museum) and Workers in a Canteen (1974) which underline a vigorous search towards an anti-colonialistic and nationalistic identity in art.
Chua Mia Tee is also a highly regarded master of portrait painting. He has captured on canvas prominent businessman and politicians including past and present presidents and prime ministers of Singapore. He has been invited to design currency notes and has proven his talents in creating the fifty-dollar commemorative banknote in celebration of Singapore’s 25th year of independence.
In 2015, Chua received the Cultural Medallion for his contributions to visual arts in Singapore.
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