Born in 1954 in Johor Bahru, Malaysian artist Tang Juey Lee left his hometown in 1974 to pursue his education at the prestigious Nanyang Academy of Fine Art (NAFA)
in Singapore for three years. Under the esteemed tutelage of pioneer artist Mr. See Hiang To, Tang learnt about Western as well as Eastern art. With Mr See as his mentor,
Tang studied a component of Chinese painting during his diploma course, which included traditional brush painting and calligraphy. This technique of fine brushwork has
carried over into Tang's artistic oeuvre and is visible when appreciating the delicate nature of his watercolour paintings. Six months after graduation Tang participated
in his first exhibitionan. He is a highly prolific painter, regularly exhibiting in solo and group shows all over the world. Tang returned to Johor Bahru in 1991 when he
founded and became Principal of Raphael Academy of Art, Malaysia and where he taught painting until 1998. The special painting
entitled "Friendship" was specially commissioned for this occasion and has
significance for the artist.
The painting bears both countries' national flowers: hibiscus, or "Bunga Raya", is Malaysia's national flower and Vanda "Miss Joaquim" is the
The two species of intertwined flowers coupled with a row of perched budgerigars compliments the scene and adds liveliness to the harmony of the composition.
For the artist, the painting symbolizes the long-term cordiality and prosperity of an enduring friendship between two countries where Tang spent many of his formative years.
Until Tang's return to the public eye with Jada Art in 2013, the artist hadn't exhibited since 2001 when he held a retrospective in Malaysia.
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