A magnificent showcase of Chinese ink art in Southeast Asia
3 March 2017 – Chinese ink takes centre stage at National Gallery Singapore with the launch of three new special exhibitions. Featuring more than 200 works of prominent 20th century artists, the complementary exhibitions will examine the evolution of Chinese ink painting and its impact on Singapore art history.
Visitors may explore the history of Chinese ink painting through Rediscovering Treasures: Ink Art from the Xiu Hai Lou Collection, which presents rare masterpieces from a renowned Singapore collection. The journey continues with Wu Guanzhong: A Walk Through Nature, a showcase of the mastery of Wu Guanzhong, one of the most influential artists in modern Chinese painting. The narrative then extends to Strokes of Life: The Art of Chen Chong Swee, which looks at the pioneering works of Singaporean artist Chen Chong Swee and his interpretations of local landscapes through the ink medium.
“Based on the encouraging reception for our last two Chinese ink exhibitions, we are excited to announce the launch of three special exhibitions which further examines the development of modern ink painting, and its relevance to Singapore,” said Dr Eugene Tan, Director, National Gallery Singapore.
“Many of these masterpieces are rarely seen in public. In these exhibitions, visitors can look forward to a visual feast of masterful brushwork, inventive approaches and distinctive styles,” added Mr Low Sze Wee, Director (Curatorial, Collections & Education), National Gallery Singapore.
To encourage greater appreciation of ink art, the Gallery will be organising a series of complementary programmes, including lectures by respected academics and practitioners, and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages (Annex B).
Rediscovering Treasures: Ink Art from the Xiu Hai Lou Collection
Rediscovering Treasures: Ink Art from the Xiu Hai Lou Collection is the first comprehensive survey of the famed Xiu Hai Lou collection by a national museum. It examines the evolution of modern Chinese painting, and offers visitors the opportunity to see rare masterpieces by prominent artists such as Chen Hongshou, Ren Yi, Qi Baishi, Xu Beihong, Zhang Daqian and Chen Chong Swee.
Regarded as one of the most important ink collections in Singapore, Xiu Hai Lou was assembled across four decades by well-known local Teochew businessman Yeo Khee Lim (1917 – 1998). The exhibition offers important insights into how art collecting and patronage developed in Singapore during the early 20th century.
Wu Guanzhong: A Walk Through Nature
Wu Guanzhong: A Walk Through Nature explores Wu Guanzhong’s travels in search of artistic inspiration. The exhibition is a vivid account of Wu’s journeys across China to find inspiration in its mountains, rivers and villages. Such trips formed a strong foundation for his five-decade long practice. As one of the most influential artists in modern Chinese painting, Wu was a major advocate of integrating Chinese art with Western modernism.
Strokes of Life: The Art of Chen Chong Swee
Chen Chong Swee was one of the first artists in Singapore to use Chinese ink painting techniques to depict local landscapes. Strokes of Life: The Art of Chen Chong Swee is a major retrospective survey of Chen’s artistic career spanning six decades. The exhibition focuses on his key contributions to artistic developments in Singapore from the 1950s to the 1980s.
Rediscovering Treasures: Ink Art from the Xiu Hai Lou Collection and Strokes of Life: The Art of Chen Chong Swee opens 11 March 2017, while Wu Guanzhong: A Walk Through Nature has opened in December 2016. All three exhibitions will run till 4 December 2017 at the Wu Guanzhong Gallery and Level 4 Gallery, City Hall Wing.
For more details about the exhibitions, visit www.nationalgallery.sg