Monk

Born in Fujian, China, Shi Xiangtuo (1906-1990) came from an eminent family of seal carvers and calligraphers, Trained by his father, he is best known for his calligraphy and seal work. In addition, Shi was an accomplished ink painter who counted the Shanghai School and, in particular, Wu Changshuo’s paintings as major influences. He emigrated to Singapore in 1938 and contributed immensely in the area of art education: first as a principal at a primary school and later as a lecturer at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. In 1979, Shi was awarded the Public Service Star by the Singapore government.Painted on the eve of Vesak Day, this painting represents Damo, also known as Bodhidharma, who was credited with the establishment of the Chan (or Zen) School of Buddhism in China. The inscription describes the story of Bodhidharma, who had mediated for ten years before gaining the way to Enlightenment.