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6 Handy Road, #01-01 The Luxe Singapore 229234. T: +65 6337 6810 F: +65 6337 2234 E: Tue to Sun - 11am to 7pm / Mon & Public Holidays - Close


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Dawvon @Flickr Y



Ming Wong: Life Of Imitation


Gallery in Focus – Art Trove



Life in 3D Lim Yew Kuan – His Art and His Role Deviants Defiant Curators’ Tours: Why an exhibition on Singapore 1960?




Lim Yew Kuan – His Art and His Role

Soul of the Mothering Tree Breath-Taking – Artist Talk Night Festival The Studios 2010 Explorations: Dance Workshop by Lee Tae-sang


Hong Kong in 72 Hours

Super Mighty! Heroes of Asia MÉLO Selected Singapore Master Artists Sumatra: Isle of Gold


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Realism in the Art of the Chinese Diaspora Staying in tune, Staying free: A duet of sorts from two modern painters

62 DIRECTORIES Singapore Art Guide For Tourists Malaysia Art Guide

The Virgin Started it All: A Review of Lower Depths Memories + Moods

INTERVIEW 50 THE PROJECT Elizabeth De Roza and Shelly Quick

67 CREATIVE RESOURCES Wine / Framing & Photography Services

70 POSTSCRIPT Surviving Hong Kong



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Issue #8 (July 2010) ISSN 1793-9739 / MICA (P) 183/02/2010

Cover Lim Yew Kuan

Editor-in-chief // Sabrina Sit / Art Director // Amalina MN / Photography Director // Michael Tan (Ambious Studio) Account Executive // Kayla Hoo / Contributors // Choy Weng Yang / Yow Siew Kah / Yvonne Low /

Richard Chua / Emmanuel Ng

General enquiries and feedback // Submission of press releases // CONFABULATION MAGAZINE 14 Robinson Road, #13-00, Singapore 048545 For advertising enquiries, please email All editorial, design requests, advertising bookings and materials for August issue of CONFABULATION should be received by 18 July. Printed in Singapore by International Press Softcom Limited. Copyright of all editorial content in Singapore and abroad is held by the publishers, CONFABULATION MAGAZINE. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission from the publishers. CONFABULATION cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to unsolicited material. CONFABULATION, ISSN 1793-9739, is published 12 times a year by CONFABULATION MAGAZINE. Every effort has been made to contact the copyrights holder. If we have been unsuccessful in some instances, please contact us and we will credit accordingly. Even greater effort has been taken to ensure that all information provided in CONFABULATION is correct. However, we strongly advise to confirm or verify information with the relevant galleries/venues. CONFABULATION cannot be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, omissions, alterations or errors that may occur as a result of any last minute changes or production technical glitches. The views expressed in CONFABULATION are not necessarily those of the publisher. The advertisements in this publication should also not be interpreted as endorsed by or recommendations by CONFABULATION The products and services offered in the advertisements are provided under the terms and conditions as determined by the Advertisers. CONFABULATION also cannot be held accountable or liable for any of the claims made or information presented in the advertisements.


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Published monthly, complimentary copies of CONFABULATION are available at several places around Singapore including the National Library, Singapore Tourism Board’s Singapore Visitors Centre at Orchard (junction of Cairnhill Road and Orchard Road), MICA Building on Hill Street, leading art galleries (Opera Gallery at ION Orchard, Galerie Joaquin at The Regent and Sunjin Galleries in Holland Village), art groups and venues (The Luxe Museum on Handy Road and Sculpture Square on Middle Road), museums and lifestyle shops (STYLE: NORDIC on Ann Siang Road and Lai Chan at Raffles Hotel). To accompany your daily dose of caffeine, browsing copies are also made available at all good coffee chains in town. For the environmentally-conscious, the PDF format of CONFABULATION can be downloaded from www.confabmag. com every month or simply flip through the magazine on the website using the online reader. Subscription price is SGD98 within Singapore and USD98 internationally. For subscriptions, renewals and address changes, please email


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Ming Wong: Life Of Imitation 22.04.10 – 22.08.10 / Singapore Art Museum /


Arts (NAFA). As an educator, he was open to ideas from other disciplines such as science and relates back to his own artistic practice. His interest in nuclear physics from his student days at the Chelsea School of Art translated into his explorations into the effects of light in his paintings. The tempo and rhythm of dance and music are made his own in the fluidity of his lines and the spontaneity of his brushstrokes. The broadening of his horizons beyond the narrow confines of fine art into other fields of cultural production formed the foundation of Lim as an art educator and artist who brought art closer to life.

In this exhibition, we celebrate and reflect on the context of the Golden Age of Singapore cinema in the 1950s and 60s: an era of nation-building, struggle, rapid modernisation, and cinematic utopia. This award-winning exhibition premiered at the Singapore Pavilion in the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, curated by Tang Fu Kuen and presenting artist Ming Wong who won Special Mention from the jury. This is the highest accolade ever received by Singapore at the world’s most prestigious art platform. The Singapore Art Museum is proud to restage the show on homeground - with a new design and additional exhibits - before bringing it on tour to other cities.

Lim’s artistic journey might have been shaped by his late father, and first principal of NAFA, Lim Hak Tai who envisioned and encouraged artists to depict the ‘reality of the South Seas’ and the ‘localness of the place’. The desire to bridge the gap between art and life, reality and the everyday through open perspectives that are not bounded by rigid categories and dogma shaped Lim not only as an art educator but an artist as well. Lim’s artistic practice is entrenched in the affirmative power of art, offering free and open approaches to engage with an increasingly complex and globalised world. -- Kwok Kian Chow (Director, The National Art Gallery)

Inspired by Singapore’s rich screen legacy, Ming Wong re-reads ‘national cinema’ as mediated by language, role-playing and identity. He re-interprets films which engage with performative notions of mis-casting and parroting, and reflects on Singapore’s roots, hybridity and politics of becoming. Image Credit: Designed by Ming Wong and painted by Neo Chon Teck Life of Imitation (Billboard I) 2009 Acrylic emulsion on canvas 222 cm x 229 cm Singapore Art Museum collection

Mercedes-Benz and Sunjin Galleries present world-renowned Israeli artist David Gerstein, well-known for his stainless steel cut-outs in 3 dimensional images. In this show, we are allowed a rare glimpse of Gerstein’s recent masterpieces, a sizable collection of new works never seen before in Asia. Pulsating with colors, the works translate a sense of movement and vigor within it, sucking the audience into the subject matter.

Life in 3D 01.07.10 – 30.09.10 / Mercedes-Benz Center

The exhibition also features Beijing born Wu Qiong with his paintings of happy little boys, and sometimes little girls. Drawing on his own childhood memories of growing up in China where one child families of little princes and princesses were the norm, Qiong has recreated a half forgotten world when the sun shone every day, and in winter when the snow fell it was always clean and fluffy.

The search to bridge the gap between art and life is a recurring trope of art history, aesthetics and artistic practice. Working in the gap between art and life expresses the condition of art making itself, the need to maintain a distance from life so as to take a step back to reflect on our emotions, thoughts and feelings from the environment we live in. This is what makes art making a distinct form of activity from other forms of human activities.

Lim Yew Kuan – His Art and His Role 10.07.10 – 22.07.10 / NAFA and 23.07.10 – 10.08.10 / DaTang Fine Arts


Lim’s solo exhibition opens at Lim Hak Tai Gallery at NAFA on the 10th of July and travels to DaTang Fine Arts on the 23rd of July.

Deviants Defiant 12.07.10 / 7.30pm / Recital Studio, Esplanade / S$20

In this performance, re: mix takes inspiration from the theme of deviance as represented in various art forms. Social deviance has provided many a foil for artists, as they broach subjects that are taboo to society. Poet Richard Dehmel, takes on the sexual mores of the late 19th century. His poem, Transfigured Night, provided Schoenberg with the inspiration for the original string sextet version of the same title. At the crux of the poem, the human drama is the dread of a woman’s confession to her new lover that she is pregnant but the child is not his and how her new lover accepts this fact. The poem can seem trite but this is also the poet’s ‘confession’ of sex in society. Thus it is a description of deviance from sexual norms as well as the self-censorship of a sexually active society. Your Smiling Face is a Taiwanese movie from 1979 that shares the same storyline as Transfigured Night. Through it, the reticence about the democratization of sex in Chinese cinema is broken. Three songs from the movie will be adapted for re: mix. Both stories end with the transcendence of an impossible situation where these men accept their loves and act in defiance to societal norms.

It is in this gap between art and life that Lim Yew Kuan’s artistic practice is located. His adherence to representing life not only from his own lived experiences but from all forms of human creativity – science, music, and dance – marks Lim as an artist who draws from multiple fields of enquiries into his own artistic practice. This relates to his own contributions as an art educator who served as the principal of the Nanyang Academy of Fine

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Singapore in 1960 was a time of cultural awakening and fervency driven by a fast evolving socio-political climate. It was a time when many social and cultural policies made set the foundation of how Singapore was to become, as a unique society with its own brand of socio-cultural landscape today. Come listen to our two curators, Jason Toh and Priscilla Chua, who are Singaporeans born in post-65 Singapore, as they share how they approached and dealt with issues related to the language, politics and culture of a pre-65 Singapore.

Night Festival

Curators’ Tours: Why an exhibition on Singapore 1960?

Dream of the past, live in the present and fantasize the future at Night Festival 2010! Inspired by the charm of 1960s New World Amusement Park, the Festival is a dazzling spectacle of street theatre, magical lights and carnivalesque play that relives—and re-imagines—the story of the halcyon days of early Singapore. Combining contemporary art and video installations with thrilling outdoor performances, Night Festival 2010 will also reveal a surprising insight into our New World 2010! Come explore, enjoy and be enchanted in this magical extravaganza brought to you by the combined initiative of people in Singapore`s premier arts and heritage precinct.

