Old Kallang River

Born in 1933 in Singapore, Tan Choo Kuan was trained in Western Art at Singapore’s Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. A dedicated art teacher and prolific artist, Tan’s legacy was recognised in October 2005 with the Singapore Art Museum’s acquisition of 74 select sketches and drawings on paper completed between 1953 and 2005.A large portion of Tan’s drawings in the collection are of significant historical importance, as they are scenes of a bygone era that document the urban development of Singapore. Throughout the ‘60s, before he would travel to explore the rest of the world, Tan would make many sketches and drawings of Singapore’s rural communities and urban landmarks. In this waterscape, Tan has captured a time when the Singapore rivers were still used as passage ways to the sea for wooden fishing boats and people lived on the water.