Chew Teng Beng - A Pioneering Artist and Teacher


Awards for his art came often to Dr Chew Teng Beng. His long love affair with the US did not stop him coming back to Malaysia, and basing himself in Penang. His influence as an artist comes as much from his role as teacher as from his paintings.

When Dr Chew Teng Beng, a pioneering Malaysian abstract artist, was offered a job at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), then Universiti Penang, in 1969, he did not take it up until three years later.

He had everything going for him in the US where he was studying and then teaching, and his paintings were selling well there.

A coveted Fulbright-Hays scholarship that he won enabled him to take up art studies at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan in September 1967 (orientation in August in Pittsburgh)-1968. He managed to get the departmental scholarships at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to pursue his Bachelor of Fine Arts (1968-1969) and then his Masters (1969-1970), both of which he astonishingly completed in a year each.

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