Chua Mia Tee

Chua Mia Tee graduated from NAFA in 1952 and was an educator with the Academy in the 1950s. Some of his former students include, former principal of NAFA, Dr Ho Kah Leong and the late Lim Mu Hue, both had contributed significantly as artists and educators to the Academy. In 2015, Chua was conferred the Cultural Medallion by the Singapore Government for his artistic achievements and contributions to Singapore.

One of Singapore’s most eminent realist painters, Chua’s oeuvre include portraitures, landscapes, animals, documentation of ordinary people and sites. Singapore River, 1981 is recommended for its historical value and documentation of changing cityscape. The depiction of workers unloading goods from bumboats at the Singapore River offers a nostalgic reference to an everyday scene in early Singapore. The Singapore River is a source of pride and carries the indomitable spirit of immigrant forbears who endured many hardships. While Chua executes his works mostly in oils, this sketch is a rare piece that reveals his exceptional skills in draughtsmanship.

Singapore River was acquired by Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 2018.


Singapore River

1981, Pencil and watercolour on paper, 41 x 58 cm