PPress Releases 2012
Donation Ceremony of 5 Works by the family of Chen Chong Swee
Thursday, 12 January 2012, 10am
Lee Foundation Theatre Foyer, NAFA Campus 3 (151 Bencoolen St)
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) is honoured to accept five paintings by pioneer artist, the late Mr Chen Chong Swee that will be donated by his family in a ceremony held on Thursday, 12 January. The paintings that span from 1938 to 1970 represent the wide repertoire of medium that the prolific artist was known for - Chinese ink, watercolour, oil and pastels. The paintings include:
Raining in Kampong
Oil on canvas, 38 x 45 cm, 1938
Church of St. Paul, Malacca
Watercolour on paper, 77 x 56 cm, 1955
Chinese ink on paper, 104 x 55 cm, 1960
Pastel on paper, 63 x 51 cm, 1970
Charcoal on paper, 62 x 46 cm, undated
‘Raining in Kampong’ was completed before the war and is one of the oldest dated works left behind by the late artist. The Academy is honoured to accept this collection of rare and treasured works. These five invaluable works will serve to further enrich the NAFA Collection in the documentation of the artistic traditions of the time. (Refer to Annex for images of artwork)
Born in Chenghai Province, Guangdong, China, Chen Chong Swee (1910 - 1985), also known as Chen Khai, was a pioneer generation artist who espoused the Nanyang style of painting that emerged in the Straits. Trained as a Chinese ink painter at Xinhua Art Academy Shanghai, he came to Singapore in 1932. Here he settled down and taught art at various schools - the defunct Tuan Mong High School, Chinese High School and Chung Cheng High School. He also taught at NAFA.
In his 24 year tenure at NAFA, he was not only diligent in his own practice but embraced the role as art educator with a passion to nurture young artists and shape the consciousness of the visual arts in what was then Malaya. Besides teaching and painting, he was also active in grouping the local artists and promoting art. He co-founded the Salon Art Society (known today as Singapore Society of Chinese Artists) and the Singapore Watercolour Society. He was also a prolific writer and often published essays on Chinese and Western art, art education and the development of ink painting in a multicultural environment. When he died in 1985, he left an artistic legacy of the finest traditions in painting - one that reflects the spirit of life itself.
In 2010, NAFA paid tribute to the late artist in organising an exhibition with his family to mark the centenary of his birth. ‘Chen Chong Swee: A Legacy in Truth, Goodness and Beauty’ that showcased more than 50 works that spanned nearly his lifetime in Singapore.
- Annex- List of artwork
For more information or to arrange for an interview, please contact:
Manager, Media Relations
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
DID : 6512 4017