Returning from the Sea

Returning from the Sea by Chen Chong Swee.  Year: 1972.  Medium: Oil on canvas.  Size: 74 x 59 cm.

Returning From the Sea was completed by Chen in 1972. The painting depicts fishermen returning to shore, busily winding up the day's activities, pushed along by a storm brewing in the distance. The turbulent sea is in shades of green, blue and gray with a tinge of white to suggest the rising as waves strike the shore. The use of flat-distance composition helps to give the painting an expansive view of the seascape and a sense of immediacy to the activity. A light, atmospheric quality is achieved via an effortless blend of colour tones and slight touch of brush -- a technique not unlike Chinese Ink painting of which Chen was a master.

-- Channels & Confluences: A History of Singapore Art, chapter 12.


Kwok Kian Chow. Channels & Confluences: A History of Singapore Art. Singapore: National Heritage Board/Singapore Art Museum, 1996. Plate 30.

This document is part of a joint project of the Singapore Art Museum and the Honours Core Curriculum, National University of Singapore. This image and accompanying text appears here with the kind permission of the Singapore Art Museum.

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Last updated: April 2000