Treasure of the Clans 会馆精粹展

Low Sok Leng Low Sok Leng
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Treasure of the Clans Exhibition Hall

Treasure of the Clans 会馆精粹展 art exhibition is jointly presented by Singapore Chinese Culture Centre 新加坡华族文化中心 and Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations 新加坡宗乡会馆.  

It is the first time in Singapore that 16 clan associations come to together to share and show more than 80 artworks from their invaluable art collection, which includes some rare paintings and calligraphy by renowned names in Singapore’s art scene.

The artworks in this exhibition stand out for another important reason – these works were not purchased by the clan associations but were gifts by the artists to their beloved clan communities. 

 

Xu Beihong's ink painting titled Galloping Horse

Singapore Ann Kway Association 安溪会馆  has a precious 1939 ink painting of a galloping horse 奔马图 by Xu Beihong 徐悲鸿.  Widely recognized as the founder of modern art in China, Xu Beihong has a special connection to Singapore, having visited Singapore several times, including holding an exhibition here in 1939. 

Nai See Leng's ink painting titled Prawns

 

Teo Yeong Huai Kwan 潮阳会馆 has a collection of Chinese ink paintings by second generation Nanyang artist Nai Swee Leng 赖瑞龙.  His 2018 painting titled Swimming in Rivers and Seas 遨游江海 is a painting of prawns.   Deceptively simple with only some dark ink strokes and pale ink washes, the result is a charming painting of lively prawns. 

Sun Yee's ink painting titled Wishing for Peace 

Nanyang Sim Clan Association 南洋沈氏公会 ’s art collection includes a Chinese ink painting by Sun Yee 沈an underrated Singapore woman artist.  Titled Wishing for Peace 竹报平安, the painting is a seemingly simple and yet powerfully poetic painting of bamboos, symbols of honour for scholars in ancient China. 

 

Liu Kang's pastel still life painting

Eng Choon Hway Kuan 新加坡永春会馆 has several works by Liu Kang 刘抗 , Singapore’s pioneer Nanyang artist, including a 1967 pastel painting.  A still life 静物 painting of mangosteens and logans, with a bamboo basket and a porcelain bowl, against a background of two tablecloths in different colours and patterns, it is a still life painting that is quintessentially Nanyang. 

 Choo Keng Kwang's old painting titled Goldfish

Choo Clan Association 朱氏公会 ’s Goldfish 金鱼戏水图, an oil painting by Nanyang artist Choo Keng Kwang 朱庆光 , is a classic painting of one of Choo Keng Kwang’s favourite subject matter, goldfish.  It is a beautiful painting that perfectly captures the gracefulness of the goldfish against an exquisite background that feels like a scene from a Chinese ink painting. 

 

Choo Keng Kwang's oil painting titled Pigeons

Theng Hai Huay Kuan 澄海会馆 also has an oil painting by Choo Keng Kwang.  It is his other signature subject matter, pigeons.  This mesmerising painting depicts two realistic looking pigeons, standing elegantly on delicately drawn branches, in a misty background reminiscent of a Chinese ink painting.  

 

Master Song Nian's calligraphy titled Dragon

Singapore Amoy Association 新加坡厦门公会 ’s heirloom is a calligraphy work by Master Song Nian 松年法师 .  A single character of the Chinese word Dragon , it is a masterful work that evokes the magnificence of the mystical creature.  As renowned artist Zhang Daqian 张大千said, “Master Song Nian’s every character is a painting itself.” 

 

Pan Shou's calligraphy

Singapore Lam Ann Association 新加坡南安会馆 has a collection of calligraphy works by Pan Shou 潘受, Singapore’s Cultural Medallion winner in 1986.  Written in 1976, it is a selection of five ancient Chinese poems by poets from Nanan (Lam Ann). 

 

Wong Joon Tai's calligraphy

Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan 潮州八邑会馆 ’s collection includes calligraphy by Woon Joon Tai 王云开, director of Nanyang Calligraphy Centre. A 2021 piece written in running script (xingshu), it includes two poems by Dr Lam Lap 林立博士, vice president of the international General Association of Chinese Poetry. 

Treasure of the Clans art exhibition is not just a display of art. It is a showcase of history, of the significant role played by the clan associations for Singapore’s Chinese community, and most important of all, of kinship. 


“Treasure of the Clans 会馆精粹展" art exhibition organised by the Singapore Chinese Culture Centre 新加坡华族文化中心 and Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations 新加坡宗乡会馆 ran from 3 June to 31 July 2022 at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre in Singapore. 


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