Xiamen, China | 1912 – 1979

Singapore’s first generation watercolor artist Lim Cheng Hoe is indisputably one of the most respected artists of his time. He is most remembered for his hearty laughter and good nature. He always gave tactful advice and encouragement to young artist. He was always humble and modest.

He was a founding member of the Singapore Watercolor Society in 1969. His techniques and style had a great influence on the development of many young artists.

Lim Cheng Hoe came to Singapore with his parents when he was seven. He was essentially a self-taught artist, with little formal art instructions (acquired in 1930 – 1932 during his final years at Raffles Institution under the tutorship of Richard Walker, the first Art Inspector in Singapore). He was a founding member of the Singapore Watercolor Society and an art educator who counted Ong Kim Seng, Leng Joo Wong and many other prominent local watercolorists as his students.

In 1980 and in 1966, the Singapore Watercolor Society and the Ministry of Culture respectively held one-man exhibitions of Lim Cheng Hoe’s works in posthumous tribute to the artist.

He figures significantly in the development of watercolor in Singapore art and for his treatment of our local landscape in the medium. He is best known for his depiction of the Singapore River, Kampong scenes and still life.


1927    Won the Lim Boon Keng Gold Medal for Art

1932    Graduated from Raffles Institution

1947    Won Highly Commended Award for the Watercolour Section in the Annual Inter-school Art Exhibition

1968    Awarded National Day Long Service Medal

            Singapore Festival 68 Certificate

1969    Founding Member of the Singapore Watercolour Society

1980    One-man exhibition at the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, sponsored by the Singapore Watercolour Society


Selected Exhibitions

2002    Installing Memory, of the Jendela Gallery, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

2000    The Landscape in Southeast Asian Art: Exploring the Themes of Landscapes in Paintings, Sculpture and                       Installations, Singapore Art Museum

1994    Window on Singapore, a touring exhibition organised by the National Arts Council, China & Hong Kong

1986    The Lim Cheng Hoe Retrospective, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore

Close Menu