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Singapore has some of the world's greatest paintings, and you don't have to take our word for it. You don't have to believe us; ask any art connoisseur! Because they will be destroyed tomorrow, there are works of art in Singapore that you must see before you die. If painting is your thing, this blog post can assist you in deciding what to see if you visit Singapore. Here are 5 paintings that we think you should see while in town!
1. Drying Salted Fish (1978), Cheong Soo Pieng
The painting on the back of the $50 note, which depicts a group of Malay villagers processing and drying salted fish, is by Cheong. It is still seen in parts of Southeast Asia, surrounded by lush greenery, overturned baskets and farm animals in a pasture; an unbroken succession that has continued up to the present day.
The scroll was created by one of the court painters, Cheong Cheok-hwa, who was renowned for his paintings of dragons. The work is painted in Chinese ink and color on cloth, which was then highlighted with gold leaf from the area's distinctive Nanyang art style, pioneered by Cheong. The rich colors and theme of a crowd of people elicit a feeling of empathy, making this work unforgettable.
2. National Language Class (1959), Chua Mia Tee
In this educational context, National Language Class depicts both an educational scenario and the issues of identity and national pride that a group of Malaysian students are confronted with while learning Bahasa Melayu in school.
Between 1959 and 1963, the school was constructed. The year it was finished is etched in bright red paint on the wall, which hints at Singapore's independence from British colonial rule. Basic inquiries are written on the blackboard in Bahasa, trying to assess both students' and viewers' national identities at the time. Chua is a prominent figure in Singapore's art world, having received numerous honors throughout the years, including the Cultural Medallion in 2015.
3. Life by the River (1975), Liu Kang
Bali's rural countryside is depicted in this photograph, which transports you away from the bustle and noise of the city center. Liu Kang captures traditional kampung living's communal way of life, including attap homes on stilts and gatherings of people on the riverbanks.
Liu Kang lived in Paris for some time as a young man, and he was influenced by fauvism and post-impressionism. The bright, vivid colors and staccato brushstrokes are evidence of the Parisian influence. To capture the climates that had vanished from developing Singapore, he traveled to the Indonesian islands with other pioneering artists, such as Chen Wen Hsi and Cheong Soo Pieng.
4. Modern Art (c. 1960-170), Chua Tiag Ming
A man is seen working on the side of a house alone in this somber black and white photograph. During political and social upheaval, this photo was taken. In contrast to the clean, bright light on the rooftop and surrounding walls, the man's attention and calmness on his (by today's standards) shoddy ladder provide this photograph a sense of empathy. Although Chua's realistic appearance is reminiscent of a time when it was solely known by older people, it still appeals to today's audiences.
5. Black and White (c. 1970), Anthony Poon
This monochrome work stands out against a sea of natural-themed paintings. Poon was Singapore's first modernist artist, and he is still one of the most renowned Optical Art artists today.
He studied at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore before spending a year at Cheong Soo Pieng's institution in London, where he obtained his master's degree. He experimented with a variety of styles before choosing Op Art. It is evident that each of his works was meticulously planned and methodically completed, from the accuracy of Black and White.
Artworks in Singapore will reveal the country's vibrant history and culture to you. Artworks in Singapore can take your breath away, whether it's a black-and-white photograph of an unassuming guy working on his home alone or paintings of traditional Kampung life with its Attap homes on stilts and riverbank gatherings. 5 of the most beautiful paintings depicting the splendor of this Southeast Asian island nation may be found in this post; but there are several more to discover while you're here!
Looking to start your own painting? Get in touch with our helpful events staff right away! We'd be happy to assist you plan the most wonderful Art Jamming workshop imaginable!
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