Mooncakes and Pomelos - the incandescent artwork of Georgette Chen

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Women artists, especially before the mid-twentieth century, were in world terms, a rare breed. This is because art materials were expensive and so was training as an artist. The leisure to make art simply was not available to most women who had to content themselves with channeling their artistic talents into home crafts - knitting, sewing, food preparation, etc. Consequently, women who were able to develop and hone their art skills and style were few and far between.

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One of these was Frida Kahlo. At the opposite end of the world was Singaporean Georgette Chen, (born Chang Li Ying (Chinese张荔英pinyinZhāng LìYīngin China in 1906. The fourth of ten children, her father Chang Sen Chek was an antique dealer with businesses in Paris, London and New York.  Though Georgette attended High School in the US, the family made regular trips to China, to ensure that the children were appreciative of their cultural heritage. Chen preferred Parisian culture and so was sent to France to study. There she met her husband Eugene Chen and the pair married in 1930, which was a pivotal year for her as her work was accepted by the Salon d'Atomne exhibition in Paris that year too. The story of her life is immortalized in the three-part docu-drama, The Worlds of Georgette Chen which can be viewed on the website of the National Gallery of Singapore. Chen died in 1992.
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For Mooncakes with Green Pomelos see


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