Tan Choh Tee
b. 1942 -
Born in Guangdong, China, Tan Choh Tee relocated to Singapore in 1953 and developed an interest in art at a young age. From 1958 to 1962, he studied at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts where he was taught by pioneer artists like Cheong Soo Pieng, Liu Kang and Georgette Chen. As a student, he was deeply influenced by European modern art, particularly Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. After graduating from NAFA, Choh Tee worked as a book designer for McGraw-Hill Far East for over a decade before becoming a full-time artist in 1976.
Choh Tee is best known for his realist-impressionist oil paintings of landscape and still life subject matters. Not only has he painted various scenes of Singapore landscapes since the 1970s, he has ventured to Bali, Taipei, Hong Kong, Paris, Suzhou, and many other places for plein-air painting. Choh Tee's pictorial language inclines towards a realist-impressionist style and is generally characterised by layered gestural brushwork. After the 1990s, his work also reflects an increasing use of palette knife effects. Over the decades, Choh Tee has remained a persistent plein-air painter when it comes to rendering nature, rural scenes and urban landscapes, translating the intrigue of fleeting light conditions on colour into his oil painting.
In 2006, Choh Tee was awarded the Cultural Medallion for Visual Arts by the Singapore Government. Additionally, he received the Asia Visual Arts Award from the Korean National Cultural Research Organisation.