Nankin Street

Tan Choh Tee


Nankin Street


Tan Choh Tee




Oil on Canvas



Nankin Street by Tan Choh Tee is a good example of the artist's Chinatown paintings of the 1990s. Tan has often used a favourite method of composition of huddling his subjects together. In doing so, he defies the rules of perspective so that the buildings present a cacophony of lines and colours. In this impressionistic quick-drawing style, windows, roofs and columns are out of alignment, suggesting the imperfections of older buildings and the dazzle of excess light. 

Tan has painted numerous scenes of vanishing Singapore, giving value to the lives and places inhabited by the migrant communities who came and made Singapore home. An interesting note is that the road named Nankin Street was included in Raffles' 1822 town planning map.  

Another painting in the Singtel collection by Tan Choh Tee is Boat Yard (2000).