National Gallery Singapore is proud to announce two special exhibitions alongside its Opening Celebrations, featuring the works of Singaporean artist Chua Ek Kay and Chinese artist Wu Guanzhong. The exhibitions will showcase the important contributions of both artists – in integrating Chinese and Western art traditions through their innovative practice.
‘After the Rain’: A reflection of Chua Ek Kay’s artistic journey
‘After the Rain’ presents the achievements of Chua Ek Kay and commemorates the significant donation made by his family to the National Collection. It examines his artistic development through his interests in calligraphy and poetry, the Shanghai School of ink painting, and Western art. The exhibition will examine the important themes that Chua continuously revisited throughout his career.
The Gallery’s presentation will be the first historical survey of the artist’s career by a national museum, covering his most important works and artistic interests, including the Singapore cityscape and reflections on nature.
Some of Chua’s works that visitors can look forward to when the exhibition opens on 26 November include ‘After the Rain (2004)’, ‘Midnight Lotus (2002)’, ‘Dream of Borobudur (1996)’, ‘My Haunt (1991)’, ‘An Intimate Space of Stillness (1995)’ and ‘Song of Cicada (1995)’, just to name a few.
Chua Ek Kay. After the Rain 雨后. 2004. Ink and colour on paper, 244 x 120cm. Collection of Singapore Art Museum
‘Beauty Beyond Form’: Comprehensive insight into Wu’s prolific career
Ink painting has been an important part of Singapore’s art history. Through his paintings and writings, Wu Guanzhong has been a major advocate and forerunner of synthesising Chinese art and Western modernism.
‘Wu Guanzhong: Beauty Beyond Form’ celebrates the opening of the Wu Guanzhong Gallery at the National Gallery Singapore. The exhibition will showcase works donated by the artist and his family to the National Collection. Of the more than 80 artworks on display, 22 are works on loan from key arts institutions in China and Hong Kong – National Art Museum of China, China Art Museum, Shanghai, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Zhejiang Art Museum and Nanjing Museum. The exhibition – one of the most comprehensive in recent times – will feature both oil and ink paintings, many of which would be on display for the first time in Singapore.
Among Wu’s renowned works on display come 26 November include ‘Hometown Morning (1960)’, ‘A Mountain Village of Guilin (1973)’, The Hometown of Luxun (1976)’, ‘Mulberry Grove (1981)’, ‘Two Swallows (1981)’ and ‘Delicate Reflection (2009)’ among many others.
Wu Guanzhong. Hometown Morning故乡之晨. 1960. Oil on board, 61.4 x 45.9 cm. Gift of the artist. Collection of National Gallery Singapore
"It is an honour to present special exhibitions dedicated to Chua Ek Kay and Wu Guanzhong. They are, without a doubt, amongst the most innovative artists of their time. Through their individual practice, they have integrated both Chinese and Western art traditions in distinctive ways. We hope that these exhibitions will further enhance public interest and appreciation of modern ink painting.” said Mr Low Sze Wee, Director of Curatorial and Collections, National Gallery Singapore.
National Gallery Singapore is dedicated to strengthening and expanding cultural exchange through its programming and partnerships. Through collaboration with international institutions, the Gallery provides opportunities for visitors to better explore the art, heritage, and history of Southeast Asia. To date, the Gallery has entered into a number of important Memorandum of Understanding partnerships with leading international museums like the Tropenmuseum (Netherlands), Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Japan), National Art Museum of China and the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum. These have led to fruitful long-term collaborations in the areas of artwork loans and research.
All visitors will enjoy complimentary entry to the special exhibitions, during the National Gallery Singapore’s opening celebrations from 24 November to 6 December 2015.