Tan Swie Hian

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Tan Swie Hian
陈瑞献
Born (1943-05-05) May 5, 1943 (age 71)
Indonesia
Nationality Singapore
Known for Contemporary ink and wash painting
Awards

1978: Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France.
1984: Book Award, National Book Development Council, Singapore.
1985: Gold Medal, Salon des Artistes Français, France.
1987: Member-Correspondent, Academy of Fine Arts, Institute of France.
Pingat Angkatan Pelukis Aneka Daya (APAD), Association of Artists of Various Resources of Singapore.
Cultural Medallion, Singapore.
1988: Kala Ratna Award, Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society.
1989: Chevalier de l’Ordre Nationale du Merite, France.
1995: International Artistic Paragon Award, Federation of Chinese Cultural Revival Movement and Society of Chinese Painting, Calligraphy and Seal-Engraving, Taipei, Taiwan.
1996: The inaugural “Excellence for Singapore Award” Gold Medallion, Singapore Totalisator Board.
1997: Special Award of the inaugural “Four Seas Chinese Literary Gleanings“, China National Radio, Beijing.
The Singapore Ramakrishna Mission Award.
International Creative Grand Master Award, Federation of Chinese Cultural Revival Movement and the Society of Chinese Painting, Calligraphy and Seal-Engraving, Taipei, Taiwan.
1998: The Singapore Chinese Literature Prize, Singapore Literature Society
1999: The Marin Sorescu International Poetry Prize, Romanian Academy and National Theatre in Craiova, Romania. 2000: First “Honorary Citizen of Huangling County”, People’s Government of Huangling County, Shanxi, China. 2002: Gold Medal, Korea-Japan World Cup International Calligraphy Exhibition, Seoul, Korea.
Distinguished Visitor of the Indian Government. 2003: Crystal Award, World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland.
Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Meritorious Service Medal), Singapore.
Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

2004: Lifting up the World with a Oneness-Heart Gold Medallion, United Nations Meditation Guru, Sri Chinmoy.
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Tan (陈).

Tan Swie Hian (Chinese: 陈瑞献; pinyin: Chén Ruìxiàn; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tân Suī-hiàn) is a Singaporean multidisciplinary artist known for his contemporary Chinese calligraphy, chinese poetry and contemporary art sculptures found in Singapore and many parts of the world.

Born in Indonesia, Tan migrated to Singapore circa 1946. He grew up with a fluency in Chinese and Malay language, and went on to study English and French at the Nanyang University.[1] He began his career life as press attaché For the French Embassy in Singapore, after graduating with a degree in English literature from the University. While working as an attaché he continued pursuing his passion for art. His first foray into the Singapore arts scene was with his first collection of poetry writing titled The Giant in 1968[1] and held his first art exhibition at the National Library on Stamford Road in 1973. He also converted to his faith to Buddhism in that year; his newfound spiritual experience outweighed his passion for the arts that made him give up painting for the next four years. It was only when the-then French Embassy cultural attaché Michel Deverge threatened to end their friendship if he didn't pursue his art again, that Tan resume painting. Deverge went on to organize a successful exhibition of Tan's new creations at the Gauguin Museum in Tahiti.[2] After 24 years with the Embassy Tan left his position to pursue art full-time.


Writing[edit]

Since his first poetry collection The Giant in 1968, Tan went on to publish 35 publications of poetry, essays and stories. In 1978, Tan was conferred the Chavalier de I'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by French Government for his initiatory Chinese translations of works by Beckett and Romanian writer Marin Sorescu. In 1987, he was awarded the Cultural Medallion in Singapore. In 1998, he won the Marin Sorescu International Poetry Prize in Romania.

Painting[edit]

Tan has been recognised as Singapore's most expensive artist after he sold his oil-and-acrylic painting, When the Moon is Orbed, for approximately S$3.7m at an auction in Beijing in 2012.

In October 2014, Tan completed a painting of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and his late wife Kwa Geok Choo entitled A Couple. The painting, which took Tan five years to complete, was partially damaged by a fire in 2013. It depicts Lee and Kwa in their youth, is based on a 1946 black-and-white photograph of the couple in Cambridge University, and incorporates in its background Tan's poem written in memory of Kwa. Tan said, "I've always felt [Madam Kwa] was a great woman who, despite her intelligence and capability, was also a humble and dedicated wife." A Couple was purchased by art collector Wu Hsioh Kwang.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Tan Swie Hian: Renaissance man (Singapore)". Huayinet: Chinese Overseas Databank & Research. Retrieved 2008-12-25. [dead link]
  2. ^ Tan, Hwee Hwee (2003-07-14). "Artistic Enlightenment". Time (magazine). Retrieved 2008-11-28. 
  3. ^ Ang, Benson (27 October 2014). "Damaged portraits of Mr and Mrs Lee completed". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 

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