16.07.10 – 17.07.10 / 7.30 pm – 2am / National Museum of Singapore / Peranakan Museum / Singapore Art Museum / Singapore Management University Campus Green / The Substation

15.07.10 / National Museum of Singapore / S$8

This will be Sarbani Bhattacharya‘s first-ever solo art exhibition that will launch her career as an artist. Her paintings in this almost poetic collection exude a sense of fluid energy through the culmination of the symbolic relevance of the Tree of Life and the timeless concept of the mother and her child.

A dance workshop designed to help dancers better understand their movements, physical capabilities and increase the awareness of their own bodies. LEE Tae-sang introduces a movement vocabulary focusing on the joints, which combine intensity and softness through dance combinations. Recommended for professional dancers or dance students. Class is taught in Korean with English translation.

Soul of the Mothering Tree 15.07.10 – 25.07.10 / The Gallery of Gnani Arts /

The Studios 2010 Explorations: Dance Workshop by Lee Tae-sang Breath-Taking is an installation of 200 portraits displayed in individual inflated plastic bags. Each portrait is abstractedly painted in acrylic, chinese ink and presented on media like plastic, paper and duct tape. The audience is invited, through the exhibition, to question how our past impacts on our judgements, expectations and experiences. The process of reading, understanding and relating to “others” is also a pivotal theme of the exhibition

24.07.10 / 1.30pm / Rehearsal Studio, Esplanade / $15

An exhibition specially for children, Super Mighty! Heroes of Asia explores the legends behind some popular and well-loved characters from Asian myths, many of whom are still well-known and found in contemporary culture. Meet iconic characters such as Hanuman, the Monkey God of India; Rustam, the dashing champion of Iran who defeated dragons and demons; and Mulan, the warrior-maiden of Chinese legends.

Breath-Taking – Artist Talk 16.07.10 / 7.30pm / The Substation /

Super Mighty! Heroes of Asia 24.07.10 - 3.02.11 / Asian Civilisations Museum /

Featuring colorful displays, engaging artifacts and a fun zone for hands-on learning for kids, Super Mighty! Heroes of Asia promises a fun museum-going experience for the young and young at heart. Image credit: Page from a book called Haft Paykar (Seven Princesses) Iran, 1570 – 1580. Bahram Gur, the King of Iran, is fighting a dragon in a dark cave. He was saving a donkey after its baby had been eaten by the dragon. As a reward, he was given the dragon’s treasure.


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Paris, 1926. Two old friends, Marcel and Pierre, got together one evening for a meal and to reminisce on old times. Marcel is now a world famous virtuoso violinist while Pierre has settled down for a quiet life with his wife, Romaine. From this first meeting, Romaine and Marcel fall madly in love and have an affair. Their problem is what to do about Pierre… In French with English Subtitles

MÉLO 27.07.10 / 8pm / Alliance Francaise Theatre / $7.20

Selected Singapore Master Artists celebrates the vibrancy of Singapore’s art frontier years with a selection of works by key Singapore master artists - Georgette Chen, Choo Keng Kwang, Low Puay Hwa, Ong Kim Seng, Siew Hock Meng, Teng Nee Cheong, Chen Wen Hsi, Lim Cheng Hoe, Chen Chong Swee and Ang Ah Tee – whose unique takes on the subtle realities of life have given rise to modern art as we know it today.

Selected Singapore Master Artists 30.07.10 – 29.08.10 / SBin Art Plus

Showcasing artistic legacies from the 1960s, that still continue to resonate today with their integration of Chinese and Western elements in both technique and medium - from the avant-garde Chinese paintings of Chen Wen Hsi to the definitive watercolour works by Lim Cheng Hoe - Selected Singapore Master Artists brings together the spectacular synergies of these artistic masters in a creative exuberance of colours, hues and strokes that reminds viewers of the beauty in our everyday lives.

Known in ancient times as the ‘Island of Gold’, Sumatra was the earliest entry point for Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam into Southeast Asia. The island also witnessed the arrival of western colonial powers who fought for their share of trade in the region. Its strategic location made it a land of chiefs, princes, seafaring merchants, and home to the powerful maritime kindom of Srivijaya (7th to the 13th century).

Sumatra: Isle of Gold 30.07.10 – 07.11.10 / Asian Civilisations Museum /

These cross-cultural exchanges through trade, religion, colonialism and diplomatic relations, have created the unique and diverse Sumatra of today, known also for its natural attractions like Lake Toba. Discover Sumatra’s forgotten histories and unexpected richness through 300 exhibits from the collections of the National Museum of Indonesia, the Museum Volkenkunde (National Museum of Ethnology), Leiden, the Asian Civilisations Museum and other private collections in Sumatra: Isle of Gold. Look out for famous royal heirlooms such as the gold crown worn by the Sultan of Siak, older treasures recovered from shipwrecks and ancient 2,500 year-old Bronze Age artefacts. Sumatra: Isle of Gold is the first international touring show about Sumatran culture and is the highlight of the National Heritage Board’s (NHB) Fokus Indonesia Festival.


Art Trove Modern German Art in Singapore: Its Importance for Art Education Ewald Platte Erntedankfest (Thanksgiving) Early 1970s Mixed media (Encaustic) on Paper 41.5 x 24 cm JULY 2010 / 23




n the 1950s, prominent Singaporean artist Liu Kang (1911-2004) argued that in order for Singapore to be an important cultural center, it needed an art museum - one that collected not only Asian art, but also works by European masters. Liu’s view was representative of a significant number of cultural elites in preindependent Singapore, who felt that a public art collection was key to transforming the mercantile culture of the emerging nation to one that valued beautiful objects and creative ideas. For them, the “European” component of such a collection was important: modern art in Singapore, as well as that in many parts of Asia, came about partly from appropriating Western art. Access to a good selection of European painting was thus crucial for art education: artists needed to be able to examine the art closely, so that they could make attempts at “indigenizing” Western visual elements, making them meaningful for the social and cultural context of Singapore.

European Modernist in Los Angeles and Oakland, USA (1927-8)


The Singapore Art Museum was set up in 1996, some 40 years after Liu’s remarks, and has since become a significant repository of modern Asian art. By the first decade of the 21st-century, however, Singapore still does not have a noteworthy permanent European collection. In the mean time, Western art history continues to be taught in the schools. Using photographic reproductions, students learn about the subject matter and the visual forms in the art. But the teacher will find it hard to communicate the material qualities, such as texture, that can only be seen with the art works physically present. This is where a new initiative by a private museum can benefit art education in Singapore. Art Trove was set up in 2010 by Nicolai Baron von Uexküll and Roy Quek Siew Ming. One of its key objectives is to establish a permanent collection of works by German modernist Ewald Platte (1894-1985). Platte was a painter whose

works show expressionist and abstract tendencies. In pre-World War II Europe, he exhibited regularly with artists who later attained canonical positions in art history, and his art was considered as intellectually stimulating as theirs. For example, in 1927 and 1928, Platte’s paintings were shown together with those of Klee, Nolde, Jawlensky and Kandinsky in an exhibition entitled “European Modernists” in Los Angeles and Oakland, California. Although Platte’s art is well-known in German museum circles today, partly due to the artist’s introspective character, his dislike for limelight and the decision to stay put in Nazi Germany during the war, it never attained the level of prominence as that of his peers. Under the Hitler-led National Socialists, Platte’s paintings were declared “degenerate” and were removed from museums and galleries. A few of them were included in a major “Degenerate Art” show that travelled to different cities in Germany and Austria. Consisting of some 650 works, the exhibition was designed to denigrate European modernism: the paintings were displayed in a haphazard fashion, accompanied by labels with mocking commentaries. Art Trove, in consultation with artist’s family, collectors and curators, hopes to elevate the international profile of Platte’s art, so that it can achieve the recognition it deserves. The museum’s plans, to be executed from their base in Singapore, include: a multi-city tour of Platte’s paintings, putting into circulation in the art market a part of his oeuvre, and selecting a set of works that would form a coherent collection that is representative of the various stages of the artist’s career.

Meanwhile, Platte’s art will be put on display at Art Trove’s gallery space at Waterloo Street beginning on 14 October 2010. It will complement the Asia-focused collection of the Singapore Art Museum, situated some 50 meters away. More importantly, it is a cohesive body of works offering some of the key features of European modernism, including fragmentation of objects and figures, primitivist tendencies, and the amalgamation of “high” and “low” materials - an invaluable education resource for students of art history. While the Platte collection is being put together, the museum is currently featuring the works of German painter and film-maker Strawalde (b. 1931). Strawalde spent the earlier years of his career in East Germany, and attained national and pan-European recognition after the re-unification. He has exhibited widely in Germany and France, and collectors of his works include the German Chancellery. // Details of the Museum and Exhibitions are: Art Trove (, 51, Waterloo Street, #02-01 to 03, Singapore 187969. Tel: +65 6336 0915, Fax: +65 6336 9975, Email: Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 6:30pm. Strawalde From now to 2 October, 2010. Artist talk on 26 August. Ewald Platte From 3 October, 2010.

