A new Singapore art exhibition that promises to surprise
Made-in-Singapore art gets its turn in the spotlight with the new, large-scale exhibition Something New Must Turn Up: Six Singaporean Artists After 1965. Presented by the National Gallery Singapore until 22 Aug, the exhibition is a visual feast of ground-breaking works by six post-independence Singapore artists – Chng Seok Tin, Goh Beng Kwan, Eng Tow, Jaafar Latiff, Lin Hsin Hsin, and Mohammad Din Mohammad.
With more than 300 artworks and 100 artefacts on display, the exhibition underscores the artists’ innovative artistic practices and continuous pursuit of creativity. Read on for a teaser of new and surprising discoveries one might make in the exhibition and be sure to catch it soon.
Artist’s side gig as a cleaner inspires her art
Multidisciplinary artist and Cultural Medallion recipient Chng Seok Tin was trained as a printmaker and she drew on everyday life for her art. This painting, Mop Modulation II (above), from 1978, is a nod to Chng’s side gig as a cleaner in the late 1970s. She took on the job to earn additional income while she studied art. The gesture of mopping floors surfaced in the experimental art prints she made. She used her pen like a mop to create brushstroke effects in the middle of each of the nine black rectangle etchings and the strokes resemble abstracted Chinese characters.
Artist-healer marries art with healing
Artist Mohammad Din Mohammad was a practitioner of Sufi mysticism, the Malay martial arts silat and traditional healing, and his pursuits were creatively expressed through his art. In his work Earth Energy (above) made in 1994, he deliberately applied colours that are said to have therapeutic properties.
Collage works by artist influences future generations
Artist Goh Beng Kwan was not shy about using an astonishing range of materials, from tea-wrappings and acupuncture diagrams, to nails, strings and sand in his works. These materials were used, for example, in his collage Geomancy (above), made in the 1980s. Goh incorporated them into his work as he wanted to explore issues around cultural representation, urbanism and identity. By broadening the boundaries of what was acceptable resources for serious art-making, he contributed significantly to collage-making and influenced successive generations of mixed media artists.
Artist’s use of textile reinvents art-making
Interdisciplinary artist Eng Tow embraces different mediums in her art, with works made in materials ranging from cloth to paper and bronze. Her innovative use of textile is evident in her work Eclipse (above), from 1983. Her technique of stitched cloth relief was a modest reinvention of the conventional art media and it expanded the potential of cloth as an expressive fine art medium.
Artist turns figurative batik painting into abstract art
Self-taught artist and lifelong art educator Jaafar Latiff renewed the practice of batik painting by using it to create abstract art. His abstract batik paintings from the Wandering series (above), in 1979, feature fluid, graceful forms. He would go on to refine his technique of batik painting through rigorous self-study and experiments, to come up with innovative methods and more expressionistic compositions.
Artist’s work explores the solar system
Artist, poet, composer and IT expert Lin Hsin Hsin has continually sought to break new ground with her art, which feature novel expressions and innovative techniques. Her oil on canvas painting Conversation (above), from 1982, explores Man’s dialogue with the solar system, and pieces of torn jute are adhered to the surface to create texture.
Learn more about Something New Must Turn Up here.