Visual Arts Centre


Ling Cher Eng – 林子影

Ling Cher Eng - 林子影

About the artist


Born in 1940, Ling Cher Eng was a second-generation Singaporean artist. Ling studied Chinese painting under the pioneer artist Fan Chang Tien (1907-1987) from 1957, when he attended Chung Cheng High School.

The literati tradition of the Shanghai School of painting as practised by Fan, which can be traced back to the Shanghai School masters Wang Geyi, Wang Yiting, Pan Tianshou and Zhu Wenyun deeply influenced Ling and resonated with his passion for ink painting.

Ling greatly admired Fan and studied under him with determination to master the arts of verse, painting, calligraphy and seal-carving, the four attributes of the literati tradition. Ling’s dedication and perseverance led him to continue his tutelage under Fan for the next thirty years from 1957 to 1987, making him the first and longest disciple of Fan Chang Tien.

Having acquired a strong foundation from Fan’s tutelage, Ling Cher Eng’s works captured the carefree and effortless expressionism of the Shanghai School xieyi  style. Ling’s oeuvre spans a wide range of subjects.

Not only was he adept at classical themes of the plum blossoms, orchids, bamboo and chrysanthemum (known in Chinese as the sijunzi  or ‘four gentlemen ’), Ling was also creative in applying his talents to more uncommon subjects in Chinese painting, including tropical fruits and flowers, the regional landscapes of Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, both urban and rural; nudes and portraits, and his lively depictions of snails and sparrows among other subjects. Ling especially won recognition and praise for his paintings of plum blossoms and his landscape works, noteworthily their bold composition and for his daring use of ink as an expressive force in itself.

His Themes

In his Southeast Asian themes, he painted sceneries of Singapore, Malay kampungs and Balinese landscapes, bringing to life these regional vignettes in his vigorous style which still preserves the finesse and detail of his subject matter. The largeness of spirit and expression typical of the Shanghai School can be seen in his classical themed paintings of birds and flowers. But Ling went beyond the traditions in which he was schooled, incorporating increasingly abstract qualities in his work. By the 1990s, his work in the landscape genre had included the usage of acrylic paints, making him stand out as a modern Chinese painter of the times.

Personal Achievements

Other than his personal achievements as an artist, Ling is also one of the founders of the Hwa Hun Art Society, serving as president and vice-president of the Society several times. He played a pivotal role for the promotion and education of Chinese ink painting in Singapore. He was the head of department of art at the New Town Primary School for many years, where his students often scored good results in art competitions. Through all these, Ling has contributed to the teaching of art and Chinese painting in Singapore, with dedication to his profession as a teacher and an artist.

Ling Cher Eng – an ink legacy of our time – passed away of a sudden illness while on tour with his artist friends to Taiyuan, Shanxi Province in China, in 1995. Nearly 20 years on, he is very much remembered by those who knew him, and his works are still enthusiastically mentioned among ink painting circles.

His works brought together the tradition of the Shanghai School with the regional characteristics of the Nanyang region and certain elements of Western art. All his efforts have ensured his place in our Singaporean art history.

About Singaporean Artist – Ling Cher Eng:

1957 ; Learnt art from Fang Changqian (Fan Chang Tien)

1959 ; Published small personal painting album

1962 -95 ; Participated in the annual art exhibition by The Society of Chinese Artists

1967 ; Called up for 2-year National Service

1969 ; Graduated from Singapore Teachers Training college and taught at New Town Primary Schoool until demise.

1972 ; Organized the “Hwa Han Art Society” which was officially set up the following year.

1973 ; Participated in the art exhibition held by Hwa Han Art Society at the Victoria Theatre to raise fund for the building of Chung Hwa Free Clinic.

1974 ; Participated in the art exhibition held by Hwa Han Art Society at the National Stadium auditorium to raise fund for Singapore Amateur Swimming Association.

1975 – 95 ; Participated in the annual art exhibition by Hwa Han Art Society.

1980 ; Held solo art exhibition in “Art Inaction” at the National Museum Art Gallery.

1982 ; Contributed works to the building fund of Thomson Community Centre.

1984 ; Works exhibited at the Japanese Embassy in Singapore.

Participated in Singapore – Korea Joint Art Exhibition in celebration of Singapore’s 25th National Day.

