Discover  Fun  Lifestyle   ·   04 Dec   ·   06:12 PM   ·   2 minutes Read

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Georgette Chen

Credit: Georgette Chen, Lee Foundation

The National Gallery is running a Georgette Chen exhibition until September of next year, called Georgette Chen: At Home In The World. If you’re wondering who she is, fear not. We have the answer for you in ten, bite-size pieces so you can ponder about the artist, who adopted Singapore as her homeland in the second half of her life.

  • Her mother only allowed her to speak Mandarin at home


  • She graduated from the Académie Colarossi, the same school post-impressionist painter Paul Gauguin attended.

Sonny Liew, of The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye fame, was commissioned by the National Gallery to create a graphic Novel on Georgette Chen, titled Warm Nights Deathless Days: The Life of Georgette Chen.

Credit: Sonny Liew
  • She was also the first woman to teach Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.


  • Despite being under surveillance by the Japanese during World War II, Georgette Chen managed to stage a show at Shanghai’s Metropole Hotel in 1944.


  • At the intersection of Tanglin Road, Orchard Road, and Orange Grove Road sits a rather strange sculpture, titled Mother and Child. The sculpture is the work of Dr. Ng Eng Teng, whose talent for sculpture was spotted by Georgette Chen when she was a lecturer at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.
Credit: Dr. Ng Eng Teng
  • She received the Cultural Medallion of Singapore in 1982.


  • In 1994, a year after her death, her home on Siglap Plain was auctioned for $2.8 million dollars.


  • Before moving to Singapore, Georgette Chen lived in Penang from 1951 to 1953. It was during this time she met the Chen family, depicted here in her painting.
Credit: Georgette Chen, Lee Foundation
  • The Worlds of Georgette Chen, a three-part docudrama series starring Rui En as Georgette Chen, was commissioned by the National Gallery.

Come to the National Gallery to get up close and personal with Georgette Chen’s paintings from now until 26 September 2021. Admission is free for all Singaporeans and PRs but do note that tickets are required! See the National Gallery’s page here for more information.

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