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5 Art Paintings In Singapore You Must Not Miss [2023]

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Paintings Singapore

Best Paintings Singapore
Best Paintings Singapore

It is no secret that Singapore has some of the best paintings in the world. You don’t have to take our word for it, just ask any art aficionado! There are paintings in Singapore that you need to see before you die because they will be gone tomorrow. If paintings are your passion, then this blog post should help get you started on what to see while visiting Singapore. Here are 5 paintings that we recommend checking out when you’re in town!

1. Drying Salted Fish (1978), Cheong Soo Pieng

The painting on the back of the $50 note, depicting a group of Malay villagers processing and drying salted fish, is by Cheong. It is still seen around parts of Southeast Asia, surrounded by lush greenery, overturned baskets and farm animals in a pasture; an unbroken succession that has continued up to the present day.

The work was painted in Chinese ink and color on cloth, which was then highlighted with gold leaf from the region’s distinctive Nanyang art style, pioneered by Cheong. The warm tones and subject matter about a group of people evoke a sense of kindness, making this piece unforgettable.

2. National Language Class (1959), Chua Mia Tee

In a classroom, National Language Class not only depicts an educational scenario, but also highlights the issues of identity and nationalist passion expressed by a group of Chinese students learning Bahasa Melayu.

The artwork was finished in 1959, the year Singapore became fully independent from British colonial rule. In Bahasa, basic questions are scrawled on the blackboard, probing the students’ and viewers’ national identities at the time. Chua is a well-known figure in Singapore’s art world, having received a number of accolades over the years including including the Cultural Medallion in 2015.

3. Life by the River (1975), Liu Kang

The scenery of Bali’s rural countryside is captured in this photograph, which takes you away from the bustle and noise of the city center. From the attap homes on stilts to the gatherings of people on the riverbanks, Liu Kang captures the communal lifestyle of traditional kampung living.

Liu Kang spent some time in Paris as a young man, and he was influenced by fauvism and post-impressionism. The Parisian influence is evident in the bold, vivid colors and staccato brushstrokes. He journeyed to the Indonesian islands with other pioneering artists, including Chen Wen Hsi and Cheong Soo Pieng, to capture the climates that were no longer present in developing Singapore.

4. Modern Art (c. 1960-170), Chua Tiag Ming

This somber black and white shot depicts a man working on the side of a home alone. The picture was taken during a time of political and social upheaval. The harsh contrast between the jagged border of the unpainted paint job and the din of trash with the man’s concentration and serenity on his (by modern-day standards) shoddy ladder, lends the photo a sense of compassion. Chua’s realist image harkens back to a time when only older people were familiar with it, yet it still resonates with today’s audiences.

5. Black and White (c. 1970), Anthony Poon

This monochrome artwork stands out in a crowd of organic subject paintings. Poon was Singapore’s first modernist artist, and one of the most famous Optical Art artists at the time.

After graduating from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, he spent a year at Cheong Soo Pieng’s school before moving to London to pursue his art education. He tried a variety of styles before settling on Op Art. From the accuracy of Black and White, it is clear that each of his pieces was meticulously planned and methodically carried out.

Paintings Singapore

Art paintings in Singapore will show you the country’s rich history and culture. Whether it is a black-and-white photo depicting an unassuming man working on his home alone, or paintings of traditional Kampung life with its Attap homes on stilts and riverbank gatherings, art paintings in Singapore can take your breath away. This article discusses 5 such paintings that showcase the beauty of this Southeast Asian island nation; but there are many more to explore when you’re here!

Looking to create your own painting? Contact our helpful events staff right away! We’d be delighted to help you plan the greatest Art Jamming workshop experience ever!

In the meantime, we encourage you to check out our blog post list below if any of these sound interesting:

Rachel Tan - FunEmpire

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Rachel Tan is the editor at FunEmpire Media Singapore. She has over 8 years of experience in the media industry discovering the best local businesses, places and things to do in Singapore. From lifestyle, entertainment, food, travel, education and more, Rachel is a trusted source to curate the very best Singapore has to offer.