National Gallery Singapore plays important role

I salute the National Gallery Singapore and France's Centre Pompidou for staging the Gallery's exhibition - Reframing Modernism: Painting From South-east Asia, Europe And Beyond - which examines modernism from the perspective of South-east Asia ("Where East and West meet on the canvas"; last Wednesday).

I am glad the Gallery is taking the lead in showcasing this, as it offers important lessons for future generations of Singaporeans.

I have knowledge of Hong Kong and Japanese art, having attended Hong Kong Art Week, Art Basel and the M+Sigg showcase of four decades of Chinese contemporary art, as well as visited the South Island Cultural District.

I have also researched the Japanese art landscape.

Hong Kong's art ecosystem is too commercial-centric, while Tokyo's is too academic and local-centric.

Singapore has the best chance of achieving a real balance between commercialism and its role as an arts and cultural hub.

Profound art uplifts the soul, and there is a need to sieve out the real gems from mediocre art in this frantic era of rapid art production.

Thus, the National Gallery Singapore plays a very important apex role as an arbiter of taste for many generations to come.

Hua Tye Swee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2016, with the headline 'National Gallery Singapore plays important role'. Print Edition | Subscribe