Lim Tze Peng, ‘Autumn Morning- Xu Hun’, Ode to Art

Though most noted for his ink landscapes, Lim Tze Peng often maintains that his calligraphic works are better than his paintings. Around 2005, the artist achieved a major stylistic breakthrough when he unveiled a new signature style of calligraphy, termed as the ‘hutuzi’ (糊涂字’, also known as ‘muddled writing’).
This new style emphasizes on the expressiveness and elegance of the strokes, rather than the meanings derived from the words. Some of the works from this series have one layer of words written over another, and the words often appear so cursive and abstracted that it is virtually impossible to decipher the characters. Just as the way ‘subject matter’ has been losing importance since modernism, the idea of a subject matter has also been abandoned to a large extent in Lim Tze Peng’s new style of calligraphy where the traditional
mode of signification has eroded, giving way for new meanings and new angles for appreciation.,Larger%20Than%20Life%20

About Lim Tze Peng

One of Singapore’s most revered artists, Lim Tze Peng has gained recognition for highlighting the effects of rapid modernization by fusing traditional Chinese ink painting techniques with scenes from contemporary city life. Lim connects themes of nostalgia, memory, growth, and loss in his elaborate, overflowing cityscapes, which depict urban centers in the process of transformation. In his best-known series, Lim painted, en plein air, historically important Singapore buildings slated to be demolished and replaced by newfangled high-rises. Another facet of Lim’s practice is devoted to text-based paintings that merge the tradition of calligraphy with the history of abstract expressionism. The compositions, built from layered, expressively scrawled words, favor compositional dynamism over legibility.

Singaporean, b. 1921