Wu Guanzhong, Wild Vines with Flowers like Pearls, 1997, ink on paper, 89 x 179 cm, gift of the artist, National Heritage Board collection.

Wu Guanzhong, Wild Vines with Flowers like Pearls, 1997, ink on paper, 89 x 179 cm, gift of the artist, National Heritage Board collection.

How does the abstraction of Wu Guanzhong relate to the abstraction of artists in Southeast Asia?

This exhibition, titled In/sight: Abstract Art by Wu Guanzhong and Artists from Southeast Asia, presents a selection of abstract works from the national collection to illustrate the diverse motivations for abstraction amidst distinct and varied backgrounds.

Wu Guanzhong (1919-2010), one of the foremost painters in Chinese modern art, was a leading exponent of abstraction in China. Wu saw form as an important component in appreciating a work of art, seeing beauty in formal visual elements like line, shape, colour, texture and composition. These were of critical concern, much more than subject matter and physical resemblance to an object in reality.

This focus on form is likewise evident in the abstract works of artists in Southeast Asia. Many artists in Southeast Asia engaged with abstraction as part of their grappling with the modernisation of art in their local contexts. Works by Southeast Asian artists such as Anthony Poon, Latiff Mohidin, Ahmad Sadali and Damrong Wong-Uparaj will also be featured in the exhibition. This is a special research exhibition by the National Art Gallery, Singapore, held on SAM premises.

The exhibition will remain on view through 30th April, 2014.

Courtesy of Singapore Art Museum, for further information please visit www.singaporeartmuseum.sg.

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