1985-95 ; Participated in Teachers’ Art Exhibition sponsored by the Ministry of Education

1985 ; Participated in art exhibition to raise fund for Hong Kah Estate Education Centre.

Awarded Prize by The Society of Chinese Artists on her 50th Anniversary.

 Participated in “Pan-Pacific Art Exhibition”.

1987 ; Participated in Singapore National Museum’s Centenary Art Exhibition

1989 ; Works exhibited at “Singapore – Sarawak Art Exchange held at Kuching Museum.

1988-90 ; Work selected to be exhibited at UOB Group’s Annual Art Exhibition.

1990 ; Awarded “Chen Zhichu Art Award” and Excellence Prize in the art competition sponsored by the Ministry of Information and the Arts.

Highly-commended IBM Art Award.

1992 ; Participated in the “Four-artist China Tour Joint Exhibition” jointly sponsored by Hunan Yueyang Cultural Association and Foreign Affairs.

1993 ; Participated in the “Four-artist China Tour Joint Exhibition” held at National Museum Art Gallery.

1994 ; Held “Three-artist Joint Art Exhibition” at Orchard Point.

1994 ; Participated in “Huangshan Scenery Art Exhibition” in Hefei, China.

1995 ; Participated in “95 Singapore Art Exhibition”.  

Work selected to participate in the Grand Competition of Art and Calligraphy held by “Beijing International Chinese Calligraphy & Art Exposition”.

Participated in “Art Exhibition of Chinese Art Celebrities” and awarded the “Brass Tripod Prize”.

Personal particulars recorded in “A Compilation of Contemporary Chinese Art Celebrities”.

Works selected to participate in the “14th UOB Annual Art Exhibition”.

Joint art exhibition to raise fund for Hainan Clan Association.

Participated in “Yunnan Scenery Art Exhibition” held by Singapore Nanyang Art Academy.

1995 ; 11 December, Died of sickness while on a tour to Taiyuan, Shanxi Province with friends in the art circles, aged 55.


Check out this catalogue curated by us here.

Check out our blog on The Art and Life of Acclaimed Singaporean Artist Ling Cher Eng 林子影 here!

His Art Works

Plum Blossoms 梅花图 68x 136cm
Plum Blossoms 梅花图 68x 136cm
槟城市郊 40x 69cm
Outskirts of Penang 槟城市郊 40x 69cm
墨梅 69x 138 cm
Ink Blossom 墨梅 69x 138 cm
古城钟楼即景 46 x69cm
Malacca Clock Tower 古城钟楼即景 46 x69cm
古城 35 x 89cm
Malacca - Historical Town 古城 35 x 89cm
天然之美 34 x 137cm
Natural beauty 天然之美 34 x 137cm
青绿山水图 48 x180cm
Mountain Waterfall 青绿山水图 48 x180cm
山水昼(树里人家) 48 x182cm
Human and Nature 山水昼(树里人家) 48 x182cm
峇里岛柏沙村廟 34 x132cm
Balinese temple 峇里岛柏沙村廟 34 x132cm
美女出浴图 43 x71cm
Beauty from bath 美女出浴图 43 x71cm
峇里岛沐浴图 56 x138cm
Bali bath 峇里岛沐浴图 56 x138cm
竹林沐浴图69 x138cm
Bamboo Forest bath竹林沐浴图69 x138cm
Plum blossom with spring 梅花迎春图70x140cm
Plum blossom with bamboo梅花竹子图 68 x137 cm

Foundation In Digital Art

Embark on a captivating journey into the vibrant world of digital art! Our Foundation in Digital Art workshop invites budding creatives aged nine and above to unleash their imagination and hone their artistic skills in a dynamic, supportive environment. From mastering basic digital tools to crafting mesmerizing digital masterpieces, children will explore a spectrum of techniques guided by seasoned mentors. Through hands-on activities and interactive sessions, participants will discover the endless possibilities of digital expression while fostering creativity and critical thinking. Join us for an exhilarating adventure where young artists transform ideas into stunning visual realities, igniting a passion for digital art

Colour & Texture Exploration With Acrylic Painting & Collage

Prepare to unleash your inner artist in a kaleidoscope of color and creativity with ‘Colour Blast: Acrylic Painting & Collage Techniques’! Dive into a whirlwind adventure where vibrant hues and mesmerizing textures collide in a symphony of imagination. From mastering the art of seamless color blending to discovering the magic of mixed media collage, this journey is a playground for your artistic soul. With each brushstroke, explore new techniques that breathe life into your canvas, transforming it into a vibrant tapestry of expression. Join us and let your creativity run wild as you embark on this colorful escapade!”

