Lim Tze Peng

L4 - 出塞 - 王之渙 (Over the Border by Wang Zhihuan)
Ink on Rice Paper, 89 x 96 cm

USD 8,300 – 11,800


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About the artwork

Using large, expressionist and cursive strokes, Lim Tze Peng inscribes the Tang Dynasty poem《凉州词》Beyond the Border by 王之涣 Wang Zhi Huan. This piece marks one of Lim’s latest works as he continues to experiment and explore the creative potential of calligraphy using vivid colours. Lim’s selective use of yellow and blue is akin to water flowing along the Yellow River and mountainous outlines on the sky as described in the verse. The bright and energetic colours accentuate the unique shape of the Chinese characters that form Lim’s signature breakthrough style 糊涂字 hutuzi , which in this piece emphasises on its aesthetic appeal rather than legibility. Yet the background also creates a striking contrast that draws attention away from the text and semantics. Lim therefore invites us to focus on the artistic expression of his work and its compositional structure. The final result is an abstract artwork and cohesive image whereby the amalgamation of painting and calligraphy is apparent. The poem《凉州词》 reads:黄河远上白云间, 一片孤城万仞山, 羌笛何须怨杨柳, 春风不度玉关门。Wang reveals his sense of isolation and loneliness as he hears a familiar melody played on a bamboo flute, reminding him of his hometown.

About the artist

Born in Singapore in 1921, Lim Tze Peng is one of Singapore’s most significant artists and a living legend. Renowned for his Chinese ink creations of post-independence Singapore, he also practices Chinese calligraphy. Alongside local and international exhibitions, his masterpieces are exhibited in prominent Singapore institutions and part of many prestigious collections. Lim has been bestowed several awards including the Special Prize at the Commonwealth Art Exhibition in England in 1977 and the prestigious Cultural Medallion in Singapore in 2003. In May 2012, he broke records with the sale of his works at a Christies auction in Hong Kong.

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