My favourite Liu Kang

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‘Artist and Model’ (1954)

It was a very nice surprise coming face to face with this painting a few days ago at the National Museum. It is part of the ‘A Changed World‘ exhibition ongoing there until this Sunday.

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I was introduced to the artist Liu Kang while taking some night classes in graphic design about ten years ago, and art was one of the subjects. To be honest I didn’t even know of this exhibition. I was just at the Museum with a friend, saw the posters for this, remarked “that looks interesting.” so we went down to the basement where it was located to check it out. It was therefore an unexpected treat to see it.

A bit about the artist from Wikipedia:

Liu Kang (Chinese: 刘抗; pinyin: Liú Kàng) was a Singaporean artist famous for his Balinese-themed figurative paintings. He was a founding member of the Singapore Art Society, and was credited with developing the Nanyang Style.

He was born in Fujian Province and he spent his early years in Malaysia, studied art in Shanghai and Paris, and taught art in Shanghai during the 1930s. Under the influence of Chinese artist and art teacher Liu Haisu (1896–1994), Liu admired, and often appropriated the styles of French-based modernist painters such as Cézanne, van Gogh and Matisse.

Liu Kang came to Singapore in 1942 and had been credited with numerous contributions to the local arts scene. In 1952, Liu Kang, Chen Chong Swee, Chen Wen Hsi and Cheong Soo Pieng went on their historic field trip to Bali in search of a visual expression that was Southeast Asian. Liu drew much inspiration from this trip which inspired some of his latter works.

In 1970, Liu was awarded the Public Service Star by the Singapore Government. He was honoured by the same agency in 1996 with the Meritorious Service Medal. His works, spanning from 1935 to 1997, are a testament of his contributions to Singapore art.

Related:

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Day 50 of ‘100 Happy Days‘.

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