In this work, Lim Tze Peng depicts a street in Chinatown with various coffee shops, a frequent and familiar sight in old Singapore. Lim presents a picture that reflects the past and yet enlivens it with glimpses of life and motion. Intricate strokes derived from calligraphy and the use of classic ink wash imbue the image with gradients and tones that exude emotion. He renders the scene with exquisite detail, depicting the nuances of the facades of the shophouses as well as the various patrons. Lim’s use of negative space as a border imbue the work with a sense of nostalgia, reminding the viewer that this scene is one of a bygone era, and leaving them with further thoughts to ponder. The painting is testament to the far-ranging vision of the artist and his meticulous skill that merges with emotion in flowing strokes of ink.
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