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ART SCENES | EXHIBITIONS | VN CULTURE | ART ASSOCIATIONS | ETHNIC MINORITIES

Singapore Art Museum to devote more gallery space for SE Asian art (April 08, 2005)


SINGAPORE : More gallery space in Singapore is soon going to be devoted to the world's largest public collection of Southeast Asian art.

The Singapore Art Museum intends to use the majority of its galleries to showcase art from the region over the next three years.

It says this decision to focus more on the collection which was started in 1967, came about partly because of public feedback.

These pieces of art represent less than 1 percent of the world's largest public collection of Southeast Asian art.

This is all the space that is currently available for the impressive body of 6,500 pieces of work estimated to be worth over $30 million.

But it is a situation that will be corrected eventually in three to four years.

Low Sze Wee, Acting Assistant Director of Collections at the Singapore Art Museum, said: "With our move to City Hall and Supreme Court, it will provide a lot more gallery space, in fact up to four times more gallery space. It would mean more opportunities for us to share our collection with the public and for us to do more greater in-depth research into Southeast Asian art."

Until then however, visitors will have to be content with some 60 paintings, sculptures and installations by 38 artists from six countries.

Even though it is just the tip of the iceberg, there are many gems like a Chinese brush painting on silk by the famous Vietnamese artist Le Pho.

Curators say they want to show the breadth and diversity of Southeast Asian art focusing on social commentary, ideas of nationhood and religious and traditional motifs.

Low Sze Wee added: "I hope that visitors will treat the museum as a window into another world, instead of say, spending hundreds of dollars travelling overseas, why not spend $3 to come to the museum, and you can gain an idea of Southeast Asia through the eyes of Southeast Asians."

From philosophical sculptures like this one to whimsical paintings, a whole range of Asian art is given its space in this exhibition.

And art lovers can look forward to more when an exhibition of eight Singapore artists opens in May.

It is all part of the museum's plans to devote two-thirds of its gallery space on a more permanent basis to its extensive collection of Southeast Asian art. - CNA

Reprinted from channelnewsasia

     

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