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    [Talk] Collecting Chinese Ink: History, Culture and Wealth

    On the Sunday afternoon of 23 September, a surprising turn-up of 70 guests came by The Culture Story for a panel discussion on “Collecting Chinese Ink: History, Culture and Wealth”. Moderated by co-founder Mr H.S. Chong, the panel of speakers – Mr. K.P. Lee, Mr Teo Han Wue, Ms Lee Chor Lin and Mr Chong himself – gave an insightful sharing of Chinese ink as a medium, its traditions, and its influence especially in the context of Singapore. In the midst of the sudden focus on ink art by local institutions and galleries – Wu Guanzhong by National Gallery Singapore, Lim Tze Peng by artcommune and more, it was timely that The Culture Story took stock of the conversations and discourses surrounding the medium that carries a long history.

    Mr Lee kicked off the session with introducing some of the early ink masters across dynasties and styles. Mr Teo then brought us down from the mountains and waters to modern Singapore and shared about the influence of ink practice amongst the pioneer artists in Singapore. To many of our amusement, Ms Lee showed the crowd archival images of the artists groups from Singapore in the 1940s-1950s, pointing out the vast network of Chinese ink artists other than Chen Wen Hsi, those who practiced but later moved away from ink or moved out of Singapore. Lastly, Mr Chong shared his experience of growing interests in collecting Chinese ink works and later on establishing the China Art Foundation to consolidate the efforts of its form as a artistic medium and tradition.

    The Culture Story will like to thank the speakers for contributing to the talk and making it a success. Thank you to all those who came down and spent the afternoon with us. The Culture Story continues to strive towards creating conversations and discourses that enrich our audience whether they are novice or learned in collecting art.

    Speakers’ Profiles (more…)

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    Chinese Contemporary Ink by Nan Qi and Hong Zhu An

    Official Exhibition Opening
    Saturday, 15 September 2018
    12pm–5pm

    The Culture Story presents two artists, Nan Qi (b. 1960) and Hong Zhu An (b. 1955), who are masters of ink in their own rights. Constantly challenging the boundaries of a medium of immemorial traditions and histories, Nan and Hong belong to a generation that straddles between the traditional form of Chinese art education and the influence from the Western styles of painting. Brought together in one exhibition, the works show two different trajectories contemporary ink practitioners take as they blur the line between the East and the West.

    Well known for his ‘Halo dots’, Beijing-based artist Nan Qi has developed his own style of ink painting that many have described as “Post-Pop”, after the likes of Western artists such as Andy Warhol. His works are created on traditional Chinese calligraphy paper (xuan paper) with a mixture of using ink painting, ink stains, ink washing and ink colourimetric techniques, yet the skillful reproduction of the dots appear to be a digital pixelation of the image. The constant evolution of his technique continues to redefine the Chinese ink painting as a medium.  The Culture Story is delighted to be exhibiting a selection of his early dot series as well as iconic portraits of world leaders.

    Juxtaposing the vivid colours of Nan Qi’s, The Culture Story is also showcasing never-seen-before works by Singapore-based Chinese painter Hong Zhu An (b. 1955). Trained under the famous Chinese art scholar Wang Zidou in Shanghai and having lived in Sydney before settling in Singapore, Hong is a master of both Western and Chinese forms of art. His works are a blend of East and West techniques as he combines Chinese calligraphy and painting, including “negative painting”. Hong has a profound love for the line and he understands its importance as a fundamental of Chinese artistic expression. Behind each art piece is a myriad of layers, each consisting of thousands of calligraphic strokes and colours.

    Talk – Collecting Chinese Ink: History, Culture, Wealth
    Sunday, 23 September 2018
    2.30pm

    Should one collect ink, what are the current trends and who are the rising stars? Join us for a conversation with ink collectors H.S. Chong and K.P. Lee, and art historians Teo Han Wue and Lee Chor Lin. More details on Facebook.

    Exhibition Information
    Dates: 15 September – 7 October 2018
    Opening Hours: Viewing by appointment only

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    The official opening of FLESH MATTERS took place on Saturday, 14 July 2018, including a special VIP dinner for artist’s friends and family,  art collectors, patrons and supporters of The Culture Story and artcommune gallery. There were good food and good conversations including heartfelt sharing by pioneers like Mr Koh Seow Chuan and Mr Choy Weng Yang. Over 250 guests turned out on Saturday, so a big thank you to everyone!

    Exhibition Information

    Exhibition Dates: 12 July – 22 July 2018

    Time: 12pm – 7pm

    Venue: Artspace @ Helutrans, 39 Keppel Road, Singapore 089065


    On Tuesday 10 July 2018, Founder Ning Chong together with Wong Keen and Ho Sou Ping (founder of artcommune gallery) were featured on First Look Asia on Channel News Asia. The trio was hosted by Teresa Tang, it was a joyous chat about them shared their visions towards art environment in Singapore and the gallerists’ admiration towards Wong Keen’s work.

    First Look Asia is the region’s leading English news and lifestyle breakfast show. The video is also available at this link.

     



    FLESH MATTERS at Artspace@Helutrans will present over 25 new paintings and 15 works on paper and collages, illustrating Wong’s compelling mastery and virtuosity as a painter. The series is considered one of the most accomplished in Wong’s painted oeuvre over fifty years. The accompanying exhibition catalogue includes full-colour illustrations and an essay contributed by Ms. Lee Chor Lin, former Director of the National Museum and the CEO of Arts House Limited.

