Exploring Chinese ink in contemporary times

28 January 2019
Lim Hak Tai Gallery, NAFA Campus 1, 80 Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189655

Painting (with Blush Red) by Hong Sek Chern is a nod to the principles of Chinese painting adapted for conceptual context in contemporary art

Exhibition examines the relationship between contemporary and traditional ideals within a Southeast Asian context


This February, 15 artists boldly reimagine the creative potential of Chinese ink, one of the oldest artistic traditions in the world. The results bear testament to the enduring practice of traditional Chinese ink painting as a discipline that has offered artists a historical cannon to draw on, and yet allow room for contemporary methods of inquiry and approach.

“Explorations探索” is a showcase of 26 ink works by students, as well as recent and established alumni artists from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) Fine Art Programme.  Alongside this is a display of traditional huichun 挥春calligraphy by distinguished alumni artists and local calligraphers.  Unified by its medium and expression of thought, NAFA’s (ink) artists today are compelled to relook and reinterpret the principles of conventional Chinese aesthetics as they reframe their approach to tradition, stretch the boundaries of ink art and raise questions of what ink art can be. The inventive use of unusual material, installation and sculpture offers a promising vision which examines the philosophy in Chinese painting employing versatile and alternative artistic forms.

In conjunction with the exhibition and the festive season, NAFA’s annual tradition of inviting calligraphers to write Spring couplets, or chunlian 春联 will take place on Saturday 9 February. Members of the public can witness live demonstrations by distinguished calligraphers in action, and purchase the works to adorn their homes. The works on exhibition and from the demonstration will be available for sale with proceeds going towards the NAFA Development Fund.

Exhibition Details
Explorations探索: Chinese Ink at NAFA
2 February to 24 February 2019
11am - 7pm
Closed on Mondays
Free Admission

Hui Chun 挥春
Saturday 9 February 2019
11am – 2pm

Distinguished calligraphers and painters come together during the Lunar New Year to write and paint New Year wishes marked with good fortune and happiness.

Annex 1 – Selected works and details of Explorations
Annex 2 – Biographies of artists