Singapore, 19 October 2018 (Friday) – Singapore Management University (SMU) today officially opened the Chua Ek Kay exhibition, A Long Way from Home / 近觀遠濤 at the de Suantio Gallery, School of Social Sciences. Mr Ong Yew Huat, Chairman, Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI) graced the opening which was attended by about 250 guests.

SMU develops and hosts exhibitions and enrichment programmes with the aim that the SMU campus experience for its students and the general public will be enhanced and enlivened by  aesthetics and creativity.

A Long Way from Home / 近観逺濤 presents two dozen works of artist Chua Ek Kay (1947-2008) – many never previously seen - from the perspectives of family, collectors, along with some fresh insights from the students in the current SMU-X[1] Arts and Culture Management course on Exhibitions and Curating.

Having students involved in this exhibition, is what makes this exhibition extra special. The class, comprising 31 students, is multidisciplinary (students come from almost all schools in SMU), multicultural and the diversity is further enriched by international students from Seoul, Mumbai and Toronto. The students participated in the final stages of the exhibition project, including artwork movement, installation, publicity, the official opening and public programmes.

Said Associate Professor of Arts and Culture Management, Kwok Kian Chow, who teaches the SMU-X course, “I am very happy to be able to work with students as well as former and current colleagues to realise a professionally presented exhibition. With the exhibition fully sponsored, this is an excellent opportunity for SMU students to work experientially on an industry-linked project and learn from the museum experts.”

Sakqtheeshwaran Ramakrishnan, Year 4 student from the School of Economics, said “This exhibition not only showcases the beautiful artworks of Mr Chua Ek Kay but also shows that people from many different walks of life can come together and put together something meaningful to everyone involved. This SMU-X Course has given me the opportunity to be lost in the world of the arts and to meet with people in the industry that mirror my own passions.”

Presented in association with the SMU’s Chua Ek Kay Collection (Street Scene Series, 1986-2006) which is on display at the Lee Kong Chian School of Business, the exhibition invites the public to engage the works as a conversation about Ek Kay’s artistic journey. It also features many unpublished works of Chua Ek Kay.

Students came up with the exhibition’s English title, which evokes the multifaceted and contradictory dimensions of “home”—a sense of belonging in identity, expression, and tradition nonetheless refracted through one’s dynamic contemporaneity and individual distance—that characterised Chua Ek Kay’s relentless innovations in experimental ink art.

The Chinese title, which translates to “close view and distant waves,” references Ek Kay’s pen name 逺濤 (yuantao), a homage to the 17th-century art theorist and painter Shitao whom Ek Kay admired.

Said Wang Zineng, Curator of the exhibition, “The exhibition project, along with its publication, was initiated to share personal perspectives on Chua Ek Kay, his life and works. Parallel to the SMU Chua Ek Kay Collection which focuses on the Street Scenes, we chose to exhibit artworks of Chua Ek Kay of broader breadth, spanning styles and periods, to help paint a fuller picture of the artist’s oeuvre. That said, instead of an art historical presentation, we wanted the exhibition to emphasise the recollections and the insights by the people closest to the artist, as well as fresh perspectives by the millennial, making the exhibition space 'polyvocal' where text of different voices, the artworks, and audience response form a new conversation. A Long Way From Home is essentially thought of as a sanctuary of reflection and sharing of Chua Ek Kay's life and work, by those passionately studying his works and most intimately aware of his life, and new encounters that the exhibition may bring about.”

The exhibition runs from 20 October to 20 December 2018. Opening Hours are from 12 to 8pm, Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays). Venue: de Suantio Gallery, School of Social Sciences, SMU. More info: @smudesuantio

[Featured Photo: Students of ACM304 - Exhibitions and Curating posing for a group photo with Associate Professor Kwok Kian Chow, Curator Wang Zineng, as well as Project Manager, Patricia Ong (far left).]

 

More information about Chua Ek Kay and the exhibition here:

https://www.artandmarket.net/news/2018/10/19/chua-ek-kay-in-new-light-at-smu-exhibition

https://www.artandmarket.net/profiles/2018/10/4/chua-ek-kay-singapores-foremost-chinese-ink-artist

Media Coverage:

  • 938NOW - Listen to Curator Wang Zineng's interview
  • Read the story in Zaobao (Fukan) here
  • Listing on A-List

[1] SMU-X is an experiential project-based learning curriculum that allows students from different disciplines to tackle real-world challenges by taking on projects from corporate, non-profit and government sector organisations.

 

 

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