It Changed My Life: Henri Chen wants to build a community of artists who pay it forward

Founder of non-profit charity Temenggong Artists-in-Residence has personally funded the studies of more than 20 promising artists

Chen's 1986 solo exhibition in Paris was inaugurated by the late David Marshall, Singapore's then ambassador to France. Artist Henri Chen KeZhan, 61, with his dog Anton, an adopted great dane. Chen's parents initially objected to his pursuing art, bu
Artist Henri Chen KeZhan, 61, with his dog Anton, an adopted great dane. Chen's parents initially objected to his pursuing art, but he overcame their objections and is now a noted artist whose abstract ink and wash paintings have been exhibited around the world. Chen believes art is more than just painting and creating - it tells us a lot about history, culture, heritage, and life. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID
Chen's 1986 solo exhibition in Paris was inaugurated by the late David Marshall, Singapore's then ambassador to France. Artist Henri Chen KeZhan, 61, with his dog Anton, an adopted great dane. Chen's parents initially objected to his pursuing art, bu
Chen's 1986 solo exhibition in Paris was inaugurated by the late David Marshall, Singapore's then ambassador to France. PHOTO: COURTESY OF HENRI CHEN
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Just before he entered the army more than four decades ago, Henri Chen KeZhan expressed his wish to become an artist.

It did not go down too well with his folks, especially his father who was a wealthy rice merchant.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 05, 2020, with the headline It Changed My Life: Henri Chen wants to build a community of artists who pay it forward. Subscribe