Monday, September 19, 2011

Curator Tours, Liu Kang A Centennial Celebration

Offerings, 1975.

Join exhibition curators Ms Ong Zhen Min and Ms Patricia Ong, for a guided tour to learn more about Liu Kang, a passionate artist whose creativity knows no bounds. Walk through the galleries and be intrigued by the stories behind the artworks. Find out how this prolific artist made such an impact on the development of art in Singapore.


One lovely evening on 16 Sep 2011, one of my friends and I joined one of the Curator Tours of Liu Kang A Centennial Celebration. Leading the tour was one of the exhibition curators, Ms Ong Zhen Min. This Curator Tour gave us a deeper understanding to Liu Kang's approach to art. We have also learnt more about many of Liu Kang's works.

Life by the River, 1975.

I learnt that in Life by the River, Liu Kang dealt with the composition in a very interesting manner. The various subject matters in this painting unravel to the viewer like a traditional Chinese landscape hand-scroll. The use of the bridge sensitively created depth in this painting.

Tenth Trip Up to Huangshan, (1989).
In this painting, Liu Kang painted his teacher, Liu Haisu, painting Huangshan.

During the tour, the curator also shared with us why the style found in Tenth Trip Up to Huangshan, (1989), is so different from the style of Liu Kang's style of painting. If you would like to find out more, perhaps you could consider going for the upcoming Curator Tour (in Mandarin) held on 23 Sep 2011.

The curator also shared with the members of the group about the differences in Liu Kang's approaches to oil paintings and works done in pastels. An oil painting of Samsui women, however, was one of the exceptions among his oil paintings whereby the faces of the subject matter were not as flat.

After the Fire II, (1952).

A number of Liu Kang's works also documented moments from Singapore's past. For example, After the Fire II (1952) documented how fires were common occurrences during the 1950s and 1960s. The painting showed the aftermath of a fire.

In addition, visitors to the exhibitions can find a few copies of Liu Kang's Chop Suey, a multi-volumed work consisting sketches of Japanese brutality on Asians. When no press could visit Singapore to take photographs of the brutality of the war and the Japanese Occupation, Liu Kang used his creativity to document snippets from this period of Singapore's history.

At the third level of the Singapore Art Museum, one can find copies of archival material and copies of Liu Kang's Chop Suey.

If the above-mentioned interest you, you may like to know that Liu Kang A Centennial Celebration will be held from 29 Jul - 16 Oct 2011.

There will be a Curator Tour in Mandarin on 23 Sep 2011, Friday, from 7.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. For more information on how to register for this tour, please visit:

You may also like to read:
Liu Kang, by Tan Bonny.
Must-see artworks at Liu Kang: A Centennial Celebration, by Elaine Lim.


kyh said...

my grandma used to tell me tales of the japanese occupation. very brutal and sad... on old folks and babies alike.

oceanskies79 said...

kyh: very brutal, and so the lesson to learn is to choose peace before war.