    The works on exhibit chart the latest development in Wong’s artistic career. Having spent over fifty years in America, his outstanding oeuvre, which encompasses oil, acrylic, ink and mixed media works, is a powerful embodiment of Chinese ink wash aesthetics and Western inventive approach towards form and colour. This dynamic approach has continued to characterise his dramatisation of flesh in form and philosophy over the last few years. His stylised images of the nude, the butcher shop and the burger across different pictorial styles and mediums reflect his commitment to continuously evolve and push the boundaries. This inventive spirit certainly sets him apart from his Singaporean contemporaries.

    The largest work in Flesh Matters is a mural-sized acrylic painting titled, ‘The Aftermath’. Measuring 305 by 610 cm, its scintillating display of bold colours and narrative symbols devised through the form and atmosphere of flesh reflects the theme of warfare among other recurring threads in the series. Acts of violence and destruction are always suggested rather than depicted, and the result is an arresting image that bespeaks a complex chain of relations and an unutterable horror, rather than a point-blank picture of carnage.

     

    Exhibition Information

    Exhibition Dates: 12 July – 22 July 2018

    Time: 12pm – 7pm (except 14 July, it will close at 4pm)

    Venue: Artspace @ Helutrans, 39 Keppel Road, Singapore 089065

    Official Exhibition Opening

    Official opening with artist present will be held on Saturday 14th July 2018 from 12PM – 4.00PM.

     

     


     

    On Sunday 27th May 2018,  over 50 guests participated in a talk with co-founder of Larry’s List, Christoph Noe. Christoph shared on an insider’s view on the rise of private museums, future trends and where the opportunities lie whether it’s for an artist, collector or institution. He also brought in copies of the Private Art Museum report, Art Collectors Report and The Private Art Pass. We are glad to have hosted important art collectors, representatives from museums and institutions, consultants and art lovers.

    About Christoph Noe

    Working as a management consultant on strategy projects for a multinational corporation between Munich, Berlin, Shanghai and Beijing, in 2005 Christoph Noe decided to switch industries and actively engage in the Chinese contemporary art scene, founding THE MINISTRY OF ART. Specializing in Chinese artists of the post-seventies and eighties generation, Christoph Noe has organized a number of international exhibitions and edited various books, including “Young Chinese Artists”, “Hong Kong Artists,” and “Buy What You Like”. Most recently he edited a catalogue raisonné for the painter Liu Ye; the first publication of this kind for a Chinese contemporary artist. Christoph Noe also advising a number of brands including Rolls-Royce and Hugo Boss on their art engagements in Greater China. For Hugo Boss, he helped set up the biennial HUGO BOSS ASIA ART AWARD in cooperation with the Shanghai-based Rockbund Art Museum.

    In 2013, he co-founded LARRY’S LIST, the leading art market knowledge company providing data, research and access to contemporary art collectors and published the “Art Collector Report (2015),” the most comprehensive study on contemporary art collectors worldwide and the “Private Museum Report (2016) “, a global overview on the landscape of privately founded contemporary art museums. Christoph Noe has lectured extensively on Chinese contemporary art and the art market, among others at Angewandte University, Vienna.


    At The Culture Story gallery, we are pleased to present “Lyrical Flesh” by Wong Keen, featuring 13 new works – exquisite collages (mixed media on paper) on Sat 02 June 2018. These striking works are part of Wong’s latest body of work titled “Flesh”. This presentation at The Culture Story is a prelude to a larger, significant exhibition at Artspace@ Helutrans which will open in mid-July 2018, that aims to showcase over 25 new paintings and more than 15 new collages. Works are for sale, pls contact us for more details.


    On Wednesday 18 April 2018,  Founder Ning Chong was invited to participate in the breakfast huddle with new Singapore radio station Money 89.3FM that focuses on personal finances and investment.

    Alongside Ning was Mr Daniel Komala, Chairman of Larasati Auction, both of them discussed art market trends, tips on collecting art and why some people consider art acquisition as an alternative investment asset class. Ning also shared her tips for new budding collectors and why street art has gained huge popularity with top international collectors and celebrities. The podcast is now available pls click on this link!

     


    On Saturday 10 March 2018,  over 30 guests participated in an artist talk with one of Singapore’s foremost leading Pop artist Jahan Loh. This was held in conjunction with his solo exhibition “Genesis: God’s Terrarium” held from 13 Jan – 30 Mar 2018. Jahan shared about his personal experiences living and working in Taipei and Singapore, how he developed his visual style over the years, how to uphold one’s artistic integrity when you are working on high-profile commercial projects and why all successful artists are undisputedly commercial artists at its core.

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    About Jahan Loh

    Born in 1976, Jahan Loh is a Singapore artist who works primarily in the field of pop art. Not restricted to canvases and walls, Jahan’s art has been featured in toy, apparel and footwear collaborations with Adidas, Nike, VANS, Puma, Subcrew, Casio G-SHOCK and BearBricks. He turned down a career in law to pursue an arts education at LASALLE College of the Arts with a scholarship. In 2002, Loh migrated to Taiwan to pursue his dream to be an independent artist. In 2004 he started a company called Invasion Studios, and entered the world of hip-hop, vinyl toys and music animation, joining the international craze of collectible sneakers and toys, pop cultural icons and figurative forms. Loh spent a decade in Taiwan before he returned to Singapore in 2011 with a new body of work titled “Cherry Poke, Reconstituted Philosophies” which was exhibited at the Jendela Visual Arts Space, Esplanade. Loh is well known for his Ma Ling luncheon meat series paintings, representing the interplay of cultural signifiers in Singaporean identities and everyday lives today. In the 1990’s and following decades, the influence of graffiti was embraced internationally as a countercultural movement that developed to become increasingly interwoven with lifestyle sub-cultures and market branding. Street art was a symbolic outlet for artistic and youth countercultural expression, a universal point of connection among youth internationally, and this remained vital as a locus for Loh’s inspiration and identity.