Walker’s (1896 – 1989) painting depicts the Nativity of Jesus. Here, the Virgin Mary and other biblical figures are portrayed as Asians, and one of the Magi is dressed in Chinese garb. The painting was created when Walker was interned at Changi prisoner-of-war camp during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore in World War II.
Before arriving in Singapore, Walker specialised in mural decoration at the Royal College of Art in London. The painting was likely intended to be placed behind the altar of Holy Communion at Singapore Changi Prison’s chapel. After the war, it was given to the Anglican Diocese of Singapore, which later donated it to the Singapore Art Museum.