Local celebrity chef, Willin Low, has been revealed as the second personality in National Gallery Singapore’s My Masterpiece series, which will showcase a different artwork every month throughout 2015. The collection of artworks encompass diverse periods marking key moments in the art histories of Singapore and Southeast Asia. They will be introduced to the public by well-known personalities from all walks of life, and will be featured in its permanent galleries when the Gallery opens to the public in November this year.
Celebrity Chef Willin Low
Popular MediaCorp actress Joanne Peh launched the My Masterpiece campaign earlier this year with her insightful thoughts on Chua Mia Tee’s evocative Epic Poem of Malaya. According to Joanne as a performing artiste, she is drawn deeply to images, people and things that are emotionally powerful. “I could feel the energy of the central figure and his passion in what he is saying. He is trying to express the need to stay positive even in the most difficult times, something I can personally identify with.”
Like Joanne, Willin chose a painting that he feels a strong connection with, one that brought back a lot of his childhood memories. Fernando Amorsolo’s Marketplace during the Occupation, seems at first sight, to have various elements that Willin loves. The painting depicts a scene set in a wet market with a variety of fresh produce and created with a warm palette, a trademark which the artist is known for.
“This painting brings me back to my childhood. I used to go to the wet market with my mother to have breakfast and buy groceries. The sights, the sounds, and smells; some not so pleasant.” Said Willin. “And then my attention is drawn to a Japanese flag and a soldier holding a rifle. I find this a little unsettling because it’s not something I expect to see in a wet market. It is as though the harmony is very fragile and the mood can just change without any warning.”
Born in 1892, Filipino artist Fernando Amorsolo is known for his depictions of idyllic rural landscapes and cherubic country maidens bathed in tropical golden light. Working from research and imagination, he also created artworks depicting important events in Philippine history. During World War II, Amorsolo continued to paint, documenting and reacting to the war during the Japanese occupation. In his lifetime, his work could be found on posters, advertisements, newspapers and magazines. Amorsolo, popular and prolific, was the first to be given the distinction of National Artist of the Philippines after his death in 1972.
You can view Willin’s video and find more information about this artwork by Fernando Amorsolo on the Gallery Facebook page here.
Educating and Inspiring Singaporeans
My Masterpiece is the first of an exciting lineup of initiatives and activities that will bring Singaporeans closer to their arts heritage. There will be numerous opportunities for the
public to get sneak previews of the facilities and artworks on display when the Gallery opens in November 2015.
The Gallery aims to capture the artistic spirit of Singapore and Southeast Asia. By sharing stories of our region’s distinctive art within the global context, we seek to be a leading visual arts institution that inspires and engages our people and our neighbours, creating a dialogue between the art of Singapore, Southeast Asia and the world. We also seek to encourage a deeper appreciation of art, and foster a greater sense of national and cultural pride.