Close to 70 art collectors, gallerists, artists and enthusiasts joined us on 18 Jan to hear Pak Zain share on his art journey and approach to collecting artists work.

    Pak Zain is one of Malaysia’s most respected art collectors of modern and contemporary Malaysian art, The Azahari Collection stands at over 1,000 pieces and is acknowledged to be one of the most significant private collections in Malaysia.  Widely known to be a private and low-profile individual, we were privileged to host Pak Zain and Haslinda who shared their insights behind the Azahari Collection, the vision for Galeri Z which was set up in 2015 and their personal endeavours to publish 3 books so far.

    The event launched “Hati & Jiwa: Volume 3 (2019)”  featuring over 500 artworks, by Malaysia’s old masters and 50 contemporary works from younger Malaysian artists and around the region. Volume 3 comprises of four books, thematically categorised as Landscape, Figurative, Abstract and Other Regions with artworks dating from the 1920’s to the present day.



    Join us to find out S2 London’s unique approach to exhibition-making, opportunities in London which is on the cusp of Brexit, who are the value buys and discover international artists before the market catches on.

    Date: Thursday 21 Nov 2019

    Starts 6.30PM

    Complimentary entry, RSPV required

    Bianca Chu is the deputy director of Sotheby’s S2 Gallery in London. Having over 8 years experience in the art industry, Bianca along with gallery director Darren Leak, organise and curate the exhibition programme at S2. 

    The gallery functions independently of the auction business, and aims to shine a spotlight on artists that they feel deserve greater recognition. Whilst the auctions at Sotheby’s respond to demand in the marketplace, the exhibitions and research undertaken at S2 London hope to anticipate recognition and highlight artists that have been previously marginalised or remained on the periphery. S2 organising solo and group exhibitions (Bianca will elaborate more in her presentation), and the gallery also publishes extensively on its research and new exhibition books accompany the shows. 

    Born in New York, Bianca has an MA from the University of Edinburgh in History of Art and Chinese Studies and is an Ambassador of the Tate Young Patrons and patron of the UK Friends of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, based in Washington, DC.

    Previous solo exhibitions at the S2 gallery include the first UK solo show of Austrian artist Renate Bertlmann (currently representing Austria at the Venice Biennale); Kim Lim; Li Yuan-Chia; Yuko Nasaka; Ibrahim El-Salahi; Tess Jaray; Tsuyoshi Maekawa; Alfredo Volpi; Roger Hilton; and the first UK solo show of Huang Rui. Group shows include an exhibition re-staging the important but overlooked Signals gallery in London between 1964-66 which included work by Filipino artist David Medalla alongside key proponents of Kinetic and experimental art in Europe such as Takis, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Lygia Clark, and Helio Oiticicia.


    On 14 Sept 2019, in collaboration with AXA and Great Eastern, Chong H.S. shared his personal journey of art collecting to a select group of premier clients. We were delighted to share this with our new friends, and Peng Yong’s paintings and installation continue to be on display during this event. Besides art, we also heard from specialists on art insurance, legacy building and enjoyed whisky sampling after the talk.


    Futura, dubbed the godfather of contemporary street art, will make his Southeast Asian debut in Singapore come 30 May 2019Presented by The Culture Story and curated by Singapore’s leading pop artist Jahan Loh, CONSTELLATION marks the street culture legend’s first ever solo exhibition in the region.

    Hailing from the birth of the graffiti art movement, in the early 1970’s Futura began ‘bombing’ trains in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. Alongside his contemporaries, including iconic names such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, he later took his distinctive abstract graffiti style from the streets and onto the canvas, showing in galleries around the world. Over the past forty years, Futura continuously pushed the boundaries of street art and painting, and has earned recognition internationally for his authentic style which has evolved beyond traditional forms of graffiti.

    The exhibition will showcase 30 specially commissioned pieces created during a two week-long residency at The Culture Story. CONSTELLATION delves into Futura’s inner universe and celebrates his pioneering spirit for inventing new spraying techniques, including his most iconic and signature move, the inverted spray. Utilising a range of materials coupled with finely tuned techniques, this unique series of works demonstrates that Futura’s visual style transcends cultural and physical boundaries – where expression and style, restraint and spontaneity, splatters and control, provide poetic contradiction.  The bold, vibrant compositions are marked by a repertoire of forms and iconic motifs he has come to be known for – characters, atoms and cranes.

    During the exhibition, a limited-edition catalogue stashed in custom designed ammo boxes will be available for purchase. In addition, The Culture Story will also be organising a fringe event to complement the exhibition on Saturday, 01 June 2019. “Futura: 60 minutes with the street art legend”will feature a debut screening of a new mini-documentary on Futura’s career, followed by a dialogue session and after-party at The Projector and Intermission Bar, click here to buy tickets.

    For more info and updates, visit:  FuturaConstellation.com, IG @the.culture.story and FB Event Page

    For media enquiries, pls email media@theculturestory.co

    For overseas visitors – pls contact us directly for friendly hotel rates to stay at Regent Singapore.


    Photo credit to Melvin Wong, Produced and Copyrighted @ The Culture Story


    On 12 Jan 2019, over 80 guests attended “Practical insights into collecting Singapore Art” by veteran art collector Teng Jee Hum and the launch of his new book “Godalisation- Singapore Painted” which sold over a hundred copies that afternoon.

    Teng Jee Hum grew up in Singapore in the 1950s – 60s, he was deeply influenced by the towering figure of Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Teng said: “Looking back now on the evolving collection, it is searching for an identity, discovering the root influences of how I come to be this way. In doing so, I cannot avoid the Singapore Story, and the one person who has probably done the most for me, and to me.” For the last 25 years, Mr Tenghas developed a robust framework for collecting Singapore art. To date, he and his wife June have amassed hundreds of works, several key works made from 1950’s – 2018 are featured in the book. Mr Teng also shared insight on how to identify and collect works with potential for asset appreciation.

    The book will be available for sale at FOST Gallery and The Culture Story during Singapore Art Week 2019 and will be sold at SEA Focus Fair as well. Available soon at NLB, Kinokuniya, Books Actually and Select Books. Pls contact us if you are interested to purchase the book!


    Salon Saturday@TCS was a four-part series of talks organised and hosted by The Culture Story from Oct – Nov 2018.  Accompanied by guest speakers from the art industry, they shared their knowledge and insights so that one can confidently carry out his or her pursuit to acquire great works of art. Whether you are taking your first step into the foray of art collecting or already own a collection at home/office, many guests expressed positive feedback as they felt these talks provided practical insights and advice in navigating the unfamiliar ways of the art market.

    • Accessibility and value practicality.”
    • “Really like the checklist (tips when buying art) – very practical advice.”
    • “Gives me the confidence to collect.”
    • “Ning addresses the art market in quite a direct and closer way, its brave, open and helpful.”
    • “Enjoyed the sharing sessions and insights with other industry peers.”
    • “With the opening of online platforms and the statistics shared by Alan (Fair Director of Affordable Art Fair) changed my opinion of collecting art.”
    • It’s simple and easy to understand for a novice like me!”


    [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

    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

    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.