Bamboo & Orchids

1983
Chinese ink on paper
138 x 68 cm

竹石 (大中堂)
Large Bamboo and Rock

Inscription by artist:
目足盡微萬象涵
千竿獨攬夜心耽
思惟真事分明配
有力開誠警戒貪

Study the micro to see what the macro holds,
Among a thousand stems I pick one as night unfolds.
Pondering how to separate the grain from the chaff indeed,
And boldly choosing honesty while discarding every greed.


1979
Chinese ink on paper
139 x 70 cm

篠耐霜寒
The Resilient Bamboo

Inscription by artist:
天寵墨池ㄖ未乾
闲怡小篠耐霜寒
可憐畢竟阿谁識
遑論任言屬简單

Grateful that my ink pot was never dry a day,
Cold bearing bamboo depicted in happy way.
Many are unaware of what bamboo represents,
It’s significance not as simple as one comprehends


1978
Chinese ink on paper
140 x 35cm

梅石蘭
The Trio of Plums, Orchid and Rock

Inscription by artist:
習多梅石不成規
此日蘭香開未遲
且親忙生無所好
秃毫奪髮白何時

Many times rock and plums in different ways painted,
Today not too late to have the orchid added.
Nother wish but to paint, my busy life settles,
Paint brush thinning, hair turning white on my temples.

Collection of National Art Museum of China


1981
Chinese ink on paper
141 x 35.5cm

蘭竹石友伴
Friendship

Inscription by artist:
天生獨鍥篁蘭枝
特性相同伴最宜
若與時情存色賽
丹青足道耑名為

The birth of bamboo and orchids, an endowment from nature
Having the same evergreen and cold resisting feature
Some people might think they were competing with each other
But jointly painted each repute and friendship strong as ever

1977
Chinese ink on paper
152 x 40cm

墨竹石伴
Bamboo and Rock

Inscription by artist:
繁枝交错乱糟糟
一例無分入紫毫
祇累許多良楮墨
誰憐何合今時髦
丁巳歲 冬至小雪節後於素蘭室 畫
并俚句 范昌乾〈園丁〉及〈昌乾〉 两印章

Bamboo criss-cross in a tangled crush,
But no stem escapes from my discerning brush.
Though the ink stays strong on finest paper,
In modern times, will any one give them favour?

1964
Chinese ink on paper
138 x 35cm

翠竹幽蘭
Green Bamboo and Gentle Orchids

Inscription by artist:
昔年尋勝到遥山
翠竹幽蘭具熟諳
正許今朝誰所譜
功修入妙更涂参
甲辰歲 冬十一月客星洲時畫
并录俚句補白 范昌乾 范氏 昌乾 两印章

Searched for scenic sites in distant lands years ago,
Familiar with where the bamboo and orchids grow.
Who knows when and how they were then planted.
Today reaching new heights their beauty depicted.

1981
Chinese ink on paper
137 x 68cm

老松三石
Rocks and Old Pine Tree

Inscription by artist:
石徑老松碧相映
撓霄深壤作梁堅
無難宮閣非將柱
居稼披茅蔽雨煙
辛酉歲春三月於茅齋窗下并綴以 俚句補白 范昌亁
園翁 昌乾 兩印章

From the stone path see through the pine
leaves blue sky beaming,
Such sturdy old pine tree is suitable for building .
With right material, building pavilion easier matter,
Though from rain or storm a thatch hut is enough for shelter.

1971
Chinese ink on paper
139 x 35cm

千年墨暈
Tradition of Bamboo and Orchids

Inscription by artist:
漫將舊樣新青竿
兩三幽蘭証雅看
不绝人言形得失
千年墨暈孰知難
鍾居醫師雅正
辛亥歲 春月于星洲畫
范昌乾 印章

Following past examples green bamboo painted,
Ideal beauty to have a few orchids included.
Not affected by any criticism or rejection,
Just to uphold years of tradition to perfection.

1985
Chinese ink on paper
138 x 34cm

木蘭 芝蘭 石
Magnolia and Orchids

Inscription by artist:
白玉花顏機裏真
友蘭值季一時新
有情莫嘆繁華侶
過眼幾多彼此親
乙丑 范昌亁 印章
右下角有〈 怕俗看〉印

Pretty white jade magnolia a real beauty,
Seasonal blooming of the orchids just timely.
With deep affection to provide good company,
Apparent from a glance their close affinit.

1986
Chinese ink on paper
105 x 35cm

竹聲
Rustling Sound of Bamboo

Inscription by artist:
百千成畝枝枝青
風過凄凄聲有形
觸目何妨存得失
拂霄節勁奮心靈
丙寅夏月畫於星洲
范昌乾 印章

In the vast acres of bamboo, every stem green,
The rustling sound brought along images gleam.
All gain and loss before the eyes confronted,
Soaring into the clouds, mind and spirit lifted

Birds & Flower

1981
Chinese ink and colour on paper
95.5 x 44 cm

紫藤雞雛
Seven Chicks and Wisterias

Inscription by artist:
终日遊園知母護
紫花時愛步未遲

范昌乾

All day long roaming the garden knowing of their mother’s protection.
Timely still to give the purple flowers due adoration.