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Lim Yew Kuan His Art and His Role Text: Choy Weng Yang 26 / CONFABULATION

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or decades, Lim Yew Kuan has been in the forefront of the Singapore art scene. His contribution to Singapore art taking the form of three directions -- in his capacity as an artist who took realistic art to a high point, a senior art instructor whose dedication and professionalism have groomed countless artists for close to half a century, he nurtured, with rare dedication and demanding expectations, countless painters and sculptors many of whom are today influential artists in their own right and as the principal of Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts who, with unwavering determination saw it through extremely difficult times – is immense and of consequence. Privately, in his capacity as a serious painter, he has been fighting a daunting singular battle in his art with relentless consistency. Despite compelling models in realistic art flowing out from its fascinating and illustrious history being readily accessible for emulation, Yew Kuan is determined to forge his own distinct niche in the awe-inspiring march of realistic art which has enabled geniuses such as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Goya, Courbet and Ingre to ascend to the rapturous peak of their dazzling visions enthralling generations. Xiamen (Amoy), where Yew Kuan was born in 1928, is an old city founded in the 14th century. A bustling seaport and business centre, it is endowed with a stunning visual ambience: a breathtaking harbour view, coastal charms, quaint architecture and winding streets. All year round festivals, recreating centuries old customs, and the rustic beauty of Amoy ceramics further reinforced the city’s visual feasts. Such is the backdrop of Yew Kuan’s childhood. However, when he was 10, war was looming. He fled to Singapore to join his father. As an artist and art educationist, Lim Hak Tai – Yew Kuan’s father – stood out among his contemporaries in Xiamen, China. Forceful, in-depth, adventurous and innovative – 28 / CONFABULATION

these personal qualities were immediately reflected in his traditional Chinese ink painting and modern Western oil painting in both of which he excelled. In 1937, he accepted the challenge to establish an art institute in Singapore to groom fine artists for the vibrant seaport at the crossroads of Southeast Asia. Within years, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts itself became an exciting crossroads for artists, students, ideas and information in pursuit of art. By the time Lim Yew Kuan enrolled in the Nanyang Academy as a fine art student in 1948, he already had an overview of the visual arts most young graduates would envy. With the family residing in the campus of the academy at 49 St Thomas Walk, Singapore, Yew Kuan came into intimate contact with countless demonstrations of still-life painting, portraiture, watercolours, Chinese ink-painting and Chinese calligraphy. Normally escapes the uninitiated and inexperienced, the overview gave him insights into the intricacies into the all important processes of artistic creativity. In time, his two personal gifts -- his sharp observation powers and his ability to render his observations with stringent accuracy --became more and more evident. 1958 marks an important turning point in Yew Kuan’s art career. With his observation, dexterity and technical skills -- which had been harnessed for close to a decade -reaching saturation, he was now ready for a fresh challenge, a challenge in keeping with his ambition. In July that year, he boarded the majestic Stratmore for an arduous 24day long voyage to England with a singular vision: to penetrate into the influential masterworks in Europe. The years in London – three altogether – were happy ones crammed with exciting discoveries and rewards: a place at the prestigious Chelsea School of Art, testing out new approaches in figurative works in sky-light, spacious studio

often interacting with prominent English artists, analysis of the masterpieces at the National Art Gallery such as Constable’s Haywain and Rembrandt’s self-portrait. In 1959, he fulfilled a long cherished dream – he crossed the English Channel and made it to Paris, and with that, to the Lourve and Montmarte. By the time Yew Kuan returned to Singapore in 1962 his painting had undergone a distinct transformation. Two crucial factors had influenced this change – light and colour. He realized – specifically through Rembrandt’s paintings in the National Gallery in London – the importance of the distillation of light. When distilled to its extreme, light becomes fluid and mobile making it possible, under the invisible hand of the artist, for it to move within the painting with ease and at will, thus achieving atmospheric effects, rendering a mystical mood. Colour, on the other hand, can go beyond being a slave to local colours – always neutral and too rational. Liberated, colour could take on a symbolic meaning. Gauguin – a great inspiration for Yew Kuan – instills power and ethos into his monumental Tahiti paintings. Although, through the decades, Yew Kuan has worked on a great diversity of themes – stilllife, flowers, interiors, landscapes, cityscapes, portraits, social themes – his series of nude studies, all painted in London, remains the culmination of his overall art involvement. Noted for their clarity, concentration and sensitivity, these exceptional works were done under circumstances when he was bursting with fresh ideas derived from his contacts with the English and European masterworks on the same theme. But they were not identifiable with any notable school of painting whether English, French, Italian or Dutch. The most critical of all the related factors in the creative process was an exciting new discovery on Yew Kuan’s part – a discovery which becomes the culminating JULY 2010 / 29



crest of his years of struggling with ‘light’. In a flash of insight, he came to the thrilling revelation that within a tone in the scale of lights and darks is the interplay of nuances waiting to be explored. Through such interplay, the artist could suggest delicacy, vibrancy, movement and time to an extent often overlooked. One of Yew Kuan’s widely admired strengths is his ability to take his artistic repertoire to its limits, exploiting his imagination, experience, extensive knowledge and technical savvy consistently achieving exceptional results. In his culminating work from his 1966 Woodcut Series titled After Fire with its devastating aftermath, he came very close to personifying his dictum that art must reflect man’s dilemma in life. For Yew Kuan, the Balinese Series 1996 is yet another personal breakthrough in his artistic endeavour. The series provided the rare opportunity for him to exploit yet another of his long standing beliefs that landscape art should follow the law of nature that a successful landscape painting must emerge out of the atmospheric light with its distinct sense of place, climate, time and culture. Thus, in the Bali Series, Bali’s unparalleled perpetual brilliant light of utter clarity and pulsating tropical mood was his inspiration. In 2002, at the height of his career, Yew Kuan finds the thought of devoting an entire series of paintings to one singular city, an exciting challenge, testing not only his technical ability but also his resourcefulness, his imagination, his inventiveness and his sensitivity. Paris – because of its physical beauty, because so many artists have sunk their roots into it, because it is a supreme example of how a city has nurtured art and how art in turn has shaped a city – is the irresistible choice. For which matured artist can resist painting the beautiful overview of

the boulevard, the romance of the winding Seine and the sidewalk cafés which Renoir, Sisley, Van Gogh found so titillating. Yew Kuan wants to pay a tribute to the great art city which has influenced his life as an artist beyond imagination. And the works on Paris in his Paris exhibition painted during his stay in the city constitute the token of the tribute. In 2008 wrestling with the assignment from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts on an important sculptural artwork as a tribute to Lim Hak Tai, the founder of the Academy. Yew Kuan agonized over which of the several possible directions to take. The eventual outcome -- a sculptural artwork which captures Lim Hak Tai’s inner strengths, without undue glorification. There could not have been a more revealing image of Lim Hak Tai as artist visionary -- with a clear vision of his art and an ambitious vision to raise new generations of serious artists. In recent years he and his wife travelled extensively: firstly, through China --Beijing, Shanghai, the Silk Road, the old cities and then through London, Paris, Europe the Suez Canal, the Alps. Throughout their arduous journey, Yew Kuan would work on the spot to capture the visual surprises of captivating landmarks they encountered. It was a fascinating journey of perpetual visual discovery. The mass of sketches and paintings from his recent travels now serve as the starting points of a new series of paintings. At 82, Lim Yew Kuan’s passion for painting and sculpture rages on. // Lim’s solo exhibition opens at Lim Hak Tai Gallery at NAFA on the 10th of July and travels to DaTang Fine Arts on the 23rd of July.

1. Nude Study 2 1959 2. London in Red 1959 30 / CONFABULATION

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外师造化,中得心源 写在林友权先生八十二岁回顾展 - 刘岱松

人生天地之间,若白驹之过隙,忽然而已。文人 以文章传世,艺术家以作品传世。朝代有兴替, 钱币有更迭,艺术品却岸然不朽,赫然独立于时 间之外。古今中外,艺术品已然成为文化修养的 写照,身份财富的象征。 身处当代,个人收藏都以华人艺术家为核心,包 括新加坡,马来西亚,中国大陆以及台湾艺术 家。油画,纸上媒材,雕塑均有涉猎。尤其看重 学术背景深厚,形成个人创作语言,以内涵胜出 的作品。第一次见到林友权先生作品时,为其纯 净细腻的画面所吸引。巴厘岛农庄的风景清新怡 人,旷野上茅舍旁两三人物有种忙碌的悠闲,浪 漫地刻划出巴厘人特有的气质。远山如练。优美 而令人感动。受到作品吸引,很自然地会进一步 了解艺术家,到他的画室拜访,进而理解他的艺 术理念,创作过程以及学术素养。 林先生家学渊源,父亲林学大先生—“南洋艺术 之父”,是两所美术学院的创办人之一。在那段 乱世出英雄的时期,华北徐悲鸿(1895~1953 ,江苏人)任北京的中央美院首任院长;华中林 风眠(1900~1991,广东人)时任杭州的国立艺 术院首任校长,即今天的中国美院;岭南林学大 (1893~1963,福建人)在1923年和1938年分 别参与发起成立厦门美专和南洋美专,并任南洋 美专首任校长,影响遍及岭南、台湾以及东南亚 地区。在那些动荡而困顿的年月,他凭着坚持与 决心,引领以新马独具的热带风情,多元文化为 特质的南洋艺术风格。 在父亲奠定的基础上,林友权先生遵循“实现美 感教育,发挥艺术精神”,“文化中心可以树立, 社会教育得从促进”的志向,继续发扬光大,并 开枝散叶,奉献于艺术教育及创作,培育英才无 数,同时亦留下许多经典动人的绘画作品,不愧 为南洋艺术界第二代领军人物之一。其成就已为 学术界推崇并肯定。

林先生是一位伟大而谦逊的长者。他接受欧洲正 统的学院训练,早年在英国修习,写实功力深 厚,留英时期的人体油画作品保留了那一阶段优 雅的欧洲风貌。不论是主体安排,场景陈设,气 氛营造,再再令人惊叹张张精品。返国后,他在 执教南洋美专之余,潜心创作,作品多表达身边 的人物景致。他的南洋风情写实作品,或是呈现 灵魂深处须臾片刻的抽象作品,都执著于自己所 见所识所想,不趋附流行,谨守艺术家自属的那 片天空,也只有象他这样的艺术家才享有这样的 心灵自由!这些作品呈现出一个优秀艺术家多年 修炼的真我,以自己特有的艺术语言真诚表述, 温文尔雅,写意而动人,让观者能与这些作品共 通、交流,就像与艺术家对面而坐。在当下艺术 市场操作如火如荼的时刻,林先生的作品则是一 股清流,恬静而踏实。

