|Name:||Chen Wen Hsi|
|Birth Day:||September 9, 1906|
|Death Date:||Dec 17, 1992 (age 86)|
As per our current Database, Chen Wen Hsi died on Dec 17, 1992 (age 86).
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He studied at the Shanghai and Xinhua Colleges of Art. His teachers included the famed Pan Tianshou.
After graduation from secondary school, Chen decided to study full-time in fine art at the Shanghai College of Art in 1928, despite his uncle's objection. Unhappy with the college, Chen transferred to the Xinhua College of Art in Shanghai, where he was taught by renowned artists such as Pan Tianshou, with half of his classmates a year later. It was at Xinhua where he became acquainted with Chen Jen Hao, Chen Chong Swee and Liu Kang, all of whom were to become Singapore's Nanyang pioneer artists and art educationists. After four years at Xinhua, Chen graduated and returned to Jieyang.
After getting married in Jieyang, Chen went to Shantou in 1929, at the age of 21. His work was exhibited in Shanghai (1931, 1933) and Guangzhou (1932, 1936). In 1937, he received recognition and praise of Chinese painter Xu Beihong at the second Chinese National Art Exhibition in Nanjing. In the same year, an English arts magazine elected him as one of contemporary China's ten greatest artists. He left China in 1947 and had further exhibitions in Saigon (1948), Hong Kong (1949), Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur (1949), and Bangkok-Singapore (1950).
In 1948, Chen arrived in Singapore, where he originally planned to stay for not more than three months. After his visa expired he was convinced by fellow artists such as Liu Kang, and then commissioner general Malcolm MacDonald to stay.
In Singapore, he proceeded to teach art at The Chinese High School (1949–1968) and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (1951–1959). Chen travelled to various places in Southeast Asia to collect drawing materials during his vacations, and he was especially inspired by the people and customs of Bali and Java. In June 1955, Chen took part in a seven-artist group exhibition organised by the Singapore Art Society.
Chen was proficient in both traditional Chinese ink and Western oil painting, and experimented with a variety of styles ranging from Fauvism to Cubism. In Chen's exhibition held in May 1956, Sullivan noted his fascination for man-made things and clutter. The artist loved to experiment with the interplay of light and forms in chaotic subjects, like a junkyard. His unique style which showed interest in angles but not Cubist; strays not far from reality and is obsessed with shapes, and yet not an abstract painter. Chen also did not take to modern western art philosophies of that by western counterparts of his time like Picasso and Salvador Dalí.
For his contributions to the fine arts in Singapore, President Yusof Ishak conferred Chen the Public Service Star in 1964.
In 1968, Chen retired from teaching, and decided to concentrate on drawing. Between 1923 and 1992, he conducted 38 one-man exhibitions in Singapore and other countries such as China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
Chen's artistic endeavours have also made history by being the first artist with a number of first honours conferred on him. In 1975, Chen was conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the then-Chancellor of the University of Singapore, and President of Singapore, Benjamin Sheares. In 1980, he became the first Singaporean artist to be invited, and conferred with the Golden Chapter gold medal award, by the National Museum of History in Taiwan. He was also the first recipient of the ASEAN Cultural and Communications Award for outstanding artists, in 1987.
After his death in 1991 at age 87, Chen was awarded a posthumous Meritorious Service Medal.
Currently, Chen Wen Hsi is 115 years, 11 months and 9 days old. Chen Wen Hsi will celebrate 116th birthday on a Friday 9th of September 2022.
Find out about Chen Wen Hsi birthday activities in timeline view here.