Express Interest >

1981
Chinese ink and colour on paper
97 x 45 cm

荻花五鸭
Five Ducks

Inscription by artist:
大地小塘荻聚丛
凫游无越荜门东
午潮涨退常中有
闹得呀声夕後终

范昌乾

In a small pond, clumps of reeds found,
Ducks float leisurely within bounds.
The ebbs and flows of tide is daily routine,
At eventide will the ducks stop quacking.

Express Interest >

1965
Chinese ink and colour on paper
140 x 35 cm

棕榈叶下
Under a Palm Leaf

Inscription by artist:
清风玉立初晴天
十丈摇空不斗妍
时有幽禽翩欲舞
尽情无阻纵横穿

乙巳夏四月于星洲并题 范昌乾

1980
Chinese ink and colour on paper
140 x 34.5 cm

雁南迁
Geese Migrating Southwards

Inscription by artist:
南坰显迹带霜翎
日艳风吹冷荻汀
心事不宣声意秀
谁知客久益难听

庚申岁春月画并题句 范昌乾

1984
Chinese ink and colour on paper
103 x 35 cm

失群之鸭
The Lone Duck

Inscription by artist:
东西相映玉丛开
天外禽声急降来
噫噫自然心事在
休听人有作胡猜

丁未年春三月于
星洲听风楼下西窗隅 范昌乾

That duck is feeling sad, no partner and all alone,
Under the sparsely growing bamboo, quiet and forlorn.
A ray of hope from the enveloping twilight,
Looking for warmth from the pending fine night.

1964
Chinese ink and colour on paper
140 x 35cm

群鳧
Untitled (Ducks)

Inscription by artist:
獵獵風吹蒲荻叢
呀呀相望切情中
蔽毛不見炎凉態
愉快歸時夕影紅

甲辰冬月客星洲,范昌乾。

翻譯:風將蒲荻叢吹得獵獵作響,彼此相望呀呀的叫著,真誠的情愫深藏其中。遮蔽的羽毛不覺得氣候的冷和熱,愉快歸來的時刻,正是夕陽西下晚霞滿天
公元1964季農曆的冬月,在新加坡做客,范昌乾。

The wind rustles among cattail and weeds.
They exchange calls of honest concern and true love.
Their feathers shield them from the cold and heat*.
They are happy to revel in the sunset on homecoming.

* The sentence could also be interpreted as ‘Though lowly creatures they do not fawn or disdain’.

Painted by Fan Chang Tien in Singapore, in the winter month of the lunar calendar, 1964.

Collection of National Gallery of Singapore

1965
Chinese ink and colour on paper
136 x 35cm

山茶八哥
Twin Birds and Camellia

Inscription by artist:
十丈红露耀碧空
佳禽何事噫融融
潛心稿莫同時樣
不免貽人不務工
乙巳年秋七月中元節後五日
画于星洲并以俚句補空白
范昌乾 印章

Hundred feet of red radiating against the blue sky,
Henceforth the birds’ feelings are going on high.
Not to follow the trendy fashion or new modern,
No doubt people may think my work had slacken.

1983
Chinese ink and colour on paper
138 x 67cm

松鶴
Pine Tree with Twin Cranes

Inscription by artist:
迭聞聯日松間鳴
沁入詩心滌俗情
薄見雲煙高下速
論齡歷世滿多庚

For days heard cranes’ frequent calling,
Mundane thoughts of the world erasing.
Soaring and swooping up down the sky,
In terms of age, they live a very long life.

1965
Chinese ink on paper
140 x 35cm

新加坡胡姬兰
Singapore’s Ochid

Inscription by artist:
藉雨中催花早开
画材满是猎徘徊
高风原不求皮相
时习怕多历乱猜

With showers of rain, flwers bloom early,
Good to paint such wonderful scenery.
Upright with no pretentious culture,
Its image not for your conjecture.

1981
Chinese ink and colour on paper
119 x 33cm

紫藤 两八哥
Wisterias and Two Mynahs

Inscription by artist:
紫花得令未遲開
更益趣生拾級來
莫道地偏無鼓吹
禽聲悅耳獨裴囬

Wisterias are never late in flowering,
Interest and excitement gradually increasing.
Surroundings are without fanfare to present,
Is enough to hear sweet singings the birds sent.

1983
Chinese ink on paper
103 x 34cm

青篁八哥淡紅石
Two Mynahs with Soaring Bamboos

Inscription by artist:
壁挂青篁弄碧霄
补天石畔鸟逍遥
怕多时日空劳梦
抱恨烦襟未及饶

Green bamboos toward the blue sky soaring,
Birds by the ‘Legendary Rock’ frolicking.
When dreams for ideals are not met,
How to meet my Maker without regret?

