Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Reframing Modernism, the First International Special Exhibition at National Gallery Singapore, Sponsored by Singtel

The first international special exhibition, Reframing Modernism, will be held at the Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery, National Gallery Singapore (the Gallery). More than 200 art works from 51 artists, jointly curated and co-presented by the Gallery and Centre Pompidou, Paris. Approximately half from Centre Pompidou and the other half from Southeast Asia.

Reframing Modernism challenges the existing paradigm of how modernist painting is presented. It brings to light previously unexplored perspectives which enrich the overall discourse. Taking a comparative approach, the exhibition reveals shared concerns between the artists and their bodies of work to create a new and different narrative of modernism. 

Throughout the exhibition, visitors are invited to draw their own connections and conclusions about the history of modernism and its relevance to the development of art in Southeast Asia. The unprecedented presentation includes works by Southeast Asian artists such as Le Pho (Vietnam), Nguyen Gia Tri (Vietnam), SSudjoono ( Inodnesia), Affandi (Indonesia), Latiff Mohidin (Malaysia), Galo B Ocampo (Philippines), Georgette Chen (Singapore) and Tang Chang (Thailand), as well as European masters Vassil Kandinsky, Fernand Leger, Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. 

There are three gallery, spanning across a total floor area of approximately 20,000 square feet. This was made possible by Singtel's $20 million contribution last year to the Gallery.

Ms Chua Sock Koong, Singtel Group CEO said, "We are excited that our contribution to National Gallery Singapore will enable Singaporeans to enjoy both iconic masterpieces from around the world alongside equally accomplished Southeast Asian art that we are proud to champion. We congratulate NGS and Centre Pompidou on their first-ever collaboration. Art is for everyone and we hope this will reach as many people as possible. "

Dr. Eugene Tan, Director at National Gallery Singapore

Senior Curator Lisa Horikawa giving us more details on the exhibition.

My Opinion

During the Q&A session with participants from both countries, there was much excitement among the media audience when our late Singapore artist, Georgette Chen's art pieces were part of the exhibition. In fact, we were quite surprise that her early art pieces were collected by Centre Pompidou. She was indeed a world renown artist. 

Even though I have a keen interest in art pieces myself ( I took Arts during my GCE "O" Level), I did not know who was this Singapore artist, Georgette Chen. I shall embarked on a research on her in another of my blog posting. Do look out for it. 

Curator Dr. Phoebe Scott

L-R Curator Dr Nicolas Liucci-Goutnikov, Senior Curator Lisa Horikawa, Deputy Director of Centre Pompidou's National Museum of Modern Art-Industrial Design Centre, Catherine David, National Gallery Singapore Diretor Dr. Eugene Tan, Curator Dr Phoebe Scott

As we entered into the first gallery, guided by Senior curator, Lisa Horikawa and Curator Dr Phoebe Scott. Both curators imparted their inside knowledge of both the artist and their particular piece, which truly help us in better appreciation of these art pieces. As stated earlier, the use of comparative techniques by various artists, grouping them together so that we were able to make comparisons. In fact, the chosen art pieces for the exhibition has significant importance to the later development of the other artist's pieces. Whether it was going to be a new technique or a hybrid of techniques, is yet to be seen in the art pieces creation. 

The curators also highlights some of these pieces that creates controversial among the public at that time. It was later view differently by others as well as by the later generations of art experts. 

I do enjoyed the sneak preview of this exhibition especially with the information and stories behind every of these art pieces, the artists as well as the message within the art pieces. Art can be interesting and through arts, new ideas, new directions can be discovered. It simply make you think deeper through another form of expression. 

Exhibition Information

Exhibition : Reframing Modernism

Venue : Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery, Level 3, City Hall Wing,
National Gallery, Singapore

From 31 March 2016 to 17 Jul 2016.

Time : Sun-Thur, PH 10am to 7pm and Fri-Sat, Eve of PH 10am to 10pm

Admission Fees : $15 for Singaporeans, $25 for Non-Singaporeans, Concessions apply. 

Website :

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