A three-part docudrama on one of Singapore's pioneer artists.

Paying tribute to Georgette Chen (1906 – 1993), one of Singapore’s most loved artists, the Gallery commissioned a three-part docudrama which illuminates and gives an appreciation of the artist’s life and her significant contribution to Singapore’s art development.

The Worlds of Georgette Chen features MediaCorp’s top actress, Rui En, as the iconic artist. The premiere telecast aired on 29 April 2015 on Channel NewsAsia and MediaCorp Channel 5. Georgette Chen received her art education in Paris, New York and Shanghai, before finding her home in Singapore. Regarded for her colossal contributions to the burgeoning Nanyang school of painting and to Singapore’s art movement for over four decades, Georgette Chen was awarded the Cultural Medallion in 1982.

Giving viewers an insight into the dramatic worlds of Georgette Chen, the docudrama’s storyline spans across three periods, including the tumultuous years of the Second World War: the French period from 1927 to 1933; the Chinese/Hong Kong period from 1934 to 1948; and the Penang/Singapore period from 1950 to 1980.

Immensely inspired by her surroundings, Georgette produced still lifes, portraits and landscapes from each phase. Her portraits of her first husband and more importantly, of herself, are painterly windows to her cinematic life.

Scroll down to watch The Worlds of Georgette Chen. Artworks by Georgette Chen will be on display in the DBS Singapore Gallery when the Gallery opens in 2015.


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Episode 1: Love in Autumn

Georgette Chen received her early art education mainly in Paris. She was immensely inspired by Paris, a city she loved and where she had her first rare breakthrough as an Asian female artist. It was also in Paris that she married a man who became her leit motif of love. Her portraits of her first husband, and more importantly, of herself, are painterly windows to her cinematic life.



Episode 2: Dark Passage in Winter

After her marriage to prominent Chinese politician Eugene Chen, Georgette journeyed through the dark passage of winter in her life. Politics and war decided her fate. Yet, she held on to her singular passion – painting. She continued to produce an impressive oeuvre of still lifes, portraits and landscapes during the most tumultuous and nomadic years of her life.



Episode 3: Deathless Days in Summer

By age 48, Georgette Chen had survived two world wars, suffered under the Japanese occupation of China, mourned her first husband and divorced her second. Now alone and displaced, she sought refuge in Singapore. In this land of perpetual summer, which she called her “Tahiti”, the prolific artist perfected her technique and taught at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.