Two special exhibitions to open at the National Gallery Singapore

Works of artists Chua Ek Kay (left) and Wu Guanzhong (right) will join the roster of shows opening at the National Gallery Singapore.
Works of artists Chua Ek Kay (left) and Wu Guanzhong (right) will join the roster of shows opening at the National Gallery Singapore.PHOTO: SINGAPORE TYLER PRINT INSTITUTE/ZAOBAO

Exhibitions on renowned Singapore artist Chua Ek Kay and famed Chinese artist Wu Guanzhong will join the roster of shows opening at the National Gallery Singapore.

The museum, a decade in the making, opens on Nov 24 with the long-term exhibitions Between Declarations and Dreams at its UOB South-east Asia Gallery, and Siapa Nama Kamu? (What is Your Name?) at the DBS Singapore Gallery.

The exhibition on Chua, which opens on Nov 25, will be the first historical survey of the Cultural Medallion recipient's career by a national museum. His wife, Madam Yeo Yang Kwee, had earlier donated 13 of his works to Singapore's national collection.

The survey show will feature seminal works by the late artist and subjects that piqued his interest, including the Singapore cityscape and reflections on nature. It will also examine Chua's artistic practice through his interests in calligraphy, poetry, the Shanghai School of ink painting, and Western art. Works in the show include After the Rain (2004), Dream of Borobudur (1996) and My Haunt (1991).

The exhibition on Wu, which opens on Nov 26, inaugurates the Wu Guanzhong Gallery at the museum. The artist and his family donated 113 works, valued at a total of $66 million, to the national collection in 2008.

The exhibition, Wu Guanzhong: Beauty Beyond Form, features more than 80 oil and ink paintings, including 22 pieces on loan from key art institutions in China and Hong Kong such as the National Art Museum of China and the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Many of these works will be on display for the first time in Singapore.

Both exhibitions will run till May and admission is free, albeit ticketed, during the museum's opening celebrations from Nov 24 to Dec 6. Thereafter, these two exhibitions remain free for Singapore citizens and permanent residents. For foreign visitors, admission to these two exhibitions is included in the ticket price ($20 for adults, $15 for children aged between seven and 12 and seniors).

The museum's director of curatorial and collections Low Sze Wee, said in a press statement that both artists are "amongst the most innovative artists of their time," having "integrated both Chinese and Western art traditions in distinctive ways".

"We hope that these exhibitions will further enhance public interest and appreciation of modern ink painting," he said.