A Nourishing Canvas


Fruits and food and things that can be imbibed all offer ready profound messages for the artist to exploit.

Food sustains body and soul. In art, especially in the depiction of fruits, it is as resplendent as still-life with all the stylistic métiers, and is used as metaphor for human strife and foibles.

An early food canvas is by Singapore pioneer Georgette Chen (1906-1993) with her outstanding still-life such as Still-life with Durian, Rambutans & Mangosteens (1965) and Moon Festival Table (c. 1965-1968) on the mooncake delicacies. The ingredients were simpler back then, unlike now when objects like abalone and Musang King durian can be added. Batik art founder Datuk Chuah Thean Teng (1912-2008) had also done several works such as Boy With Fish, Fruit Season (c. 1970s), Durian Sellers (1990), Eating Durian and Eating Noodles (2001)

To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for RM150 a year.

Related Articles

Dec 2011

Bringing Brilliance To Heritage Buildings

New art spaces are popping up in Penang, but can the state take advantage of this energy?

Aug 2014

Time for Asean art to flourish

The regional art scene may be lacking in terms of shared identity consciousness, but things are certainly changing.

Feb 2011

Making future artists better

Tay Mo-Leong has no plans to rest on his laurels

Mar 2014

Raising the stakes in Asia’s art world

Art Stage Singapore 2014 is a sign that the island republic is nudging its way towards becoming the epicentre of the arts in Asia.