Chen Wen Hsi 陈文希 (b. 1906 - 1991) was a Chinese-born Singaporean painter known for his use of representational imagery as a catalyst for creating abstract shapes and colors. Influenced by traditional Chinese paintings, the early Cubist works. Chen created his own vocabulary of forms and colors based in the observation of nature, animals, and man-made structures. Born on September 9, 1906 in Guangdong, China, he studied at the Xinhua Academy of Fine Arts in Shanghai before moving to Singapore in 1948 during the Chinese Civil War. The artist died on December 17, 1991 in Singapore. Today, his works are in the collection of the Singapore Art Museum

Major Exhibitions and Collections


1949 Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Singapore
1951 Joint exhibition with Chen Chong Swee, Liu Kang and Cheong Soo Pieng
1953 Joint exhibition with Chen Chong Swee, Liu Kang and Cheong Soo Pieng
1958 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1960 Victorian Artists’ Society, Melbourne, Australia
1962 Commonwealth Arts Today exhibition, London, England
1964 Victoria Memorial Hall, Singapore. 1965: Malaysia Art Exhibition, Commonwealth Festival of Arts, United Kingdom
1965 Cologne and Duisburg, West Germany
1966 Artists’ Own Gallery, London, England
1968 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Oxford, England
1972 Adelaide Cultural Festival, Australia
1974 Melbourne, Australia
1977 Auckland, New Zealand
1980 National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan
1982 Chen Wen Hsi Retrospective, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore
1987 Chen Wen Hsi Retrospective, National Art Museum of China, Beijing
1990 Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan


1964 Public Service Star, Republic of Singapore.2
1975 Honorary degree of Doctor of Letters, University of Singapore.3
1980 Gold medal, National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan.4
1987 ASEAN Cultural and Communication Award.5
1992 Meritorious Service Medal (Posthumous), Republic of Singapore.6