HONGKONG in 72 hours Text: Sabrina Sit

艺术浩瀚广博,一法通百法通。得益于声乐和钢 琴领域的深厚造诣,林先生在创作和教学时,于 构图、明暗、结构等构成方面以外,特别讲究画 面的韵律。他亦精拳术,伸缩导引,以武强身。 但他坚持过一种淡泊的生活,诸般功夫少为人 知。在七十多岁高龄时,林先生还携家人背包旅 行,遍览名川,在本次展览中呈现的中国西部风 情及西藏系列即是彼时所作。 艺术创作不论是为献予社会,或谨为畅言自我; 不论是为长久流传,亦或是为瞬间绽放,艺术家 都应以真诚的态度来对待,真正的艺术不容半点 虚假和粉饰。林先生此次于南洋艺术学院个展, 其作品涵盖60年来的精品,集一甲子功力于一 堂,尽精微、致广大,必将在学术界和收藏界产 生广大深远的影响。精彩可期。//

The Hong Kong Museum of Art plastered with posters for the Louis Vuitton: A Passion for Creation exhibition from May to August last year. The exhibition was jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Louis Vuitton and the Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la Création in collaboration with the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau and organized by the Hong Kong Museum of Art. A selection of works from the Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la Création was brought together to showcase a number of significant large-scale works by European, American and Chinese artists to reflect an energetic urban culture, leading to fictional landscapes located somewhere between dreams and adventure. ncburton@Flicker


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he flight to Hong Kong was booked online only 28 hours before I was due to check-in at the Singapore Changi International Airport and needless to say, the hotel room reservations were made even later. This is what happens when you are a chronic procrastinator but alas, what is one to do? I was lucky to be able to get a flight at all given the short time frame, upcoming long weekend due to the Vesak Day Public Holiday and the fact that there were a couple of conferences going on during the period that Art HK is scheduled to take place as well. In less then a day, emails to contacts in Hong Kong were sent out in a flurry, cabin-sized luggage filled with only the essentials and Singapore Dollars were traded in for Hong Kong Dollars, never mind if the current exchange rate is not too favorable.


The trip was not intended solely for a visit to Art HK 10, also known as the Hong Kong International Art Fair, which runs from the 27th - 30th of May. There was dim sum to be eaten, shopping to do (tax-free!) and of course, a whole long list of exhibitions, events and talks to attend. The Campana brothers, Humberto and Fernando will make their Hong Kong debut on the second floor of Louis Vuitton’s flagship Hong Kong store on Canton Road. Among the nine works on show is Panda, a chair constructed of numerous bear plush toys. Another unusual venue - Quarry Bay - where office and residential towers are a common sight plays host to installations, paintings and sculptures by British-born, Hong Kong-based artist Simon Birch in an exhibition titled Hope and Glory. The exhibition reportedly costs some US$2 million to stage.

Simon Boswell Blink – Andy Warhol 2010 Audio-Visual Installation The second rendition of BLINK by Boswell is an audio-visual installation commissioned by Hong Kong’s Home Affairs Bureau that was projected on the facade of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui at night for the Hong Kong Art Week. Footage of celebrities is slowed down tremendously to capture the moment they blink to make for a revealing portrait.

The Keitai Girl (a white-faced female in a bodysuit covered with keypads from mobile phones who poses, dances and marches) by Japanese performance artist Noriko Yamaguchi is expected to be going around Hong Kong after her performance at the fair’s vernissage. Para/Site Art Space, a non-profit art organization, who will be organizing the regular introductory guided tours around the fair will also host conversations between Ai Wei Wei and Vito Acconc at their space where the audience is allowed to eavesdrop and participate in as the artists talk via Skpye.

Luis Calazans/Campana Brothers


There will be alot of talking going on as well during the period of Art HK with Asia Art Archive, the Official Education Partner, responsible for the panel discussions that range from the topics of the Institutional Collections and the History of Japanese Contemporary Art to the Private Endowments in Contemporary Art and the Aftermath of the White Cube.

The Intelligence Squared Asia, Asia’s forum for live debate, will host its annual event at ART HK 10, rallying international art world personalities around the contentious motion: “You Don’t Need Great Skill to be a Great Artist”. Speakers for the motion are Turner-prize winning artist Antony Gormley and presenter, historian and Director of Exhibitions at White Cube Tim Marlow. Speakers against the motion are sociologist and best-selling author Sarah Thornton and critic and Serpentine Gallery co-director Hans Ulrich Obrist. The debate is moderated by Reuters Insider anchorwoman Deborah Kan. Christie’s will also coincide the duration and location of their biannual auction with Art HK. The highlight of the spring sale will be the ‘The Sensational Six’, a selection of six superlative gems which eventually realized a combined total of slightly over US$21 million (inclusive of buyers’ premium).

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Speaking of which, it is unfortunate that we have had both Christie’s and Sotheby’s move their offices and consolidate their Southeast Asian art auctions in Hong Kong in 2002 and 2008 respectively. And now, Hong Kong is the third largest auction market in the world after New York and London with the nouveau riche from China (according to Forbes, there are 60 billionaires in China alone this year) making up a sizable portion of the sales. Having a healthy art auction market is a good thing because the aggressive marketing efforts put in by the auction houses in turn stimulate general art awareness and appreciation, something that is sorely lacking in Singapore. There has been a long-standing tussle between Singapore and Hong Kong to come up tops in trade and finance and more recently, in arts and culture as well and we are giving them a run for their money. Our art scene has dramatically grown since the government recognized the ‘importance of culture and the art’ in 1989 and we are well on our way to becoming a ‘Renaissance City’ (eventually). From 2000 - 2005, we have invested more than US$1 billion1 in arts and culture and this amount went towards supporting arts development through grants for arts program, the running of museums and museum program, and the promotion of arts and heritage to the community. In terms of infrastructure, there is The Singapore FreePort, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the secure storage of artworks and other valuables, and Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services has opened a 64,500 square feet facility to store and manage goods on behalf of clients. The Esplanade - Theatres on 36 / CONFABULATION


the Bay, a 4000-seat complex of theaters, studios and concert halls opened in 2002 and a number of museums has since been built or retrofitted in colonialera structures within two decades with the latest in the pipeline being the National Art Gallery which will focus on Southeast Asian art and is slated to open in three years time. The National Art Gallery will join a list of existing museums that is long enough to necessitate a separate paragraph. The list follows: Asian Civilisations Museum, MINT Museum of Toys, National Museum of Singapore, NUS Museum, Peranakan Museum, SAM at 8Q, Singapore Art Museum and Singapore Philatelic Museum. Aside from the museums, we also have spaces such as 72-13, Alliance Française, MICA Building, Post-Museum, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Sculpture Square, The Arts House and The Substation just to name a few. These venues have played host to several significant exhibitions and events such as the Future of Imagination 6, a time-based performance art event, at Sculpture Square in April this year and From Abroad… to Singapore, a solo exhibition by photographer Simon Carr at Alliance Française just last month. In the meantime, Hong Kong is struggling to complete the development of the West Kowloon Cultural District, an integrated arts and culture neighborhood on 40 hectares of reclaimed land in the West Kowloon district, an idea mooted 12 years ago and a project with a US$2.8 billion cash endowment to boot. There are plans to include a museum in this project but otherwise, in the past two decades, there have not been any significant art museums being built in Hong Kong.

Damien Hirst The Inescapable Truth 2005 Glass, steel, dove, human skull and formaldehyde solution 222 x 176 x 74 cm © Damien Hirst Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd. Courtesy White Cube Brought in by White Cube for Art HK 10 where they dedicated one of two of their booth space to the showing of only Hirst’s work. The Inescapable Truth is the first formaldehyde piece to be shown in Hong Kong and China. Intended as an exhibition piece, it was eventually sold for £1.75 million. Hirst (born 1965) is famed for his (now rotting) tiger shark in formaldehyde in The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991). In September 2008, he took an unprecedented move for a living artist by selling a complete show, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, at Sotheby’s by auction and by-passing his long-standing galleries, removing the 50% dealer’s cut in the process. The auction exceeded all predictions, raising £111 million (US$198 million), breaking the record for a one-artist auction as well as Hirst’s own record with £10.3 million for The Golden Calf, an animal with 18-carat gold horns and hooves, preserved in formaldehyde. The two-day auction ended just hours before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the US stock market crash and global financial crisis.

In terms of festivals, the 33rd edition of the Singapore Arts Festival recently drew to a close last month and we have JULY 2010 / 37



the third edition of the Singapore Biennale to look forward to next year. However, Hong Kong also has their annual Arts Festival and the Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\ Architecture taking place next year.

