Loy Chye Chuan
|Name:||Loy Chye Chuan / 黎才专|
|Year of birth:||1940|
|Studio address:||Telok Kurau Studio|
91 Lorong J Telok Kurau
Level 3 Room 307
|The Singapore Watercolour Society:||SWS Member Page|
Loy Chye Chuan is a self-taught watercolour artist in Singapore. Without formal art education, he learned his way through attending watercolour exhibitions and live demonstration sessions by established famous watercolour artists like Lim Ching Hoe and the group along the Singapore River more than 50 years ago.
Through observing the techniques and strokes of the established watercolour artists, Loy Chye Chuan slowly developed his own style of painting watercolour with frequent practices alongside with the masters. Experimenting his art pursuit with different topics and subject matters that he related to, the artist established himself as not only an expert in watercolour painting of landscape scenery and street scenes, but also one who has a heart for social phenomena and a mission for their reflection in his artworks.
Watercolour Paintings of the artist
Many of his paintings revolves around the following themes:
The watercolour artist started most of his painting along Singapore River as early as in his teenage years where he paid attention to watch the established watercolour artists (The Sunday Group) painting live at sites and he would come back the following day to the same spots to paint and mimic the techniques used by the masters from his memory.
The Singapore River is a waterway that holds immense historical significance in the early days of Singapore. It served as the lifeblood of the nascent trading settlement, providing a crucial link between the bustling harbor and the heart of the city.
In the early 19th century, the river was teeming with activity as it became a hub for trade and commerce. Merchants from all corners of the world sailed their ships along the river, unloading goods and fostering a vibrant trading community. The area surrounding the river was a melting pot of cultures, with diverse communities coexisting and enriching one another’s traditions.
The historical value of the Singapore River lies in its role as the birthplace of modern Singapore. The iconic Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, located along its banks, were once bustling centers of commerce and are now popular tourist destinations. These areas retain the charm and architectural remnants of their colonial past, with beautifully preserved shophouses and warehouses.
The river also witnessed Singapore’s transformation from a trading post to a thriving metropolis. It was here that Sir Stamford Raffles first landed in 1819, marking the founding of modern Singapore. Over the years, the river underwent significant urban development, including the construction of bridges and the conversion of warehouses into trendy riverside dining establishments.
Chinatown in Singapore
Having grown up in one of the shop houses in Chinatown in Singapore, the watercolour artist who loves the old architecture of the shop houses and took the opportunity to paint the various scenes and his favorite spots in Chinatown. Trengganu street, Smith street, Club Street at Ann Siang Hill, Hock Lam street are some of his favorite spots he would capture with his paint brushes.
In the early days of Singapore, Chinatown emerged as a vibrant hub of Chinese culture and heritage. This iconic district holds immense historical value and offers a fascinating glimpse into the city-state’s past. Nestled in the heart of Singapore, Chinatown has evolved from its humble beginnings to become a cherished cultural enclave. Established in the 1820s, Chinatown originally served as a settlement for Chinese immigrants who came to Singapore seeking better opportunities. It quickly flourished as a bustling trading center and played a pivotal role in shaping Singapore’s economic landscape. The district’s historical value lies in its preservation of the city’s Chinese heritage.
Malay Kampungs in Singapore
Early days of Singapore have various Malay Kampungs at Punggol, Rhuma Tinggi, Jurong areas which the watercolour artist loved to paint. The coconut trees and palm trees in the lush landscape with huts and sometimes jetty were the favorite composition in his paintings. The artist spent countless days in his early years honing his watercolour techniques in landscape painting at these Malay Kampongs.
The Malay kampongs of early Singapore hold a significant historical value that provides a glimpse into the island’s rich cultural heritage. These traditional Malay villages were once the heart and soul of the Malay community, showcasing the unique way of life, social cohesion, and close-knit relationships.
In the early days of Singapore, kampongs were prevalent, serving as the primary residential areas for the local population. Malay kampongs, in particular, played a crucial role in shaping the social fabric of the nation. These villages were characterized by rows of traditional wooden houses, often built on stilts, surrounded by lush vegetation and communal spaces.
The kampongs offered a sense of community, with residents living in close proximity and sharing daily experiences. It was common to find families engaging in communal activities such as cooking, farming, and celebrating traditional festivals together. These kampongs acted as cultural hubs, where customs, traditions, and the Malay language were preserved and passed down through generations.
Old Buildings in Singapore
The artist loves the architecture of old buildings in Singapore where it is not difficult to find many of his paintings on old buildings of Bugis street, Smith Street, China street, Circular Road and Club street etc.
The corner view of these old buildings showing the pitched roofs and lourved timber windows with occasion lithophytes plants out of the wall cracks are some of the favorite visuals the artist would present in his paintings.
Old buildings in Singapore offer a glimpse into the city’s past, serving as living witnesses to its transformation over the years. Each building carries a unique story, reflecting the various architectural styles that prevailed during different periods. The Raffles Hotel, for instance, stands as an iconic symbol of colonial-era elegance. Old buildings have become popular tourist attractions in Singapore, attracting visitors seeking a deeper understanding of the city’s past. From the distinctive shophouses in Chinatown to the elegant Peranakan-style houses in Katong, these architectural gems offer a glimpse into the multicultural tapestry of Singapore’s history. The blend of vibrant street life and historical charm creates a unique atmosphere that captivates both locals and tourists alike.
Gallery of Some of the artist’s paintings
Here are some of the watercolour paintings by artist Loy Chye Chuan.
The studio of Loy Chye Chuan is open to the public from 2pm to 5pm by appointment. Please contact us prior to your visit. Alternatively, head onto Contact Us page.