Featuring over 100 works of Cheong Soo Pieng, the retrospective exhibition will offer a comprehensive look into all aspects of the prolific artist’s career over the span of 40 years.
Venue: Artspace @ Helutrans
Date: 16 Sep to 1 Oct 2023
Time: 12pm to 7pm
Fee: Free admission
Cheong Soo Pieng: A Retrospective
artcommune gallery, with the sponsorship of Dr. Lee Hung Ming, is pleased to present Cheong Soo Pieng: A Retrospective from 16 September to 1 October 2023 at Artspace @ Helutrans. As a pioneer of the Nanyang art style and a renowned figure in the local art scene, Cheong Soo Pieng's work is widely revered by practitioners and collectors in Singapore and overseas. This exhibition also marks Cheong’s first retrospective showcase in thirteen years, since his last show at the Singapore Art Museum, and will present an in-depth exploration of the diverse styles and themes that have characterised his career.
Cheong Soo Pieng: A Retrospective showcases the master’s comprehensive body of art, spanning from his earlier works in the 1940s to his final works in the 1980s. Curated chronologically, audiences will be able to traverse Cheong’s artistic journey and witness his stylistic growth over the years. Organised into nine distinctive themes, the retrospective showcase includes the Nanyang art movement of the 1950s, his European journey in the 1960s, mixed media works and the Nanyang Decorative style and more.
Given the diverse facets of Cheong’s art, the exhibition aims to facilitate and provide accessible ways of interpretation for both seasoned and new audiences to better understand his art, appreciate his artistic achievements, and grasp the rationale behind his status as one of Singapore's greatest artists.
While the exhibition serves as a retrospective showcase spanning Cheong's entire artistic practice, audiences can explore the master’s creative journey through three distinct areas of study:
Non-Painting Mediums & Matured Abstract Series
Explore Cheong’s non-painting mediums and mature abstract series from 1966 to 1978 – two series that have been relatively unexplored due to the scarcity of oral and written materials left behind by the artist. With the resurfacing of Cheong’s works, the local community is now able to piece together the inspirations, artistic intentions and the development of these unique painting styles in the art master’s mind. As prolific accomplishments in Cheong’s life, these two series have grounded his status as one of the most innovative Chinese artists of the 20th century and left an indelible mark on art history.
Nanyang Decorative Style
Cheong’s Nanyang decorative style brings together a selection of some of the finest pieces from the series. Due to the high prices and the secretive nature of some pieces held by longtime collectors, it was challenging to gather an adequate quantity and quality of works from the series. This exhibition presents a range of his finest pieces spanning between 1974 to 1983, offering a comprehensive look into the development of his most renowned collection.
Sung-Style Nanyang Ink Series
Photo Credits: artcommune gallery
Allegedly, Cheong had intentions to organise a touring exhibition across multiple cities in China during the 1980s – and this ambition not only fueled his creation of the Sung-style Nanyang Ink series but was the driving force behind it. Unfortunately, he passed away before the tour could come to fruition. In this exhibition, a dedicated space has been set up to showcase this series of artworks, which visualises how the exhibition might have unfolded for audiences to catch a glimpse into his unrealised aspirations.
The Second Edition of The Story of Cheong Soo Pieng
For those who are keen to delve deeper into Cheong Soo Pieng’s artistic journey, artcommune gallery will be releasing the second edition of “The Story of Cheong Soo Pieng” in commemoration of the launch of the retrospective exhibition. Written by Ho Sou Ping, Artist and Director of artcommune gallery, the bilingual publication (in English and Chinese texts) spans more than 320 pages, tracing the chronological developments of the art master’s oeuvre as his practice evolved over the course of four decades. Featuring new and expanded research and around 300 artworks in various mediums – such as oils, watercolours, drawings, sculptures, and mixed media, the book presents an exquisite array of the master's artistic expressions.
For more information, please visit this link for the latest updates on the exhibition.