World of Manga [Foundation & Styling]

A manga art workshop for children and teenagers sounds like a fantastic idea! Here’s how you might structure it:
Introduction to Manga: Begin by introducing what manga is, its history, and its influence on popular culture worldwide. Show examples of different manga styles and genres to give participants an overview.
Basic Drawing Techniques: Start with the fundamentals of drawing, such as line work, shapes, and proportions. Provide step-by-step instructions on how to draw basic manga characters, focusing on simple shapes that can be built upon.
Character Design: Move on to character design concepts, including creating unique characters, designing their personalities, and developing backstories. Encourage participants to get creative and think outside the box.
Expression and Emotion: Teach how to convey emotions and expressions through facial expressions, body language, and positioning of characters. This can be a fun and interactive exercise where participants practice drawing various emotions.
Storytelling and Paneling: Explore the basics of storytelling in manga, including paneling techniques, pacing, and layout. Show examples of different panel structures and discuss how they affect the flow of the story.
Inking and Coloring: Introduce participants to inking techniques using pens or markers. You can also cover digital inking for those interested. Then, demonstrate basic coloring techniques using markers, colored pencils, or digital software.
Feedback and Collaboration: Provide opportunities for participants to share their work and receive feedback from their peers and instructors. Encourage collaboration by having them work together on short manga projects or collaborative drawings.
Final Showcase: End the workshop with a showcase of participants’ work. This could be in the form of an exhibition, digital gallery, or printed booklet. Celebrate everyone’s creativity and progress throughout the workshop.
Remember to create a supportive and encouraging environment where participants feel free to express themselves and explore their creativity. And don’t forget to have fun! Manga is all about imagination and passion, so let that spirit shine through in your workshop.

Academy Drawing Traditions

The academy drawing and sketching tradition, rooted in centuries of artistic practice, emphasizes disciplined study of form, proportion, and technique. Originating from Renaissance workshops and formalized by institutions like the Royal Academy, it prioritizes meticulous observation and mastery of fundamental skills. Students progress from basic exercises to complex compositions, learning to depict still life and common objects with precision and expression. This tradition values both classical principles and innovation, encouraging artists to push boundaries while maintaining a deep respect for tradition. Through rigorous training and critique, artists within this tradition cultivate a strong foundation for creative exploration and artistic excellence.

Chinese Ink Painting and Calligraphy

This course on Chinese ink painting and calligraphy introduces young learners to the rich traditions of Chinese art. Through hands-on activities, students explore the basics of brush techniques, ink control, and the delicate art of Chinese script. They learn to appreciate the cultural significance of calligraphy and painting, developing skills in creating elegant strokes and expressive brushwork. The course fosters creativity, patience, and fine motor skills, while also providing insights into Chinese history and aesthetics. By the end, children gain confidence in their artistic abilities and a deeper understanding of Chinese cultural heritage.

Funk with Graffiti

Funk With Graffiti Workshop for children is an engaging and creative program aimed at introducing young artists to the vibrant world of graffiti and funk-inspired street style art. Participants learn the basics of graffiti history, techniques, and safety. Guided by professional graffiti artists, children explore the art of designing their unique tags, emphasizing creativity, expression, and individuality. The workshop includes hands-on activities, from sketching concepts to creating final designs with spray paint on provided surfaces. By the end of the session, children gain confidence in their artistic abilities and an appreciation for graffiti and funk as legitimate forms of street art. Each child completes two original artworks, which they proudly take home, showcasing their newfound skills and personal style.

Batik Tales

In the Batik Introduction Handkerchief Painting workshop, participants will learn the traditional art of batik, a wax-resist dyeing technique originating from Indonesia. The workshop begins with a brief history and overview of batik, highlighting its cultural significance and various techniques. Participants will then observe a demonstration of applying wax with tjanting tools and dyeing the fabric. Following the demonstration, each participant will design and create their own batik handkerchief, applying wax to create patterns and then dyeing their fabric. The workshop concludes with a group discussion, allowing participants to share their creations and reflect on their learning experience.