chi pin lay 紀濱麗 educator and social artist.

I accidentally discovered I can paint when I joined a Chinese ink class at Confucius Institute in 2007.

I am thankful to have inherited the artistic genes from my maternal grandfather, Mr Gan Tiong Huat. I feel connected to my grandfather even though I have never met him as he passed away at age 39 during the Japanese occupation. In a way, I am repaying the kindness of Mr Gan Eng Seng, a pioneer and philanthropist, who adopted my grandfather.

My art and volunteer work with World Vision have been featured in Singapore’s Chinese Daily Zaobao, Channel 8MediaCorp 前线追综, Radio 93.8, Next Magazine and i360.

For portfolio for art please go to

I am a social artist and I do art for a cause.

I am grateful to all the pioneers who have made Singapore what it is today. I am grateful to be a Singaporean.

I am thankful to God and everyone who has taught and supported my Journey in Ink 知己。墨。若悟 since 2007. My motivation is from my faith. “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” John 10:10.

I have 6 sponsored children from Cambodia, China, Myanmar, South Hebron and Zambia. My wish is for each of them to live the abundant life.

Gratitude 恩

Chinese ink on Rice Paper

87cm x 56cm

Gratitude is my attempt to show my gratitude 感恩 and also appreciation towards the pioneers that pave the way for Singapore’s success.

The rickshaw driver is pushing his rickshaw forward and in haste, representing a determined and positive attitude towards bringing back the bacon to his family. The yellow stroke, represents the “Good Morning Towel” or equivalent which is used to wipe away his sweat during the course of the day. It is also a tribute to all the pioneers who are able to eat “bitterness” 吃苦。A common saying amongst the overseas Chinese is “To succeed in life, learn to eat bitterness”. This fortitude helped them to bear hardship and loneliness on foreign shores.*

恩 slightly leaning and smaller, signifies that I am in awe of these pioneers who have helped built Singapore to where it is today.

Small, random strokes with the words SG50 again depict the celebratory nature of the painting.

福 Blessing

Chinese ink on 200gm Art paper

81.5cm x 64cm

By playing on the word 福 as a construction piece, I wanted to give credit to the builders of our society, the stoic Samsui women who came to Singapore in the early 1900s to work as labourers and earth carriers. The Samsui woman depicted in the painting has a purposeful stride.

The many small dots and quick strokes are representative of the vibrancy of Singapore as a city state. The celebrations that go with SG50 is a significant milestone for our tiny red dot. It also serves to show the pebbles and sand have gone a long way to become our impressive skyline in Singapore. The top stroke is representative of the roof of Marina Bay Sands, an iconic landmark of Singapore. The left side of 福 represents the celebratory banners hanging down from the buildings. My wish for Singapore’s 50th birthday is that all Singaporeans will aspire to be a blessing to the many foreign sojourners who are helping to build our country as well as to be a blessing to the world.

家 Home

Chinese ink on 200 gm Art paper

81.5cm x 64cm

The home 家 is the building block of any society, a place of refuge and strength. This painting is to honour the work of amahs and ma chehs,阿嬷 与妈姐, the domestic helpers in Singapore in the early 20th century.  They took a vow of celibacy, did all the household chores as well as looked after children and cooked for the family.

In this painting, the 2 amahs were on the way to the market and having a casual chat. The mood is collegial and warm. The lively strokes depict the celebratory nature of SG50, a significant milestone in Singapore as the home is where the heart is.

The yellow strokes depict the sunny island of Singapore as well as represent how these amahs live their lives…..脚踏实地, a grounded and service-oriented approach to living a productive, independent and purposeful life.  

© all rights reserved

光耀一生 is a tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

25x25cm on Art Paper (Not for sale)