Banana Tree and The Sparrows is a Nanyang-style Chinese ink painting by Tan Khim Ser. The simple composition comprises masterly brushwork. Each leaf and their branches are composed of a minimum of skillfully executed strokes, as are the little flitting sparrows. Within the spareness of the composition, Tan has managed a variety of brushstrokes, from wet washes tinged with colour, to sharp, quick, precise strokes. Each stroke gives character to the painting, and there is not a single stroke that is out of place.
The artist graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1966, and held his first solo exhibition in 1967. His paintings have become classics of Singapore Chinese ink works, which Tan has won many awards for. Tan's influence has also been established as the founder of the Singapore Life Society (1972), as well as advising on the Society of Chinese Artists and the Miao Hua Chinese Art Society.