An hour at the musuems

Had some time to kill in between church and a friend’s birthday brunch, so I checked in on the free exhibits at the National Museum and the Singapore Art Museum.



A Changed World at the National Museum traces the development of Singapore art through the 1950s-1970s. I liked the earlier seafaring/port pieces, because of the colors and the idyllic-despite-hustling scenes. The nation-building stage was also interesting because of the industrial scenes. If these are considered the beginnings of Singapore art, they’re very different from those of its Southeast Asian neighbors like the Philippines and Indonesia, which are marked by colonial violence and revolutions. Er, I didn’t really read the literature.



At SAM, the permanent exhibit with these happy greetings told a different socio-political story, seen through the eyes of the country’s young contemporary artists like Dawn Ng and Dyn.

SAM’s seasonal exhibit (with free admission), called Untitiled, was fun. This was an interactive installation where viewers were challenged to name untitled works. I found these three most interesting, not only because of how they appealed to me aesthetically, but more because of the titles previous visitors gave them (it’ll really help if you zoom in to see the handwritten titles on the right side).


For example, Cheong Chai-Hiang’s wooden, mixed media sculpture was christened thus:
Morning wood
The life of a chopped tree
Screw woodcarving (I feel you bro)


Angeline Choo’s oil painting:
A rose by any other name
The winner takes it all
Hold your panties

20140302-151415.jpgAnd this piece, which was not in the catalogue:
Execution by bad music
The death of the Walkman
“We know what to put in your ears” –Putin’s Russia

A Changed World is on exhibit at the National Museum till March 16.
Untitled is on exhibit at SAM till April 27.


Feeling arty

I’ve had this backlog of art events waiting to be uploaded. This year is shaping up to be an interesting time for fine art in Singapore, whether it’s by local artists or foreign.

Towards the end of 2011, there was the Voyage Night Festival by the National Museum, Singapore Art Museum, etc.


Then the touring collection of the Musee d’Orsay, also at the National Museum. It brought in Degas, Van Gogh and other iconic impressionists.


There was Art Stage, with the Keith Haring…


The Aquilizans…


The Yu Bogong


The Aditya Novali (my favorite piece of the show)…


The Paresh Maity….


…and (drool) the Joan Miro(s).


More recently, at the Singapore Art Museum, there’s the Future Proof and Chimera shows, with these stunning contemporary installations.




We tried to get into the more indie scene at the last Open House in Tiong Bahru, too, but the ticketline was horrendous (great for the arts, not great for us). So we just walked around the Art Deco neighborhood.