Tan Swie Hian

Tan Swie Hian takes us on a lyrical and philosophical journey through the world of the mundane, the micro-cosmos of nature’s intimate spaces, revealing within ourselves landscapes of our own spirituality.

Since 1973, Tan Swie Hian has articulated his reflections on the mysteries of the world through an ancient allegorical form often found in Mahayana Buddhist scriptures, the timeless poetic expression referred to as ‘fables’. His first fables were published in the Taiwan ‘United Daily News’. They were subsequently printed in newspapers in Singapore, Malaysia and China. Originally written in Chinese, they have since been recreated in English and French.

His fables are an inspiration for other art forms, such as music, dance, painting, sculpture, and now, in the form of lithography. Hence, an inseparable relationship exists between Tan Swie Hian’s literature and his art. Steeped in the great classical tradition of Chinese painting, he paints the expression of his linguistic mastery, translating nature’s state of mind into a pictorial realm of lines, colours and shapes.

It was in this vein that prompted the collaboration between the Singapore Tyler Print Institute and Tan Swie Hian in late 2003 to bring together his writing and art in the form of a imited edition portfolio of lithographic prints.

Born in Indonesia in 1943, Singapore Cultural Medallion recipient, Tan Swie Hian, is recognised internationally as a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary artist.