This special showcase at artcommune features over 15 paintings by pioneer masters, Chen Wen Hsi and Cheong Soo Pieng. The landmark painting trip to Bali made by Cheong Soo Pieng, Chen Wen Hsi, Liu Kang and Chen Chong Swee in 1952 is widely credited for heralding the Nanyang art style, which marries innovative East-west pictorial elements with distinct Southeast Asian themes. On display are works of signature themes and styles by both artists, including Chen Wen Hsi’s ink paintings of gibbons, chickens, and abstract egrets, and Cheong Soo Pieng’s ink and oil paintings of Malayan scenes.
Born in Guangdong, China, Chen Wen Hsi (b. 1906 – d. 1992) was exposed to traditional Chinese ink painting and calligraphy since young. He studied art at Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts and later transferred to Xinhua Academy of Fine Arts in Shanghai. Before moving to Singapore in 1949, he was well exposed to Western modern art and had studied Chinese ink painting under Pan Tianshou, from who he also picked up one of the most valorised and technically-challenging Chinese ink expressions – finger-painting.
Known for his fondness for observing and sketching animals, Chen Wen Hsi kept a variety of pets including chickens, sparrows and gibbons in his backyard and these animals are recurring subject matters in his paintings.
Born in Xiamen, China, Cheong Soo Pieng (1917 – 1983) studied at Xiamen Academy of Fine Arts and later Xinhua Academy of Fine Arts in Shanghai. He relocated to Singapore in 1946 and took up a teaching post at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) before becoming a full-time artist in 1961. His body of work over the course of five decades reflects an amazing range of styles and mediums drawn from Modern aesthetics and an innovative amalgamation of forms and techniques derived from both Western and Chinese art traditions.
Venue: artcommune gallery, 231 Bain Street, Bras Basah Complex, #03-39 Singapore 180231
When: 30 Dec 2017 - 9 Jan 2018, 12noon - 7pm