Landscape

1986
Chinese ink on paper
143.5 x 68 cm

高山流水古意濃
Landscape 1986

Inscription by artist:
高山低壑不相同
 山.径叢林拂拂風
 流水孱孱何限意
 晴空叠嶂眼無窮
丙寅歲 秋月 才於星洲素蘭室
并以俚句補空白 范昌乾 蓋两名章

High peaks and low valleys not the same terrain,
Meandering tracks, lush forest, cool breeze and rain,
Running water, rippling brooks with unknown plight,
Clear sky, vast mountain chain without end to sight

1978
Chinese ink on paper
138 x 69cm

山水
Scenic Mountain Forest and Waterfalls

Inscription by artist:
煙境朝朝幻有无
潺湲陆续涨平湖
尽多聽鸟何知状
年年全林未见枯
(此画曾刊於范昌乾遗作暨范門桃李选集,
潘受题封面)

Every day the scenic view changes frequently,
The thunderous waterfalls fill the lakes rapidly.
Where from the loud noise of birds’ chorus coming?
Every year the lush forests forever remaining.

1978
Chinese ink on paper
138 x 69cm

桐陰詩思
The Poet Under The Parasol Tree (private collection)

Inscription by artist:
范昌乾先生於槟城作是圖
清雅超逸為不可多得之佳製
癸已年春月鄞人永良於星洲旅次
吳 及 永良 两印章

Inscription by Wu Yong Liang
Professor at the China Academy of Art at Hangzhou as follows:-
“A scholar under the Parasol tree composing poetry”
painted by Fan in Penang in the early fifties

著色山水
Colourful Landscape – Spring

設色山水
Landscape in Colour – Autumn

1956
Chinese ink and colour on paper
143 x 69cm

观瀑圖
Watching the Waterfall

Inscription by artist:
山林怒瀑不分時
難禁騷人起慕思
為恐囂塵名與利
古今無數發高詞

All seasons waterfalls roaring, unconstrained,
Poets and scholars admiring, unrestrained.
Away from the hurly-burly of worldly gains,
Inspiration for verses of poetry reigns.

1980
Chinese ink and colour on paper
138 x 34cm

林意泉韵
The Mountain Melody

Inscription by artist:
生樂山林意底長
時得涉踩好風光
流泉過耳存餘韻
省識茅堂兼梵場

Life is happy living in the mountain forest there,
Enjoying often the scenic walks with fresh air.
The melodious and soothing sound of spring water,
The thatched hut a refuge and a retreat centre.

1984
Chinese ink and colour on paper
121 x 43cm

泛棹山湖
A Mountain Cruise

Inscription by artist:
季轉山容莫強求
淙聲時到耳中優
四時風色潛能在
泛棹兩兼水陸收

During four seasons colours and scenes change,
Periodic roar of waterfall heard within range.
Beautiful varying scenes of different seasons,
Cruising to embrace the scenery with good reasons.

Aquatics

1977
Chinese ink on paper
78 x 36cm

五蝦圖
Five Prawns

Inscription by artist:

棹泛綠陰水一隅
風吹輙動岸边蒲
不同人世唯貪腹
攫此閒身湖裹纡

丁巳歲 秋八月画并題句補白
范昌乾 印章
右下角有紅文〈詩画〉章

Along the small green shaded pond-side cruising,
By a gentle breeze seaweeds gracefully swaying.
Not aware of people’s greed for a meal,
Happily wriggling in the waters with zeal.

1971
Chinese ink on paper
138 x 34cm

五螃蟹
Five Crabs

Inscription by artist:
辛亥歲 立秋於素蘭室 范昌乾 印章

Painted in early seventies, signed and sealed by Fan.

1984
Chinese ink and colour on paper
176 x 47cm

木槿群魚
Fishes and Cottonrose Hibiscus

1984
Chinese ink and colour on paper
135 x 67cm

青蘆魚圖
Reeds and Eight Fishes

Inscription by artist:
水映青蘆拂影明
多朝艇過小潮平
好將魚隊留今稿
剪取恐無視世情

Reflection of the green reeds in water swaying,
Ripples from wake of passing boats disappearing.
Into my painting a school of fishes capture,
Away from the reality of worldly censure.

Figure

1964
Chinese ink and colour on paper
140 x 34.5 cm

游僧
The Travelling Monk

Inscription by artist:
遊僧葫蘆頭額弄虛玄
步至人皆以白頭
四海行完何駐足
僧顏相若是閱仙

The shape of his head is not common,
But it hides plenty of uncanny wisdom.
Different from others with heads of white hair,
He travels carefree leisurely everywhere.

1950s
Chinese ink and colour on paper
139 x 35 cm

青年頭陀 :带髮修行者
The Apprentice Monk

1954
Chinese ink and colour on paper
140 x 32cm

松下高士
Scholar under Pine Tree

Inscription by artist:
不惯折腰畊亦宜
身心自在有誰知
餘生難得干戈後
放眼形骸任騁馳

Unwilling to be obsequious, rather a farmer be,
Not a conformist, free and unrestrained, none to see.
From the turbulent warring years, remaining life flee,
Let go, nothing matters, let the spirit gallop free.

1956
Chinese ink and colour on paper
94 x 41cm

和服日本仕女
A Japanese Lady