Yan Pei Ming Portrait Officiel Rouge 2003 Oil on Canvas 49.4 x 9.5 x 16.9 cm © Yan Pei Ming Courtesy of Bernier/Eliades Gallery

Tracey Emin Everything For Love 2005

Linton Meagher Golden Gun I 125 x 80 cm © Linton Meagher Courtesy Cat Street Gallery


And in terms of education, besides the Nanyang Academy of Arts and LASALLE, Singapore has the School of the Arts when, in 2004, the Singapore Government accepted the recommendations of a Committee to set up Singapore’s first independent pre-tertiary arts school to nurture youths talented. Sotheby’s Institute of Art also decided on opening their third campus in Singapore, after New York and London. However, despite all that, we still do not have the art collector base that is needed to stimulate the art market and patronage to drive the creation of more art, a reason why the auction houses decided to move in the first place. “Since moving to Hong Kong, we saw a three-fold, four-fold increase in clients who participated in our sales of Southeast Asian art. Average values go higher as you have more bidders,” says Andrew Foster, Christie’s Asia president. Contradicting that statement is Hong Kong-based Quek Chin Yeow, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Asia who said that they “aren’t moving to Hong Kong because there aren’t enough collectors here, but because it fits with our corporate strategy.” Whatever it is, one place or event rather, that is certainly drawing the collectors is this year’s Art HK. Despite the downturn, The Inescapable Truth by Damien Hirst, which drew an endless stream of visitors, sold for £1.75 million to a Taiwanese buyer. White Cube director Neil Wenman comments, “We’ve been pleased. It’s affirmation that Hong Kong has become the hub of contemporary art for Asia, and it’s amazing that this fair is so sophisticated in its third year. This year feels different from last year — the economy’s improved, and the appetite for Western contemporary art here has

increased rapidly. Right now the Chinese are buying brand names — they know when someone is important.” Gagosian Gallery too, had no qualms bringing in pricey works from Picasso, Giacometti, Renoir and Warhol. Artinfo reports that by the fair’s penultimate day, seven paintings of Beijingbased artist Liu Ye brought in by New York gallery Sperone Westwater had been spoken for, including small ones priced at US$200,000 apiece and a large meditative depiction of bamboo stalks for US$650,000, which went to a collector from mainland China. Other buyers were Asians from Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and New York. There were crowds at the fair at any time of the day and in the evenings, it is not uncommon to find an elbow draped with a Chanel in your rib. Art HK is easily the most important art fair in Asia and they attained this success within three short years. There were 155 galleries from 29 countries this year. Visitors to the fair include British sculptor and Turner Prize winner Antony Gormley, Guggenheim Museum curator Alexandra Munroe, Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami and Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art curator Yuko Hasegawa. Numbers were up 65% from last year, totaling 46 000 for the 4-day period. The fair has also attracted prestigious galleries such as Ben Brown (London), Emmanuel Perrotin (Paris), Lehman Maupin (New York), Pace Beijing (Beijing), Sperone Westwater (New York) and more. We had to speak to Fair Director Magnus Renfrew to find out how he does it. CONFABULATION: How does ART HK differentiate themselves from the other art fairs in the region? Magnus Renfrew: ART HK is the only art fair in

Asia to have such a rigorous selection process. This ensures a truly international caliber of gallery exhibitors. We also place huge importance on education and outreach. ART

HK is able to attract an international exhibitor base and a truly international collector-base. We have Lorenzo Rudolf, invited by the Singapore Authorities, to replicate the success of Art Basel here in Singapore.

What are the problems you foresee he might face in replicating the winning formula in Asia? I don’t think anyone should be trying to replicate Basel in Asia. Art Fairs need to make the most of their own natural character and catchment areas. Art Fairs in Asia should reflect the fact that they are in Asia.

What excitement have art fairs in Hong Kong been creating? There has been considerable excitement at ART HK 10. The international art community have decided in just three years that Hong Kong is the place for a major international art fair for Asia. Visitor figures are up around 65% this year showing that there is huge demand for contemporary art in Hong Kong and it has been demonstrated that there is a market for international contemporary art in Asia.

Where is the significance of art fairs heading? Art Fairs provide an excellent opportunity to see art. The very best art fairs can have cultural as well as commercial significance. We have been delighted that ART HK has become such an important platform for networking amongst curators, collectors, galleries and artists. It has been very exciting to see new relationships being created that will lead to projects and cultural collaborations. //

1. “In the last five years, the Singapore government has invested some $120 million (US$76 million) per year in arts and culture.” Speech by Dr Lee Boon Yang at Singapore Biennale gala reception, 2 September 2006.

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Realism in the Art of the Chinese Diaspora 09.04.10 – 04.07.10 / Singapore Art Museum Text: Yow Siew Kah

“Realism in Asian Art”, a three-month long exhibition organized jointly by the National Art Gallery, Singapore and the National Museum of Contemporary Art Korea, is an attempt to offer the museum visitor a vision of the “real” in modern Asian paintings. The show features a selection of works from Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia. However, one could not help but to notice the absence of art from two geographical areas often considered to be integral parts of Asia: South Asia and China. Despite this gap, the visitor can still have an idea of what realism in Chinese art means, by looking at works not by mainland Chinese artists, but by artists of the Chinese diaspora in Singapore. Chinese artists feature prominently in Singapore art history. Some of them spent their formative years in China, moving to Singapore in the 1930s and 1940s to continue their art practices. Others were born in Singapore, and studied at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), which was modeled after the modern art academy of early 20th-century China. These diasporic Chinese artists saw themselves as part of a larger transnational Chinese community, and despite being Singapore citizens, their art was shaped to a considerable extent by cultural and political concerns in China. In the exhibition, the influence of certain Chinese ideas of realism is evident in several of the paintings by Chinese overseas artists. I will focus on a work by NAFA-educated Koeh Sia Yong. Koeh’s Persecution (1963), shows a horrific scene of Japanese soldiers leading Chinese prisoners to their place of execution. The composition, which follows the common rule of thirds, is tight. The right two-thirds of the painting is occupied by a group of condemned men. The left third is less busy, showing a lone soldier with a rifle, behind whom we see more


Chinese inmates, rendered in smaller shapes, digging their own graves. The brushwork is loose, but the artist has taken great care in giving the prisoners-of-war individual expressions of defiance. Using modulated colors, he has also attempted a faithful reproduction of the effect of light on the human figures. The subject matter of Persecution is historical: although the painting was completed in 1963, it features an event that took place in Singapore during the Japanese occupation some 20 years earlier in the 1940s. The practice of producing art with a “photographic look” that monumentalizes past occurrences has a history that can be traced back to early 20th-century China. In the 1920s, there was a well-known exchange of words between two groups of Chinese intellectuals on the meanings of “reality” in Chinese art. On one side, we had Xu Beihong and his followers, who believed that Chinese painting needed to be more “objective” in the way it depicted the world. He argued that modern Chinese artists should learn how to paint like European academic artists such as Pierre-Paul Prud’hon and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, who were primarily concerned with using colors, lines and shapes to reproduce likeness of the subject matter. The other side of the debate consisted of a group of artists and writers led by romantic poet Xu Zhimo. Unlike Xu Beihong, the man of letters was of the opinion that being “real” did not mean a strict adherence to mimesis. For him, artists and writers had different interpretations of what the term meant, and should be given a large degree of autonomy to express their individual experiences.

After China came under Communist rule in 1949, Xu Beihong’s idea of “reality” became extremely influential in shaping a type of transformative art that emerged not only in China, but also among the diasporic Chinese artists in Singapore. This art aimed to alert the viewer to certain inequalities in society, which needed to be overcome by class-based social and political action. In Singapore, artists such as Koeh Sia Yong were attracted to Xu’s stylistic choice for its ability to communicate with the common people. They eschewed abstract art partly because it was considered too different from natural human vision: one had to be specially trained to appreciate such art. Mimetic painting, however, was thought to appear similar to our everyday visual experience, and thus more suited to communicating messages of social change. For artists like Koeh, “reality” in art had to do with heightening the public’s awareness to social inequities, using a blend of visual elements that could be easily comprehended by the “untrained” eye. Realism in art is a complex concept. It is made even more complicated by how stylistic choices take on different meanings as they travel from one culture to another. Koeh’s Persecution is an example of how a particular combination of visual elements that originated in European academic painting was adapted for use by artists first in China, and then in the Chinese diaspora – all for the purpose of communicating their understanding of the “real”. //

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Staying in tune, Staying free: A duet of sorts from two modern painters 08.07.10 – 29.07.10 / Sunjin Galleries Text: Yvonne Low

Jolly Koh and Choy Weng Yang have come together, as friends and colleagues, to showcase their art at Sunjin Galleries (Singapore) from 8 29 July 2010. This is a rare showing. Their first collaboration of such type – in this instance, aptly titled, A duet exhibition of master works from two modern painters – had also given them an opportunity to carouse, argue and paint just like in the good old days.1 Both Koh and Choy, like several others in the region Singapore and Malaysia during the late 1950s and early 1960s, had left their hometowns to pursue further studies in art overseas. Both had enrolled in the Hornsey College of Art and graduated in 1962 before attaining a teaching certificate at the University of London. Those were invigorating times. They saw firsthand the works of artists they admired and at times emulated; artists such as Ivon Hitchens, Francis Bacon and Mark Rothko could have influenced them initially but so would many others that they encountered in their later years. We are quickly reminded by Koh that “Life’s journey is an evolution, filled with twists and unexpected turns and one’s artistic journey is similar where one follows ‘the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart.’” 2

Wild Flowers VIII, 2009 Oil & Acrylic on Canvas 76cm by 167cm.

Koh had described the four and a half years there in London as being “crucial to his development as artist and thinker”. For him in particular, he learned to appreciate music and poetry then. Certainly, London must have presented strikingly different realities from the Straits where they grew up in. And all the more, we can imagine the bonds they must have formed as young aspiring artists with the mission to bring home all that they had learned, eagerly absorbing new principles and judiciously discarding less meaningful ones. Their return, Koh to Malacca and Choy to Singapore, marked the beginning of a new chapter that brought them professional success in their


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The Virgin Started it All: A Review of Lower Depths individual endeavours. The latter took office as Curator of Art with Singapore’s National Museum from 1978 to 1985 while the former taught art at various Malaysian art Institutes where he helped implement a National Fine Art curriculum and set up the country’s first staterun art school, MARA Institute of Technology. While the paths they had taken took them along markedly different journeys, both Koh and Choy remained vigilantly in tuned with their passion for art making, developing and evolving their techniques and approaches prodigiously. The works we see from both artists are colorful and lively renditions of the world they perceived, quietly informing us of the many worlds that they had experienced. Throughout their artistic careers, both Koh and Choy had held multiple roles that enabled them to travel widely; this had in turn enriched their worldviews and their personal aesthetic developments. Choy for example was invited by the Governments of India and France to take a cultural tour of their countries in 1979 and 1985 respectively. Such prestigious opportunities gave him invaluable insights to the art and artistic development of other countries. In 1970, Koh on the other hand was awarded a postgraduate Fulbright scholarship at Indiana University in the United States; this subsequently led to teaching opportunities in Australia where he lived and worked for the next three decades during which he returned regularly to Malaysia for visits. Despite obligations in their chosen fields, be it curatorship or art education, both artists remained committed to their practice and to the making of modern art. For this exhibition, Koh showed 13 paintings that were developed over the last few years as independent pieces. They are powerful and beautiful renditions that took nature as its source of inspiration. In Wild Flowers (2009), he had captured the ethereal beauty of the flowers all of which are depicted in bright bold shades of red, green and orange, the colours


mixing and blending with each other into a kaleidoscope; the birds that you could almost make out from sharp outlines of their beaks as they fly from one petal to the other seem to be partaking in the same symphony that comes alive, resounding in the ears of the artist and all who share with him such sentiments.

