The Making of National Gallery Singapore animates the story of the origins and physical transformations of the City Hall and former Supreme Court buildings into National Gallery Singapore. Accompanied by stunning photographs, these chapters flesh out details of the colonial past of the buildings, the conception and organisation of the architectural design competition, and the ambitious ten-year envisioning, design and building process.
Situated in Singapore's two national monuments, the building of National Gallery Singapore balances the need to create a distinct identity for the art spaces with a simultaneous celebration of their architectural, cultural and historical significance. With a distinctive metal and glass canopy roof linking the two monuments, the Gallery's setting has also made it the largest visual arts institution in Singapore. Illustrated by stunning photography of the Gallery's development, this book traces the transformation of these iconic buildings into National Gallery Singapore, teling a story of competition, challenges, preservation and innovation.
Are national galleries different from other kinds of art gallery or museum? What value is there for the nation in a collection of international masterpieces? How are national galleries involved in the construction national art? National Galleries is the first book to undertake a panoramic view of a type of national institution – which are sometimes called national museums of fine art – that is now found in almost every nation on earth. Adopting a richly illustrated, globally inclusive, comparative view, Simon Knell argues that national galleries should not be understood as ‘great galleries’ but as peculiar sites where art is made to perform in acts of nation building. A book that fundamentally rewrites the history of these institutions and encourages the reader to dispense with elitist views of their worth, Knell reveals an unseen geography and a rich complexity of performance. He considers the ways the national galleries entangle art and nation, and the differing trajectories and purposes of international and national art. Exploring galleries, artists and artworks from around the world, National Galleries is an argument about how we think about and study these institutions. Privileging the situatedness of each national gallery performance, and valuing localism over universalism, Knell looks particularly at how national art is constructed and represented. He ends with examples that show the mutability of national art and by questioning the necessity of art nationalism.
In 1981, the Filipino artist and curator Raymundo Albano adopted the expression “Suddenly Turning Visible” to describe the rapid transformation of Manila’s urban landscape. The visibility that Albano evoked was aspirational, driven by a desire for rapid economic growth in which art had a critical role. This catalogue traces this story through three influential art institutions: the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Alpha Gallery in Singapore and the Bhirasri Institute of Modern Art in Bangkok. It presents in rich detail artworks from the period, an anthology of primary documents and interviews with curators, artists and architects, revealing the links between architecture, modern art and the role of institutions in Southeast Asia.
What is modernism in Southeast Asia? What is modern art, as embodied in the paintings of Southeast Asia? These questions and more are answered in Reframing Modernism: Painting from Southeast Asia, Europe and Beyond, published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name. Featuring 217 works, in full colour, by 51 Southeast Asian and European artists, from the Centre Pompidou and National Gallery Singapore, as well as other Southeast Asian collections in the region and beyond, this catalogue tells the compelling story of modernism as it developed across continents, and reveals artists' powerful, and sometimes surprising, responses to modernity.
Come discover art from the lion city in Awesome Art Singapore! This volume encourages children to appreciate art by revealing works by 10 artists which cover sculpture, photography and painting. Fully illustrated with stories and fun facts about each artwork, Awesome Art Singapore helps makes art concepts and ideas easy to enjoy and understand. Filled with activities exploring mediums, methods and motivations, this book teems with fun and engaging activities that inspire hours of creativity at home or in the classroom. Awesome Art Singapore is another title in the Awesome Art series, which seeks to make art accessible to the young and young at heart.
Chen Chong Swee is acknowledged as one of the earliest artists to have explored depicting Southeast Asian scenes within the medium of traditional Chinese ink painting. Published on the occasion of a retrospective exhibition at National Gallery Singapore, this catalogue bears witness to Chen’s explorations across the mediums of ink and oil, the influence his immediate surroundings had on his art, and his insistence, above all, that it was impossible to divorce art from life. Full-colour image plates, newly commissioned essays and a biographical timeline of the artist within the catalogue flesh out the inflections of Chen’s oeuvre.
Drawing mainly on advertisements and comics in Chinese newspapers, Singaporean scholar and educator Yeo Mang Thong demonstrates how Singapore was an important hub for artists who travelled to and lived in Singapore. Yeo’s research features amongst other things essays on sojourning artists, and fills a gap in scholarship on the pre-war visual arts scene in Singapore. Originally in Chinese, this English translation aims to bring his research to a broader audience.
