CHUA MIA TEE ROAD CONSTRUCTION WORKER POSTCARD
Road Construction Worker
Oil on canvas
Collection of National Gallery Singapore 2006-01220
This work has been adopted by Seah and Siak
Road Construction Worker is an unflinching portrayal of the toll of manual labour. The
worker’s physique is wiry. Varicose veins protrude from his arms and hands, and a
bead of sweat trickles down his neck. He sits with slumped shoulders, his gaze meeting the viewer’s directly as he stares ahead.
The background is sparse, save for a suffusion of yellow that creates a glow around
the worker, as if illuminating him as a hero. Chua often returned to the theme of labour in his works from the 1950s to the 1970s. Singapore was developing rapidly during this
period, and the constant expansion of its infrastructure was only possible through the industry and arduous labour of the construction workers.
Dimension: 148 x 105 mm