11.06.10 / Theaterstrays Text: Richard Chua Image: Lin Wei Dong

Like Koh, Choy embraces the opportunity to experiment with colour. In all of Choy’s paintings on exhibit, we see a unique painting technique which he had developed and continued to master over the years – the quick succession of overlaying brushstrokes, the amalgamation of contrasting tones and the decisive application of colours – just to mention a few. Here, his works took from familiar scenes around him as a point of entry which he then re-created using strong, sharp brushstrokes that seem to pulsate with life – in Boat Quay (2010), his impressions of the river is vivid with animation, dancing rhythmically across the canvas. In all the works that we have seen by Koh and Choy, they have demonstrated a clear mastery of skill and technique using different types of media. What becomes critically apparent is that the works shared a common conviction – and that is to persist in the experimentation of their art; the driving force behind this conviction finds roots in their shared past, ones which recalled the exuberance of youthful desires to free oneself so as to immerse completely into the spirit of modernity. Today, the same spirit lives on. //

1. Jolly Koh, A word or two (Artist’s statement), Kuala Lumpur, May 2010 2.


3. Jolly Koh, Artistic imperatives: Selected writings and paintings, (Petaling Jaya: Maya Press, 2004), p. 16.

JULY 2010 / 45


Little did I know that it would be a new actor born in 1988 – Lim Jun Jie, a recent graduand of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts – who opened the narrative for this review, for he – playing N in the play – in a brief moment in the Little India Shophouse space, became the writer’s guide into Maxim Gorky’s world of wretched characters in his play Lower Depths, reminding him of the sacrificial virgin in the dance piece that is considered a performance pre-requisite for all good dancers: Rites of Spring. With her came the rest of the characters: Peppel the thief (performed by Matthew Heys), Ayesha the landlady (performed by Sharda Harrison), The Actor (performed by Oon Shu An) – living out snippets of their lives while trapped in a confined space. To discuss this high problematic play by Gorky’s, trying to understand the relevance of the characters in the play in relation to director Elizabeth De Roza and dramaturge Shelly Quick’s world of characters might not be productive. For the form and structure they deployed in the play made more interesting sense, than Gorky’s seemingly non-existent literary intention in the play. The form and structure has helped the actors, but also has restricted their intellectual faculties. In the Singapore theatre scene there is a silent revolution, away from cliché theatre productions. Theatrestrays – together with other groups such as The Group of People and COLLAB – is one theatre collective led by director Elizabeth De Roza focusing on a unique method of training, where Asian theatre practices are combined with contemporary methods; contact improvisation and view points are two of them. Lower Depths is the result of the group’s twoyear training regime, with special emphasis on using their physical, spacial and kinaesthetic awareness in responding to the environment they are working in. In this case – 61, Kerbau Road shophouse. Lower Depth is reminiscent of late William Teo’s theatre aesthetic – to quote



late Singapore theatre doyen Kuo Pao Kun: “Total Theatre”. Grounded-ness – or staying rooted onto the earth – is key philosophy in Asian theatre. It can be seen in performing arts forms from great civilisations: India (for example Bharatanatyam) and China (in Taiji exercises such as 站桩). Staying rooted to the ground gives an actor strength and firmness in body and spirit. As much as the actors in Lower Depths – Sharda Harrison, Oon Shu An, Matthew Heys; strong actors graduated from the Lasalle College of the Arts performance department – are welltrained and strong in their physical movements, their ability to balance their physicality and their “mental grounded-ness” needed more work and attention. Mental stability and maturity require the calm-ness of the mind, allowing it to wonder imaginatively in the space. The actor Matthew Heys could be used as a case in point. There were times when a strong connection was made with this audience, but the connection was quickly cut off when he fell into mechanical execution of the director’s intentions. The actions in the scene when he was in bed waiting for things to happen, watching the TV screen, flipping his wallet were obviously performed by Matthew Heys, and not the character. Similarly, when Sharda Harrison was executing the choreographed movement, one could see that she was trying to complete an action, rather than the character trying to reach a state of arrival in her world. Elizabeth De Roza’s form and structure was clearly visible, much to a watching theatre practitioner’s delight, but not to an ordinary audience member, whose experience is more instantaneous and non-pretentious (form and structure will usually alienate general theatre audiences, due to differences in understanding theatre and its vocabularies). But there were magical moments in the show where this audience member actually felt for the characters and forgot about the directorial form

and structure, akin to walking into St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City seeing Michelangelo’s La Pieta for the first time: the image of Mary carrying Jesus took over the craft of sculpture and the form, the marble. One of them – as mentioned in the opening paragraph – is Lim Jun Jie, when the character he was playing was exploring his body in front of the mirror, coupled with free exhibition of his fragility to the other characters, not to mention every reaction he initiated when different characters were moving past him. Oon Shu An - in her incisive, precise text delivery and movement as seen in past performances such as her graduation performance Three Fat Virgins, directed by Noor Effendy Ibrahim – has captured the essence of her character in total purgatory. Both of them took the path of “not thinking too much” in their mental strategies, allowing the space to interact with them, changing images in their heads as they went along. This could be seen through the rhythms in their body movements, coupled with the way their eyes moved with changes in time and space of the theatre piece. Their bodies took flight almost instantaneously at times, faster and more agile, as compared to Matthew Heys and Sharda Harrison’s more trained bodies, where intellectual faculties – though much more mature than Lim Jun Jie and Oon Shu An’s – slowed them down, reducing the spontaneity of the performance moments. As the theatre saying goes, excessive intellectual work spoils organic elements in any theatre production. Another strength of the theatre piece is that Gorky’s “hell on earth” hasn’t been created in a cliché manner, but in a way that Singaporeans could relate to: in the very place we call “home”. The “home” is none other than a typical room in a Singaporean house, coupled with a bedroom and living area. The aesthetic set-up of the space was akin to a painting in the romantic period, filled with semiotically significant objects, from the accordion to the novels, reminiscent of Jean Rhys’ 1931 novel After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie, where

protagonist Julia Martin learns to overcome her insecurities in a hard way after leaving her lover Mr Mackenzie in the loneliness of her cheap hotel room. The dressing table belonging to Elizabeth De Roza’s N was the one, where N’s extreme poverty in love resided, a place where N accepted insecurity as part of her existence. The use of the English and Chinese languages in the Singaporean context also rooted the theatre piece to the site in the country’s most original cultural area Little India, where countless lonely and insecure souls roamed the streets looking for survival away from their original cultural sites, in this utopian city called Singapore. Perhaps I have read too much into this piece of theatre, and what I have just said is just a load of bull. But in a country filled with signs, where every building, object, gesture represents class divides and power differences, it would be great to let our minds run wild with imaginations, albeit in better quality, than the inane pursuits of Singaporeans of the everyday. That’s what theatre pieces are designed for: to provide a safe sanctuary to meditate and ponder on their existence in this world. Theatrestray’s Lower Depth allowed just that to take place, only to much annoyance when I was woken up by the TV sets going blank, showing only blue screens, reminding me that it was just another theatrical experience and not the Singaporean reality. //

JULY 2010 / 47



Memories + Moods 15.07.10 - 31.07.10 / Fill Your Walls Text: Emmanuel Ng

Firm believers in using art as a medium to transcend the limitations of language in expressing inexplicable human experiences, Malaysian-born Benison Chung, and self-taught abstract artist Tony Chua will be collaborating on a joint exhibition at Fill Your Walls from the 15 to 31 of July. Aptly entitled Memories + Moods, Benison and Tony have sought to concretise their past and emotions in their paintings for the exhibition. Both artists seek to render and represent the world as viewed through the lenses of the treasure trove that is human emotion, taking the essence of objects and places in their experiences, beyond the limitations of the physical senses. Benison, who has called Singapore home for the past 10 years, revisits memories of the natural world surrounding his childhood in Ipoh, Malaysia. His paintings employ the use of vibrant and bright colours to depict the joy he experienced in places he spent much time at as a child. In one of his works, Benison forever enshrines a Yellow Flame Tree he was fond of climbing, a tree which regrettably, no longer stands today. Benison also notably favours bold brush strokes, effectively characterizing and enlivening his work, with a sense of free-spiritedness that he consciously seeks to capture. In revisiting these fond experiences of his past, he shares the immense happiness one can relish from something as simple as a tree or flower, if one only cared to take a step back and appreciate it. In his paintings, Tony has achieved a breakthrough in both his artistic and personal struggles. The freedom of abstract

enables him to access a state of cathartic revelation through which he depicts the sights and experiences of the world we live in. Tony uses his experiences from travelling around the world and the intensity of the emotions from his daily struggles, rendering them into a profound distillation of meaning and a unique perspective of the otherwise mundane. Through his careful control and experimentation with lines, contrasts and texture, he seeks to move the basic appreciation and portrayal of our environment to a level of greater intensity and depth. This ever so apparent when he espouses traditional painting with collage work, palette knife scraping and scrubbing, to achieve a truly unique visual impact. Benison and Tony find common ground in the midst of differences in their artistic styles, through the mutual philosophy of letting the energies of their daily lives, be the primary inspiration and director of their work. Both artists use their indulgence in art to aid them in their pursuit of being true to ones self. Their paintings serve to help them in their search for balance and happiness, in the midst of the pressure and stresses of our modern living. For both artists, their first collaborative exhibition at Fill Your Walls will be a platform for them to share their artistic journeys – their art depicting the momentary and transient turns of life that take us far from our point of origin. Benison and Tony’s showcase will be a raw and personal exposÊ, giving light through different vantage points on the varying fragments that makeup the universality of the human experience. //

Benison Chung: 1.Bougainvillea 61cm x 76.2cm acrylic on canvas 2.The Yellow Flame Tree 61cm x 76.2cm acrylic on canvas. Tony Chua 3.Oh! What a Beautiful day! 91.44cm x 91.44cm acrylic, oil pastel and charcoal 4.Monday Blues 91.44cm x 91.44cm acrylic and oil pastel 48 / CONFABULATION

JULY 2010 / 49



Richard: Let’s

start with the opening image? When you guys were working on Lower Depths – 61 Kerbau Road on the script – what was on your mind – Elizabeth, or Shelly?

