Born in 1941 in Malaysia, Tay Chee Toh studied at Singapore’s Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and has a postgraduate degree (Oil Painting) from China. He is the recipient of numerous painting and sculpture awards, and in 1985 Tay was conferred the Government of Singapore’s Cultural Medallion Award.Dating from between 1988 and 1990, the Singapore Art Museum has several of Tay’s watercolour paintings of still lives and flowers. Created during a period of great artistic output and experimentation by the artist, it is almost curious to see Tay returning to realism with these delicate studies on paper. Like many artists of his generation who passed through the Academy, Tay’s observational and drawing skills are finely honed. These formal academic watercolours appear to present themselves as testimonials, as if the artist has temporarily removed himself from the frenzy of abstract activity to re-focus on the coordination of hand and eye.