Kampong Scene, Singapore

Lim Cheng Hoe


Kampong Scene, Singapore


Lim Cheng Hoe




Watercolour and Paper



This 1954 watercolour of a Malay kampong house set amongst the coconut palms is likely to have been painted en plein air. The artist Lim Cheng Hoe was a proponent of watercolour painting in Singapore, having started in the 1930s under Richard Walker. 

The painting is full of clarity, with a clearly defined foreground. It appears that light fills the entire composition. There is precise usage of the negative spaces, the unpainted areas which allow the watercolour paper to show through, that creates such clarity. The directness of Lim's drawing of the trees and houses adds to the clear articulation of this work.

The colour palette mainly comprises light green washes, with red and sienna forming the other main colour for the buildings and people. Painted in the tradition of British watercolours, such works formed an area of development of painting in Singapore at the time.

Another work by Lim Cheng Hoe in the Singtel collection is Ebb Tide at Changi Beach (1972).