Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cheong Soo Pieng, Anita Magsaysay-Ho, art appreciation..

So as I have mentioned in a previous post, I've been reading on Singaporean artists these past few weeks to prepare for guiding duties for the upcoming special exhibit at the National Museum of Singapore.

Yep, it sounds like an easy task but actually, being a museum guide/docent actually takes a lot of work. Hehe! The interest definitely has to be there because the task requires a lot of hours at the library, curator talks, sharing sessions with fellow docents, and exhibit walkthroughs. Hehe! On top of these, there is a need to write a tour paper for every exhibit. It's no ordinary paper. The papers need to have cited references and should follow a format. For my Singapore History Gallery paper, I wrote a 15-page paper. Haha!

It is definitely like being back in school.

The next special exhibit will focus on local Singaporean artists. This was a very interesting topic for me because I'm very interested in paintings (thanks to my Dad!) and in knowing about local artists.

I was very happy to learn that there are actually quite a number of modern and contemporary artists. The first generation of artists were migrants from China who came to Singapore starting the late 1930s onwards.

Hmm, I'm not going to write about the artists in detail. Hehe. Visit the exhibit when it opens to learn more about them. Hehe!

But I do want to introduce one of the pioneer artists in Singapore - Cheong Soo Pieng. The photo above is one of his most popular works, Drying Salted Fish. Take note of this painting. Surely, you would have seen it already. *wink wink* Cheong Soo Pieng is fast becoming one of my favourite local artists. After seeing his works from the 1950s to 1960s, I really like how he was not afraid to experiment and try new styles/techniques.

The other painting is by my favourite Filipino artist, Anita Magsaysay-Ho. I was fortunate enough to have met her a few years ago.

I asked a few Singaporean friends if they knew who Cheong Soo Pieng was. Uhm, not really. I wonder if it's the same case for most Filipinos when it comes to local artists. I wonder if most would be familiar with Amorsolo or Francisco or Magsaysay-Ho. I'm guessing a lot would know who BenCab is since he's still around.

In one of the books that I was reading, I came across this nice sentence. It said, "Art is part of the nation's culture; thus art appreciation enables people to better understand the values in existence in their society."

I couldn't agree more.

Need more proof? Then come visit the new exhibit when it opens. More deets soon when things are finalised. :)

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