An evening with Fr Joseph Tham, Legionaries of Christ

Date of Event:   5 Oct 2019 from 6:45pm – 9:45pm

Venue:  Sacred Heart Hall, Canteen, G/F,

Church of St Ignatius,

8 Victoria Park Road,

Singapore 266492

Fr. Joseph Tham is born in Hong Kong.  He started painting in the Chinese watercolor style since the age of 12.  He studied under Prof. Lau Tai Po the techniques of painting bamboos.  At the age of 15, he moved to Canada and studied under Prof. Chung Ping Kwong, in the tradition of the Lin Nan School. He also studied Chinese calligraphy and seal carving while in Canada. His work has been exhibited in Canada, the USA, Mexico, Hong Kong, and Italy. Fr. Joseph later entered the seminary and after ordination is now teaching bioethics in Rome, Italy.  He continues to do calligraphy, Chinese paintings, and seal carving in his free time.

The Asian Patrons in Singapore were treated to a presentation by Fr Joseph Tham, LC.

This presentation looked into the history, techniques and philosophy behind Chinese water color painting (traditionally called 国画) and seal carving (篆刻).  To appreciate these Chinese arts, one must see their relationship with calligraphy and poetry.  Chinese painting has a long history of expressing nature by the literati, more as an expression of the human spirit and less for decorative purposes.  That is why many of them are rolled up in scrolls, not for public display.  How Western impressionist movement derived from this tradition was mentioned.  Seal carving is also an ancient artform originally meant to record and authenticate.  It is closely related to the evolution of the Chinese language and calligraphic fonts and opens up a space to explore the relationship between the Chinese literature, religious sayings and traditional proverbs with Christian spirituality.