This book challenges existing notions of what is "American" and/or "Asian" art, moving beyond the identity issues that have dominated art-world conversations of the 1980s and the 1990s and aligning with new trends and issues in contemporary art today, e.g. the Global South, labor, environment, and gender identity. Contributors examine both historical and contemporary instances in art practices and exhibition-making under the rubric of "American art in Asia." The book complicates existing notions of what constitutes American art, Asian American (and American Asian) art. As today’s production and display of contemporary art takes place across diffused borders, under the fluid conditions of a globalized art world since transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic, new contexts and art historical narratives are forming that upend traditional Euro-American mappings of center-margins, migratory patterns and community engagement. The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, American studies, Asian studies and visual culture.
A giant among artists of his generation, Wu Guanzhong is celebrated for his distinctive synergy of Western oil painting and Chinese ink aesthetics, as well as his modernisation of Chinese ink painting. This catalogue accompanies the National Gallery Singapore’s exhibition that showcases Wu’s oeuvre over five decades and inaugurates the permanent gallery dedicated to the artist. Accompanying essays within expand upon themes of the exhibition and offer insight into Wu’s beliefs regarding the function of art. A bilingual publication in English and Chinese.
Adaptive reuse refers to reusing an old building for a purpose other than which it was originally built or designed. This conservation approach has become increasingly popular around the world. However, there are few publications that focus on its application in Asia. This book fills this gap by looking at both unique and shared aspects of adaptive reuse in three Asian urban centers: Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore. Building on government policy documents and extensive field work, this book contextualizes adaptive reuse in each city and reveals the impetus behind a wide range of projects from revitalization in Hong Kong, commercial development in Shanghai, to community building in Singapore. The introductory chapter sets adaptive reuse within an international perspective, noting salient differences and similarities between Asia and other parts of the world. It also anchors the discussion within a regional perspective, focusing on the similarities and differences between Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore. Each of the following four essays addresses a specific topic about adaptive reuse, including its relationship to urban development and sustainability, how it benefits heritage buildings, and how it reveals best practices in heritage conservation in Asia. The subsequent three essays, one for each city, supplemented with timelines, set out a clear framework for understanding the city-specific case studies that follow the essays. Afterwards, fifteen representative projects across the three cities are presented as in-depth case studies. The pairing of essays and case studies provides a detailed understanding of each city’s approach to adaptive reuse in the twenty-first century; a time when the need for sustainable development solutions are at the forefront. Intended for classroom use and professional readership, this book will be of considerable value in Asia, as well as elsewhere, providing material for stimulating and worthwhile discussion. “Asian Revitalization is a highly practical and accessible volume on the long-established conservation practice of adaptive reuse in East Asia. Its focus on real-life issues, examples, and challenges posed by revitalization programs in the region is extremely relevant to researchers and practitioners in architectural conservation, urban design, and urban studies.” —Miles Glendinning, University of Edinburgh, Scotland “This is a superb, well-documented, and original book written by some of the best-known and highly respected authors in the field of heritage conservation. The carefully examined case studies illustrate a wide variety of solutions that highlight the work of some of the best minds of the next generations.” —Alastair Kerr, University of Victoria, Canada “This is a most interesting set of essays, informative and thought-provoking. The best way to save any heritage building is by keeping it in beneficial use and how to achieve this in a sensitive manner is what these essays are about. They should be vital reading for anyone considering an adaptive reuse project in Asia.” —Michael Morrison, Purcell, UK “With cultural heritage firmly ensconced in the global development agendas of the United Nations, this well-grounded volume draws upon the experience of Hong Kong SAR, Shanghai, and Singapore to demonstrate to scholars and practitioners alike how historic properties can be sustained through savvy adaptive reuse in the midst of tremendous urban redevelopment pressures.” —Montira Horayangura Unakul, UNESCO Bangkok, Thailand
A constellation of thoughts by 25 established and emerging scholars who plot the indices of modernity and locate new coordinates within the shifting landscape of art. These newly commissioned essays are accompanied by close to 200 full-colour image plates.