A few months ago, I had the pleasure to visit the National Museum of Singapore several times to view an exhibition that features over 120 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures from the National Collection. This exhibition, A Changed World: Singapore Art 1950s - 1970s, will be ending soon.
Essentially, the exhibition A Changed World: Singapore Art 1950s - 1970s is a survey of Singapore art from the period 1950s - 1970s. During this period after the war, Singapore underwent significant political, economical and social changes. The urban landscape of Singapore also went through much changes. The exhibition showed how various artists have responded to the many changes through their art.
At this exhibition, there are audio dialogues that discussed some of the selected artworks and the artists. Having listened to a few of them, I have found that the audio dialogues have been successful in engaging the visitors to reflect more deeply on the various selected artworks and the changes that had taken place during the specified period. Do not leave this exhibition without listening to at least one of the audio dialogues please.
|Ng Eng Teng's Mother and Twins.|
Many of the artworks looked familiar to me. I have either read about them previously in books on Singapore art or seen them at another exhibition. Ng Eng Teng's Mother and Twins left a fairly strong impression on me because it was one of the few sculptures on display at this exhibition. This piece of sculpture somehow radiated an endearing quality. Do you feel that this sculpture speaks to the viewer with love?
Lim Hak Tai's Indian Workers Clearing the Jungle is probably a familiar artwork for anyone interested in the Nanyang style of art. This work is historically significant from the art history perspective so do not leave the exhibition without catching a glimpse of it.
|Wee Beng Chong's Conflict and Tan Ping Chiang's Music.|
A pair of works that stood side by side of each other also caught my eyes. These were Wee Beng Chong's Conflict (1978) and Tan Ping Chiang's Music (1979). While I do not think they were created to be placed next to each other, they do look very compatible when they were put together. Don't you think?
Lai Kui Fang's Construction of Sheares Bridge aptly documented a snapshot from a time in the past. So that was how Singapore had looked like before Sheares Bridge was completed! What a lot of changes that Singapore has undergone!
The many paintings inspired by the Singapore River also revealed the drastic changes that Singapore has underwent during the period 1950s - 1970s. Gone are the bumboats that brought goods and wares to the quay.
There is a cosy corner in this exhibition whereby visitors could sit down to learn more about the art from 1950s - 1970s. Even if you do not intend to browse through the materials, the cosy seats will entice you to.
See the changes that Singapore has underwent through this exhibition. The good news is that admission to this exhibition is free.
A Changed World: Singapore Art 1950s - 1970s
National Museum of Singapore
Exhibition Gallery 2, Basement
25 Oct 2013 - 16 Mar 2014
10 a.m. - 7 p.m.