Deep Forest

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.As an artist but more so as a landscape painter, Tan was strongly informed and inspired by the Russian landscape painter Ivan Shishikin (1832-98) who wrote in his diary: “A landscape painter is a perfect artist. He feels deeply, purer.” These words share Tan’s sentiments when he says of himself in his 1979 catalogue: “I favour scenery sketching very much, so it does not matter to me even if someone thinks that sketching is a trivial form of art. I stick to a simple belief: I love it, I have to be always close to it.”