Tchang Ju Chi (张汝器; 1904–1942), one of the earliest practising artists in Singapore, was born in Chaoan, Guangdong province in China. After graduating from high school, he studied western painting at the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts. He later attended the Marseille Academy of Fine Arts in France and while on his return journey home to China in 1927, settled in Singapore at the invitation of the locals. Tchang taught art in Tuan Mong School and Yeung Ching School. He was also an editor of the pictorial supplement of the Chinese-language daily newspaper Sin Chew Jit Poh. He set up his private studio named after himself, Ju Chi Studio, in 1929. He was the president of the Society of Chinese Artists. Tchang was taken away by the Japanese military during the Sook Ching massacre in Singapore in 1942.
Selected books on Tchang Ju Chi
柯木林. (主编). [Ke, M. L. (Ed.).] (1995). 新华历史人物列传 [Who’s who in the Chinese community of Singapore]. 新加坡: 教育出版公司, p. 110.
Call no.: RSING Chinese 959.570092 WHO -[HIS].
The book contains the biographies of 1,175 Chinese personalities in Singapore, covering the period from 1819 to 1990. Each biography contains the birth and death dates, dialect group, occupation and affiliated organisations of the Chinese personality. Tchang Ju Chi’s biography is also included.
姚梦桐. [Yao, M. T.] (1992). 新加坡战前华人美术史论集 [Essays on the history of pre-war Chinese painting in Singapore]. 新加坡: 新加坡亚洲研究学会, pp. 186–191.
Call no.: RSING Chinese 701.18 YMT
This book is a collection of essays on the history of pre-war Chinese paintings in Singapore. There is a chapter that introduces the life and works of Tchang, and his contribution to the development of Singapore’s art.
潘国驹. (主编). [Pan, G. J. (Ed.).] (2016). 新加坡潮州文化名人录 [Singapore’s Teochew cultural icons]. 新加坡: 八方文化创作室, pp. 188–189.
Call no.: RSING Chinese 920.05957 XJP
The book contains the biographies of Teochew personalities in Singapore, their cultural achievements and social contributions. Tchang Ju Chi’s biography is also included.
Selected newspaper articles on Tchang Ju Chi
章星虹. [Zhang, X. H.] (2014, January 20). 星洲星光南来画家张汝器与本地漫画起步. 联合早报 [Lianhe Zaobao]. Retrieved from Factiva.
This article discusses Tchang’s involvement in local comics. He was the chief editor of the pictorial supplement 《星光》 of the Chinese-language daily newspaper Sin Chew Jit Poh, which is a platform for local and overseas comic artists and photographers to showcase their works.
章星虹. [Zhang, X. H.] (2014, February 17). 二月的追思——听张识芬忆述父亲张汝器. 联合早报 [Lianhe Zaobao]. Retrieved from Factiva.
February 2014 marks Tchang Ju Chi’s 72nd death anniversary. This article is an interview with Tchang’s daughter, Zhang Shifen, as she recalls memories of her father.
章星虹. [Zhang, X. H.] (2014, June 16). 再说张汝器画在“南洋风”初起时. 联合早报 [Lianhe Zaobao]. Retrieved from Factiva.
This article discusses how Tchang incorporated Nanyang subjects in his artworks seen in his portrait and still life paintings related to Malaya and life of the Bataks (an ethnic group who live in the highlands and plains around Lake Toba) completed during a trip to northern Sumatra.
姚梦桐. [Yao, M. T.] (2016, January 1). 观国家美术馆“南洋遐想”之张汝器故事. 联合早报 [Lianhe Zaobao]. Retrieved from Factiva.
This report talks about Tchang’s contribution of promoting Chinese art, the establishment of the Society of Chinese Artists, and his style of art which incorporated local themes. Tchang’s artworks are displayed in a permanent exhibition Siapa Nama Kamu? (“What is your name?”), under one of the themes named Nanyang Reverie at the National Gallery Singapore.