Nai Swee Leng
Lives and Works: Singapore
Born in 1946 to the beautiful garden city of Singapore, Swee Leng (赖瑞龙) has been passionate about painting since his childhood days. He has not only learnt Chinese brushworks with respectable masters, including Master of Lingdong style the late Mr Fan Chang Tien and Master of Lingnan style the late Professor Chao Shao-An in Hong Kong, but also graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Western fine arts.
Over time, these rich and concrete foundations helped in shaping Swee Leng’s unique art style, one that also maintain the essence of Chinese traditional brushwork. He is most widely known for his Chinese ink paintings of Nanyang themes, such as coconuts trees, bamboos, tropical birds (myna, swallows, sparrows etc), fowls (roosters, goose etc) and flowers (plum blossoms, orchids, lotus etc). Swee Leng paints with intriguing free-hand brush strokes on tranquil and meaningful compositions. The tasteful depth, strength and simple grace embodies the traditional authenticity in Swee Leng’s artworks, which is highly commended by many around the world.
Swee Leng has held more than 10 solo and many group exhibitions in Singapore and abroad. Having been invited to represent Singapore by the Singapore Tourism Promotion Board and the Ministry of Culture (now the Ministry of Information and the Arts (MITA)), and appointed panel judge for some of these events, Swee Leng is a familiar veteran in the local art scene. He also sits as committee member for various local and overseas art groups and takes an active role in promoting traditional Chinese art in contemporary times.
Swee Leng’s Chinese ink paintings are not only represented at galleries locally and abroad, but are also collected by private and corporate art collectors around the world and presented as diplomatic gifts to foreign guests and visitors of the Government. Swee Leng also spends significant amount of time engaging students in the exploration of traditional Chinese art techniques, styles and compositions.
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