Old Village (New Kampong)

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. In this drawing, a snapshot of rural life is recorded, a not uncommon sight in Singapore prior to the drastic change that would overtake the landscape during the construction of high-rise public housing developments during the 1960s and 1970s. 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.