Chua Mia Tee: Directing the Real
Chua Mia Tee. Portable Cinema. 1977. Oil on canvas, 78.5 x 79.4 cm. Gift of Times Publishing Limited. Collection of National Gallery Singapore.
Chua Mia Tee is known as Singapore’s most acclaimed artistic forerunner in realism.
Drawing on his observations of people and life around him, his artworks have struck a chord with many people. Yet, to Chua, art goes beyond mere representation but entails purposeful direction. “The artist,” Chua wrote, “is simultaneously a writer, director and an actor, he can freely direct people’s image.” Focusing on Chua’s early practice from the 1950s to 1980s, the exhibition presents a fresh perspective on the artist and looks at his works through the lens of film alongside Singapore’s quest for progress. A story of the past but also one of the present, the exhibition offers a reflection of Singapore’s journey and the diverse groups of people who have contributed to its story and made it home.