Exploring Southeast Asia: A Journey Through Art and Time

11 September 2020
The Straits Times

Ong Sor Fern from The Straits Times picks Exploring Southeast Asia as one of her recommended arts events to look out for. She states that most museums in Singapore tend to be parsimonious with caption information, so it is a pleasant surprise to see walls of text at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts' (NAFA) exhibition. Exploring Southeast Asia cherry-picks from the school's rich collection and organises the selection along broad themes for the edification of the student population. It serves equally well for casual gallery visitors who might learn from this wide-ranging show, which ambles gently through a series of themes, from landscapes to identities, common to Southeast Asian artists. Her favourite section is Ladies, which brings together some usual suspects - Cheong Soo Pieng and Lee Man Fong - with some less often seen artists. Tay Chee Toh's batik work Untitled with its almost geometric presentation of three lolling ladies, is a standout. She also highlights NAFA alumnus and Cultural Medallion recipient Lee Hock Moh's dreamily gorgeous Fort Canning, an unusual landscape which depicts the venue in the classic Chinese ink painting style.

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