National Gallery Singapore is proud to announce a new project as part of its international programming. The Gallery will be presenting Koh Nguang How’s ‘Singapore Art Archive Project’ at the Asia Culture Center’s (ACC) Library Park in Gwangju from 4 September, 2015 to February 2016.
The ACC is a major development in Gwangju that first began in 2008 and the ACC Library Park has invited National Gallery Singapore to present a project in the special exhibition space for its opening in September 2015. The exhibition will be part of a new framework for the awareness of Asian culture, placing Singapore on a unique international platform. When it opens to the public in November, the Gallery will focus on displaying, promoting and researching Southeast Asian modern art, relating this to wider Asian and international contexts, and creating a cultural dialogue between Singapore and the rest of the world.
Koh Nguang How is an independent artist and researcher focusing on Singaporean art history. As an archivist, his project ‘Singapore Art Archive’ encompasses research on contemporary and historical artists from Singapore. Koh will work with National Gallery Singapore curator Charmaine Toh to present a new display of archival materials relating to Singapore’s art history.
Describing the birth of the project: “My collection for the Singapore Art Archive Project began with newspaper cuttings when I was a student in junior college in 1980. I was doing art as a subject, so naturally my focus was more on art related articles. I continue to collect newspaper cuttings to this day.” Koh will also undertake a three-month residency at the ACC from mid-November to mid-February, during which time he will focus on three artists. He will present his research and findings via a changing display in Gwangju.
Artist Koh will first examine the development of artist Tang Dawu and update the timeline of his practice, with a focus on his time in London during the 1970’s. In the second month, he will re-visit the archives of Chng Seok Tin which include important reviews and articles on the artists and exhibitions in the 70’s and 80’s, all of which are written in Mandarin. Part of this research will include translating some of the key writings into English. The final part of his presented research will feature the Shui Tit Sing archives.
On Koh’s significant contribution to research at the Gallery, curator Charmaine Toh said: “At National Gallery Singapore, we have used Koh’s important research as a resource in curating our opening exhibitions and it has helped us to contextualise many works in the exhibition, providing new insights into our own collection.”