Going to the Lower Depths in Gorky’s World in Theatrestray’s Latest Theatre Piece

An Interview with Director Elizabeth De Roza and Dramaturge Shelly Quick Text: Richard Chua Image: Lin Wei Dong


Elizabeth: Training was the starting point, with a focus on body and physicality. When I proposed devsing something around Gorky’s Lower Depths to Shelly, I already knew it was a site-specific piece of work. As training progressed, coupled with my hope to have all 13 characters in the play, I felt there was a need for a dramaturge on the project team. I invited her without telling her what I had in mind. I love working with people. That’s empowerment. Shelly: We discussed how the process would be. I am happy with my involvement as the dramaturge, not in the old fashioned sense of the word. It has to be more organic. I went to all the rehearsals and watched the training sessions. I tried to understand the physicality of the actors. I read the script and did the research.

That was a lot of work. Elizabeth, what was on your mind when you invited Shelly on your project? In your opinion, what was her strength? E: Shelly is strong in developing structures for the work.

Text - wise? S: More composition, I think, than text. I love images and sounds, hence laying out the structure of the piece in layers.

How about you, Shelly? When you came on board, what was the thing you felt Elizabeth could “jam” with you, if you would allow me to use that word?

S: We have similar approaches to theatre. Both of us believe in training. We value physicality and imagery in theatre. Right after our Beckett production, I was again interested in working with her. Her group interests me. They have been training for a while. I came in not just for the play, but also the process of creation. I am interested in text and words, with Elizabeth being better in physical work. We compliment each other.

Let’s talk about the space. This a sitespecific work. E: It is a warehouse, slum-like.

Slum? E: If you had been following my work, you would know that I question a lot about space; both the audience’s and performers’. I want the audience to have a very holistic experience. When the group started, we knew that we were not going to stage our works in conventional spaces, such as proscenium staging. Audience configuration should change, not just physically, but also within the audience in the scene. This notion has always been on my mind. The question of liminal spaces, the threshold, what’s most tangible. We train with the aim of actors transgressing their form, transforming themselves and releasing the container of energy within them. I was also interested in spaces between the actor, what’s going on in this body – the vessel – how it is being communicated. I deploy action images in my work, and through this we developed a methodology of training. It is called Soft Fireworks: We develop the internal container in a human body allowing it to release energy – something like Taiji. We all know that theatre is an imagery thing, but my curiosity lies in the spaces within the imagery. Most people are mistaken about me, thinking that I don’t like text. To me, visual images in theatre are also a language, but we need a balance between the text and imagery. I hope

JULY 2010 / 51



that when the audience members come in, they will be physically transported to another place, not at the metaphysical level, but rather a shared space. S: We were looking for a space, something with possibilities, structures unfolding in many ways.

Are you referring to the physical structure of space? S: The physical space in performance. I was thinking about the text, its connection with Singapore, wanting to find a space with resonance, history, meaning.

So the space should have a certain kind of possibility. It is physical. It has to fit into the context of the performance? S: The context - yes - we needed to find the space quite quickly. I needed to know the space first before I could visualize the structure of the work. I was stressed. I needed to understand the space we’d be working in before conceptualising how we were going to place what were devising. The space would be an organic part of the organizing principles of the play. E: Actually I have already got the space in mind. My aim was to work with the actor in order to react to the space. They would generate materials that would allow me to make decisions on how the space could react with the actors. This is where we differ. So when we talk about director intention and form, pieces of movement and gestures were created from the result of training, and because of that translation, they were able to create them specifically for the production. S: They also worked from the text. E: Yes, when we sat down with the actors to choose the scenes, we deployed a training 52 / CONFABULATION

technique shared with us by some Bulgarian artists. It is a method of devising theatre, where they chose the scenes and create images by writing down words that describe the scene. It first started with 20 scenes, then 10, 5, 3 to 1 . Then they started working with the sensory glands – shaping tastes as well – creating a very visceral response to the scenes. These 8 elements – as trained in the elementary workshop – helped us in coming up with gestures. The actors came up with physical gestures, reading the lines, crafting the images – sort of like view-pointing. 3 months later, when Shelly came on board, it became richer.

All these are soft fireworks? Let’s talk a little more about it. As you said the human body is a container. Are you referring to the pressure within that grounds the actors? E: I don’t call it pressure. I would like to call it container, the wheel within, constantly moving. It is like a generator drawing energy from the ground. That’s the impetus to move. Shelly needed to come in. We had to move on to the next stage. We create one part, then another part. One structure to another structure.

Composition structure? It must have a beginning, middle and end, narrative? S: I tried to ensure that there would be openings for the audience to enter. The structure developed slowly over a period of training and devising.When I came in – seven months before the show – I began by observing what they were doing and looking for my own entry point.

Were they clear? Did they know what they were doing? S: They were still exploring. Certain physical motifs kept coming out; certain lines, movements and gestures. I looked at the

play constantly, connecting the dots with the physicality of the actors – and characters – and the original play. At first, we were just watching them. I didn’t want to pre-empt what they were working on and where they were working from. They seemed to associate themselves with particular characters in the play. Or I should say, they reminded us of some particular characters in the play.

It seems the director has already gotten everything there. I suspect, at the time, the show was already quite tightly knitted. To Elizabeth, is your creative process proven sound? Were your initial strategies strong? Would you have felt that the piece had changed from the initial strategies you have planned for?

E. As said, I knew the scenes they were working from, right from the beginning of the working process. I did not want to let her know. For I needed Shelly to give a fresh take on them. I needed her to see what worked and what didn’t. I just recorded the notation to the scenes. This is how I work: To start with what I want with a clear vision, aesthetics and otherwise, but it has to be put in the background. Lower Depths – 61 Kerbau Road was not a director’s piece. It was a highly collaborative process. For one, you cant say where the design came from. What’s interesting about the space is that interesting things always crop up, to the actors and audience. As the actors perform their architectural work in the space, they associate themselves with the items in the space. For example, all of them seemed to have gathered to the bed in the centre of the room: Peppel’s bed. Well, it was our privilege to be able to work in the space for a long time. It allowed us more time to explore the space. If we had limited time on the set, we might not have been able to do lots of things. I would have come in and more actively directed the piece.

E: As I worked with Shelly, for she had been sounding me off almost on a regular basis, together with inputs from the actors, my directorial decisions had to be thrown aside. It has to be done in order to allow the creative force to emerge. In our long arguments with each other, there will be gems. Lines, certain language, gestures have to be taken out. Any director in contemporary work is a collaborator in the group. As much as I know what my aesthetics are, however the eventual piece did not embody my aesthetics , but rather Theatrestray’s.

S: What’s also interesting is that traces of actors’ work done outside the space were also brought into the space. For example, when they were rehearsing in Substation, actor Shu An was very drawn to the window; in our rehearsals in Lasalle College of the Arts, actor Jun Jie seemed to use the mirror a lot. Traces of what they had done in other rehearsals were carried into the space and the performance.

E: Jun Jie reminded us of Nastiah – not the full character, but the scene he chose, or to be more specific lines from Nastiah.

S: It is because the actors have always been honest, and they brought integrity to the work. We could not impose things on them, we only could observe, shape, edit their work. Otherwise we would just be putting masks on them. They would become artificial. Honest responses to the text had to come forth. Everything had to fit together. When we looked at the structure of the piece, we saw certain characters from the original play. For example, actor Matthew Heys reminded us of two characters.

S: We assigned them certain characters based on what we were reading from their devised work. We had to collapse the cast down and assign our actors roles. We cut out the characters keeping in mind that certain characters, when combined, would create certain dynamics within the play.

JULY 2010 / 53


Did you set up main “pillars” to anchor the play? S: We needed power in the play, hence we were looking at the landlords. Actor Sharda suited the role of the landlord wife. So 2 characters were used, and they were collapsed into one single entity – the landlord’s wife – on Sharda. Similarly, for Jun Jie, her character N has qualities of another character, other than Nastiah. As for actor Shu An, she naturally became The Actor.

Has the process been difficult? E: Well, it was quite easy, for the actors and characters were quite clear. S: I had to read the play several times. I looked at the themes. They are key to the play. The key lines and dialogues reflect key themes in the play; the characters, the people, the lines.

E and S: What do you think?

