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Fortune Teller
S1999-0021-001-0
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Lim Mu Hue’s Fortune Teller brings to life a Chinese fortune teller surrounded by the accouterments of his trade. There is a casual air about him with half his pajamas bottom rolled up and a foot propped on a stool as he passes an idle moment smoking a pipe of opium and reading a book. Lim Mu Hue’s attention to details accords the print narrative richness and realism. His interest is to portray a real character, down to the tattoos on the old man’s forearm. Fortune Teller exemplifies his approach of personalised tableaux where the anecdotes he portrays are arrived at by close observation and personal encounters.

History of the Object
An edition printed in 1998 from the 1966 woodcut. An old bespectacled fortune-teller is seated on a box beside his elaborately set-up stall. He is smoking a long pipe held in his right hand and reading an almanac clutched in his left. His right leg is crossed over his left which is fully stretched to rest on a small stool. His richly decorated table is chock-a-block with the paraphernalia of his trade. An empty stool awaits his customer. In the background are strung up pennants with Chinese calligraphy and diagrams illustrating physiognomy and palmistry.

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Type
Print 
Materials
Woodblock print on paper 
Measurements
Width 27 cm Length 35 cm  
Creator name
Lim Mu Hue 
Creator date
1938 
Where it was made
Singapore 
Geography
Singapore 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th Century; 1966 
Function
An artwork 
Acquisition
Unknown 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
NUS Museum, NUS Centre For the Arts 
Museum
NUS Museum, NUS Centre For the Arts 
Credit line
 

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