Tan Kian Por (1949 to 2019) was born in Chaozhou, China and moved to Singapore in 1962. Tan studied Western Painting and learned Chinese brush painting under See Hiang To and Chen Chong Swee and graduated at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1970. During his time at NAFA, he wanted to focus on Chinese arts, which he regarded himself to be closer to. In order to cultivate a deeper understanding of Chinese arts, he, together with fellow students, started a Chinese art appreciation society and served as its chairman. He graduated from the academy in 1970 and gathered fellow Chinese art and calligraphy enthusiasts to form the Siaw Tao Chinese Seal-Carving, Calligraphy & Painting Society in 1971. In 1978, he was awarded the National Day Special Art Award. And a decade later, in 1988, his book titled The Art of Tan Kian Por was published.
A highly competent painter, calligrapher and seal-carver well versed in Chinese culture and classics, Tan’s creations in the new millennium employed computer technology to unite tradition art forms, resulting in a collection of complete and harmonious art pieces. The Founder and President of Siaw-Tao Chinese Seal Carving, Calligraphy and Painting Society, Tan was awarded the prestigious Cultural Medallion Award by the Singapore Government for his artistic excellence and contribution to visual art in 2001. Tan was an active member of the arts community. He had served as Vice-President of Federation of Art Societies and President of Siaw-Tao Art Society, and was committee member of the Singapore Eastern Painting Selection, Xiling Art Society (China) and Korea Chinese Seal-Carving Society.