Sunday, September 04, 2011

Liu Kang: A Centennial Celebrations

Liu Kang: A Centennial Celebration
29 July 2011 to 16 October 2011
Singapore Art Museum
(Organised by the National Art Gallery, Singapore. Supported by National Heritage Board. Held at Singapore Art Museum.)

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to visit the Singapore Art Museum on two consecutive days to view the works by pioneer Singapore artist, Liu Kang. I was first introduced to Liu Kang and his works when I was a young teenager. During those years, I was only introduced to some of his works.

When I visited the "Liu Kang: A Centennial Celebration" at the Singapore Art Museum, I realised that Liu Kang was very proficient in the use of pastels. I was very drawn to most, if not all, of his pastel works. One of the most captivating works done using pastels by Liu Kang was perhaps "My Young Wife" (1944).

My Young Wife (1944) by Liu Kang.

There was a self-portrait of Liu Kang which was done in pastels that was shown at the exhibition. I have found that it was sensitively executed. From the explanatory notes, I learnt that during period of the Japanese Occupation in particular, art materials such as oil paints were scarce. Liu Kang turned to using pastels during that period. Visitors to the exhibition has the privilege to catch glimpses of some of the tools that Liu Kang had used as an artist, thanks to the generosity of Liu Kang's family for the loan.

At the exhibition, visitors had the privilege to view a number of Liu Kang's masterpieces. These include "Life by the River" (1975), "Siesta in Bali" (1957), "Offerings" (1957) and more.

For visitors who would like to learn more about Liu Kang's philosophy and beliefs on art, Liu Kang's Essays on Art and Culture that was recently published is one book to read. I understand that there is also a monograph titled Asian Artists Series - Liu Kang: Colourful Modernist that explores Liu Kang's way of seeing and art making.

I strongly recommend this exhibition to anyone who is interested in Singapore art and/or in the development of Singapore's art scene.

For more information on this exhibition, please visit the National Gallery of Singapore's webpage:

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