Realism in Asian Art: Voices Behind The Strokes.
9 April – 4 July 2010
For the first time in the museum world, the topic of how realist art movements were embraced by artists in Asia will be presented by The National Art Gallery, Singapore, in collaboration with the National Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) of Korea. The only other major project looking at how critical art developments in the Asian sub-continent have evolved since Cubism in Asia in 2006, Realism in Asian Art: Voices Behind the Strokes features a display of 78 selected paintings from various public and private collections in Asia. Featured artists include important names such as Amron Omar (Malaysia), Byun Wolryong (Korea), Chua Mia Tee (Singapore), Nguyen Gia Tri (Vietnam), Raden Saleh (Indonesia), Renato Habulan (Philippines), and Yamashita Kikuji (Japan). Their profiles can be found attached in Annex 1 for reference.
2 Realism in Asian Art is an exhibition that studies the impact and extent of realist art movements on the Asian sub-continent. Unlike the way realism evolved in Europe, these works reveal a distinct Asian sensibility, expressing how the region grappled with modernity, independence and nationhood from the mid 19th to late 20th centuries. Across Asia, these powerful images of realistic artworks have inspired and provoked compelling emotions. In addition, realist tendencies in art often wove together a fascinating tale of heroism, valour and hope in times of tremendous turmoil in Asia.
3 Realism in Asian Art represents the second time the National Art Gallery, Singapore and MOCA, Korea, are working together, since Cubism in Asia in 2006. It will open first in Singapore in April 2010 and subsequently travel to Seoul, Korea in July 2010. Such curatorial collaborations allow for a robust cross-cultural exchange of ideas and knowledge while providing opportunities for Singapore and Southeast Asia to showcase the region’s rich artistic and cultural treasures in a wider Asian context.
4 The second in a series of research exhibitions mounted by the National Art Gallery, Singapore, Realism in Asian Art will pioneer new approaches to exhibitions and programmes, prior to the Gallery’s opening three to four years down the road. It provides a platform for the Gallery to test new ideas in integrating programmes and exhibition for the eventual museum site at the former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings. Visitors can look forward to a more holistic experience of Asian Realism incorporating interactive stations targeted at children and families, a short film programme providing alternative perspectives, as well as an innovative visitor-oriented approach to exhibition design.
5 Says Director, The National Art Gallery, Singapore, Mr Kwok Kian Chow, “Realism in Asian Art attempts to show how within a short span of several decades, the realist impulses in Asian classical art coupled with the turn of 19th to 20th century Western influences, had a pervasive impact on art in Asia. It also reveals how realist renditions in art tied in with societal modernity, political independence, and a new landscape of broad-based communication along with print materials, photography and films. We thank the National Museum of Contemporary Art for the partnership to develop this exhibition as we reach out to institutions from the wider Asia region for the timely and meaningful collaboration in research and curatorship.”
6 Says Director, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, Dr Bae Soonhoon, “This exhibition is an ambitious attempt to draw comparisons across eight Asian countries, and examine how Realist concepts and techniques, in contrast with the Western countries, were similarly embraced and applied by Asian artists. I hope this show will provide an overview of the Asian arts from a different perspective, before it draws more attention from the global art world. We greatly appreciate this collaboration between Korea and Singapore, and are looking forward to this exhibition travelling to Seoul in July later this year.”
7 Says Head of Private Banking, Southeast Asia and Australasia, Credit Suisse, Dr Francois Monnet, “Credit Suisse is extremely privileged to be the proud sponsor of this cultural collaboration between Singapore and Korea that brings a new and significant perspective of the Asian realist art movement to Singapore and the world. The Credit Suisse: Innovation In Art Series is our important long-term partnership with the Singapore Art Museum that has presented a series of inspiring shows to Singapore audiences since 2007. We eagerly anticipate the fresh and innovative ideas the National Art Gallery Singapore can bring to Singapore’s visual arts scene, and look forward to the impressive and exciting shows in the coming years.”