As an audience member entering the space, there was a sense of fear, but there was also a sense of voyeurism. To quote my good friend Noor Effendy Ibrahim, the artistic director of The Substation: there is always a sense of pleasure in voyeurism, especially in watching violence unfold in front of us. To me, morality and ethics come later. I take as a known fact that self-respecting artists care about humanity, although most works in Singapore do not take that as a primary motive, I personally believe that Lower Depths—61 kerbau Road does have a deep sense of concern for humanity, through the lives of these characters in Gorky’s Lower Depths. // – to be continued –

E: We had to re-configure the lines, not trying to fit them in. That’s why – as I reiterate this again and again – that this is not a director’s piece. The actors gave us lots of food, and that made the process easy. 6 months into our training, with the script ready in our hands, we would be able to do a lot of things. But I constantly knew that I didn’t want to follow the script, not because I didn’t like it, but I wanted it to be contemporary. Shelly came with the glue. She gelled things down and helped us put everything together. As said, I knew the prologue and snippets of the characters, but crossing-over was difficult. The thread is the key, allowing actors and audiences to look at different narratives from different perspectives.

What’s the thread? Was it the story – the narrative – humanity, journeys of the characters? Or, was there different threads in different trajectories?


JULY 2010 / 55

Pop and Contemporary Fine Art

Art Trove 51 Waterloo Street #02-01/2/3 Singapore 187969 T: +65 6336 0915 F: +65 6336 9975 E: W: Opening hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 11am - 6:30pm.

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Li Fine Art 19 Tanglin Road #03-32 Little Red Shop Linda Gallery 15 Dempsey Road #01-08 Lukisan 110 Faber Drive M Gallery 1 Kaki Bukit Road 1 #03-19 MAD Museum of Art & Design 333A Orchard Road #03-01 Marisa Keller 28 Woking Road #03-05 Masterpiece Mercedes-Benz Center 301 Alexandra Road Metakaos 1 Kaki Bukit Road 1 #03-22 MINT Museum of Toys 26 Seah Street Momentous Arts 20 Lor Telok #02-01 Mulan Gallery 19 Tanglin Road #02-33 Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts 38/80/151 Bencoolen Street National Museum of Singapore 93 Stamford Road Ngee Ann Cultural Centre 97 Tank Road Night & Day 139 A/C Selegie Road NTU (School of Art, Design & Media) 81 Nanyang Drive NUS Museum 50 Kent Ridge Crescent Ode to Art 252 North Bridge Road #01-36E/F Opera Gallery 2 Orchard Turn #03-05 Osage 11B Mount Sophia #01-12 Peter’s Frames 19 Tanglin Road #02-02 Peranakan Museum 39 Armenian Street Post Museum 107/109 Rowell Road Pop and Contemporary Fine Art 390 Orchard Road #03-12 Public Art Space (Pan Pacific) 7 Raffles Boulevard ReDot 39 Keppel Road #02-06 Red Dot Design Museum 28 Maxwell Road Red Sea 9 Dempsey Road #01-10 Renate Kant Studio 8 Shrewsbury Road RSAF Museum 400 Airport Road S.bin Art Plus 140 Hill Street #01-10/11/12 School of the Arts 90 Goodman Road Sculpture Square 155 Middle Road Sealey Brandt Photography Studio 1 Westbourne Road #01-02 Sinema 11B Mount Sophia #B1-12 Singapore Art Museum 71 Bras Basah Road Singapore Art Society 10 Kampong Eunos Singapore Coins and Notes Museum 2 Trengganu Street Level 3 Singapore Contemporary Young Artists Singapore Navy Museum 32 Admiralty Road West Singapore Philatelic Museum 23B Coleman Street Soobin Art International 10 Ubi Crescent #04-90/92/93/95 Sotheby’s Institute of Art 82 Telok Ayer Street Sun Craft 19 Tanglin Road #02-08 Sunjin Galleries 43 Jalan Merah Saga #03-62 TAKSU 43 Jalan Merah Saga #01-72 Telok Kurau Studios 91 Telok Kurau Lorong J Tembusu 140 Hill Street #01-05 The Art Gallery 1 Nanyang Walk The Arts House 1 Old Parliament Lane The Gallery (SMU) 90 Stamford Road The Gallery of Gnani Arts One Cuscaden Road #01-05 The Luxe Art Museum 6 Handy Road #02-01 The Peach Tree 129 Tanglin Road The Picturehouse 2 Handy Road The Republic Cultural Centre 9 Woodlands Avenue 9 The Substation 45 Armenian Street Third Floor – Hermès 541 Orchard Road Utterly Art 229A South Bridge Road 2nd Level Valentine Willie Fine Art 39 Keppel Road #02-04 Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall 11 Empress Place VITRIA 17 Chee Hoon Avenue Xuanhua 70 Bussorah Street Y2ARTS 140 Hill Street #01-02 Yang Gallery 19 Tanglin Road #02-41 Yisulang 6 Handy Road #01-01 Your MOTHER gallery 91A Hindoo Road

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MALAYSIA ART GUIDE +Wondermilk Art Gallery 12 (Art Space Gallery) A2 Gallery Annexe Gallery Art Case Galleries Art Expo Malaysia Art House Gallery Art Loft Art Salon @ Seni Artseni Gallery CHAI (Instant Cafe House of Arts and Idea) Edi.A Art Gallery Galeri Chandan GALERI PETRONAS Galeri Shah Alam galleriiizu @ Shangri-La Hotel House of Matahati (HOM) Islamic Arts Museum Lookiss Lost Generation Space Malaysia National Art Gallery MERAH: Mansion for Experimentation, Research, Arts and Horticulture Metro Fine Art NN Gallery Pace Gallery Pelita Hati Pinkguy Gallery Richard Koh Fine Art Rimbun Dahan RougeArt Shalini Ganendra Fine Art The Gallery @ Star Hill Valentine Willie Fine Art Wei-Ling Gallery Y 2 S Art Space ZINC

JULY 2010 / 63



Galleries Art Trove 51 Waterloo Street #02-01 to 03 Singapore 187969 +65 6336 0915

Lukisan Art Gallery 110 Faber Drive Singapore 129421 +65 6774 1609

Xuanhua Art Gallery 70 Bussorah Street Singapore 199483 +65 6392 2556

Cape of Good Hope 140 Hill Street #01-06 MICA Building Singapore 179369 +65 6733 3822

Mercedes-Benz Center 301 Alexandra Road Singapore 159968 +65 6866 1888

Yisulang Art Gallery 6 Handy Road #01-01 The Luxe Singapore 229234 +65 63376810

DaTang Fine Arts Singapore 177 River Valley Road, Liang Court , #02-09A Singapore 179030 +65 9846 2098 / +65 9721 3718

Mulan Gallery 19 Tanglin Road #02-33 Tanglin Shopping Centre Singapore 247909 +65 6738 0810

Dynasties Antique & Art Gallery 18 Boon Lay Way #01-136 TradeHub 21 Singapore 609966 +65 67383268

The Luxe Art Museum 6 Handy Road #02-01 The Luxe Singapore 229234 +65 6338 2234

Art Services Ray’s Transport & Services Artwork Installation & Delivery Services All other Art related services +65 91522511

Dealers / Consultants Y2ARTS 140 Hill Street #01-02 MICA Building Singapore 179369 +65 6336 8683

Pop and Contemporary Fine Art 390 Orchard Road #03-12 Palais Renaissance Singapore 238871 +65 6735 0959

Framers Impress Galleries 429 East Coast Road Singapore 429016 +65 64404533



fill your walls 21 Tanjong Pagar Road #04-02 Singapore 088444 +65 6222 1667

S.Bin Art Plus 140 Hill Street MICA Building #01-10/11/12 Singapore 179369 +65 6883 2001

Galerie Joaquin 1 Cuscaden Road #01-03 The Regent Hotel Singapore 249715 +65 6725 3113

Sunjin Galleries 43 Jalan Merah Saga #03-62 Work Loft @ Chip Bee Singapore 278115 +65 6738 2317

Impress Galleries 1 Kim Seng Promenade #02-07/08 Great World City Singapore 237994 +65 67362966

The Gallery of Gnani Arts 1 Cuscaden Road #01-05 The Regent Singapore 249715 +65 6725 3112

Black Earth Auction 367 Joo Chiat Road Singapore 427559 +65 6346 3767

Venues / Associations / Groups Gnani Arts Space 190 Middle Road #02-30/31, Fortune Centre Singapore 188979. +65 6339 1230

Peter’s Frames 19 Tanglin Road #02-02 Tanglin Shopping Centre Singapore 247909 +65 6737 9110

Antiquities and Furniture Antiquaro 19 Tanglin Road, #02-42 Tanglin Shopping Centre Singapore 247909 +65 6737 4822

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Conservation and Restoration Benaka Art Conservation Private Ltd 64 Taman Warna Singapore 276386 +65 9105 4377 / +65 6100 2707

Artists’ Studios Chieu Sheuy Fook Studio Studio 102 91 Lorong J Telok Kurau Road Singapore 425985 +65 96690589

Ketna Patel 35 Jalan Puteh Jerneh Chip Bee Gardens, Holland Village Singapore 278057 +65 6479 3736

Koeh Sia Yong 许锡勇 10 Kampong Eunos Singapore 417774 +65 9671 2940


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Featured on

is a registered charity with IPC Status that may provide up to 250% tax-deductibles for donations received.


We do Community Art. Art to the Heart: Heartlanders into Artlanders. Art for everyone and anyone. JULY 2010 / 69

To learn more about our Public Murals or donate please email:


Surviving Hong Kong

The official name of Hong Kong is ‘Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’.

If you are not careful when ordering, you might find 1000-year-old eggs sliced up in your noodles. Buried in a clay, sand and salt mixture, the yolk in the duck or quail eggs turns a dark green and the shell, a brown – black.








Keep walking and walk briskly. You WILL get trampled on if you slow down.


Stand on the right side of the escalator and yes, everyone does it.

Shopping Mall Delay No Mall in Causeway Bay boasts of Pacmanthemed toilets where a light and siren goes off after you flush. You have been warned.


JULY 2010 / 71