His love for art started when he was in school, although he was always shy to show anyone what he drew. He was however more confident of his calligraphy. In Chung Cheng High he studied under eminent calligrapher Huang Jai Ling. Lim Tze Peng holds the belief that good calligraphy is a sublime expression of a person’s inner essence; and to be a good artist, one has to be a good person first.
Lim Tze Peng started his career painting on location focusing on landscapes, particularly the old Chinatown and Singapore river in the 1970s and 80s. From year 2000, he stopped painting on location and started painting in his home studio. This period saw the beginning of abstract trees and roots from the notes he took on location. At the same time, he started to innovate, resulting in the now famous hutuzi or muddled calligraphy and colour calligraphy. These “innovations” were controversial, but the Chinese were impressed and excited. In 2009, China invited him to exhibit in Beijing and Shanghai. He became the first local artist to exhibit in these cities.
At 100, Lim Tze Peng’s works are bigger, bolder and more colourful. Some believe they are his best works, that he is at his innovative and creative best. They call these works created when he is 100 his “renaissance”. Most of these works can be traced to a calligraphic beginning, where the artist starts with just Chinese characters. Then he paints over them with bright colours until the characters are no longer discernible. The end result is a completely abstract work whose origin and meaning are only known to the artist himself.