Veteran S'porean artist Chng Seok Tin dies at age 73

Instead of being daunted by the loss of eyesight, Chng was propelled to explore other forms of art.

Zhangxin Zheng | September 07, 2019, 01:44 AM

Veteran Singaporean artist Chng Seok Tin has died of cancer at the age of 73.

She passed away on Sept. 6, 2019.

Died of cancer

According to her family, Chng passed away peacefully at Assisi Hospice at 1.30pm.

Chng was diagnosed with Stage Four lung cancer in April 2018.

She felt better in September 2018, but a scan two months later in November showed that her cancer had spread to her liver.

The doctor advised her to go for chemotherapy, but she decided not to go ahead as her quality of life would be affected by the side effects of the treatment.

Chng spent her last few months at Assisi Hospice.

She leaves behind three sisters and two brothers.

Celebrated artist & teacher

Chng has won multiple awards.

These include the 2005 Cultural Medallion, and the 2014 awardee of the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame.

She studied printmaking in the United Kingdom and has two Master's degrees in arts attained in the United States.

She was also a prolific Chinese literature writer who held residencies in the U.S. and China.

Chng also taught at Lasalle until an accident during a school trip in London led to her losing 90 percent of her eyesight eventually in 1988.

However, visual impairment did not stop her from creating art.

As a result, Chng had to change her creative style as she began to focus more on sculptures and multimedia art.

A message for younger artists

Chng held an exhibition, “My Journey”, in January 2019 during the Singapore Art Week, where she showcased her “Celebration” series.

Two out of three paintings were inspired from her battle with cancer.

When asked what was one message that she wanted younger artists to take to heart, Chng said:

"To be an artist or to make art is not that important. You should know how to be a real human being. Your morality, your integrity, whether you are trustworthy. (Whether) you are a benefit to your community or a benefit to the country. I think that’s more important, (rather than) every day so self-centred and (struggle) for their own benefit."

Wake details

Chng's wake will be held at Block 8 Haig Road until Tuesday, Sept. 10.

The cortege will depart at 10.25am for Mandai Crematorium Hall 4 for cremation at 11.25am on Sept. 10.

Chng requested no flowers, as well as no mourning coloured attire "in celebration of her life", the family told The Straits Times.

Here's the full interview with Chng at her exhibition earlier this year:

Top photo by Rachel Ng