The Mind Beholds is watercolour master Ong Kim Seng’s latest exhibition, which features around 15 new watercolours completed in the period of 2019-2021. A celebrated maestro of light and shade, Ong Kim Seng achieved international prominence for his lyrical and delicate rendering of landscapes in watercolours in as early as the 1980s, and remains today one of Singapore’s most important and successful watercolour artists. The Mind Beholds: Ong Kim Seng’s New Watercolours charts the veteran artist’s continual interrogation of the watercolour medium as he pushes it to develop new strategies of expressing landscapes familiar to his repertoire.
Ong Kim Seng’s latest Singapore scenes like Mohammed Sultan Road and Riverside Balcony are extremely intricate in detail and vibrant in atmosphere, paying homage to the beauty of tropical sunlight and the marvellous manner it illuminates and brings life to old concrete facades. His Nepalese landscapes such as Thamel Street, Nepal and Towards Pokhara Nepal thrive on heavy glazings to evoke the elaborate but rustic architectural brickwork of old buildings and pavements. Often in these compositions, the artist delicately manipulated the original white of the watercolour paper to create ultra contrasts that impress upon as bold, sunlit areas.
Ong Kim Seng (b. 1945, Singapore – ), BBM. A.W.S. DF. N.W.S is one of the most acclaimed watercolour artists in Asia. A full-time artist since 1985, Mr. Ong was awarded the Cultural Medallion in Visual Arts by the Republic of Singapore in 1990 and is a recipient of 8 awards from the prestigious American Watercolour Society (AWS) in New York. In 1990, he became the first Asian outside of the United States to be awarded the AWS membership. He was conferred the distinguished Dolphin Fellowship by the Society in 2000.
Ong Kim Seng’s watercolour paintings are remarkable for their lyrical expressiveness and poetic charms. His works have been featured in numerous exhibitions around the world, including Singapore Art Museum, Agung Rai Museum and Neka Museum (Bali, Indonesia), and in other foreign missions and embassies of the Republic of Singapore. The watercolour maestro also counts Queen Elizabeth II of England, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China, President of the Republic of Korea, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, President of the Republic of the Philippines, Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister of India, the Governor of Hokkaido, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations amongst the long list of royal figures and luminaries who have come to be collectors of his art.
Ong Kim Seng has been an Art Advisor to the National Arts Council since 1998 and is a life Fellow of the National University of Singapore’s Centre of the Arts. He previously served as the President of the Singapore Watercolour Society from 1991 to 2001 and is currently their Honorary President. The artist’s most recent appointment was as Chief Judge for the International Watercolour Exposition held in China, among an international panel of judges from China, USA, Australia, Uruguay, Russia, France and Sweden.
Venue: artcommune gallery, 76 Bras Basah Road, #01-01 Singapore 189558
When: 10 - 26 Sep 2021, 12noon - 7pm