Ahuja Museum for Arts
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Malaysian artist Michael Tan is truly the quintessential self-taught artist. Without the opportunity to go to art school, Michael experimented extensively in his art and makes it on sheer grit and talent. He has taken part in exhibitions such as the Fourteen-Eighteen Group Show in 1991 and the National Gallery Annual Exhibition in 1991 & 1992.

He has worked to mature his style into his signature today. In trying to communicate the warmth of Malaysia, he combines the jewel-like colours with a simplicity of form. Style and concept blend, but the simplicity of the finished forms and composition belie a painstaking technique and a relentless preoccupation with detail.

Michael's paintings, in a primitive style, are of the simple, traditional life of the Malay kampong where the people go about their daily activities, secure in their roles. These paintings speak to us of warmth and colour, harmony and contentment, tradition and family- the message conveyed with wit and affection.

Cats, a distinct subject that gives a unique signage to Michael's works, are predominantly found in almost every of his works. They are drawn with a certain spontaneity that parallels the happy cheer of the kampong folks leading the rural life. At the same time, they also create the natural space for harmony and family-bonding. Like the cats, Michael's outlook in life is one that is carefree yet adamant. The richness of the colours used in his works also reflect much of Michael's colourful experiences in his life.

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