Drawing the exhibitions, Singapore

I only had limited opportunity to sketch while I was in Singapore  in May. Travelling with non-drawers meant that sketching was more of a challenge.

We did make it to the National Gallery of Singapore which is interesting not only for the art it contains, but also for its new architectural structure that joins and transforms two historic buildings, the former Supreme Court and City Hall.

The joy for me is finding artists whose work I haven’t seen before. I’m a bit of a modernist so it’s no big surprise that Dora Gordine’s sculptures caught my eye. Because the gallery had quite a number of Gordine’s sculptures I assumed there must be a strong link to Singapore. However I haven’t been able to find a link other than that she was commissioned to make sculptures for the Singapore City Hall in 1935. Gordine worked mainly in London. The work below was made in 1949.


Serene Jade, Dora Gordine, 1949, Bronze

I can’t leave the NGS without mentioning the paintings of Georgette Chen. This striking self portrait was but one of her works in the collection.

Self Portrait, Georgette Chen

Not all the artwork in the city is in the galleries. I saw several statues by the sculptor Fernando Botero, whose work often exaggerates it’s subject, in this case a bird.


Fernando Botero’s The Bird, (view from the rear)

At the Museum of Asian Civilizations I saw the exhibition  Joseon Korea, which was full of engaging and colourful works. This wooden sculpture was in the section on religious practice.


Boy Attendant, 19th or 20th century, painted wood, National Museum of Korea

The Empress Place building  (1867), which houses the main part of the museum,  was originally government offices. Now it houses a range of historic  exhibitions which I only managed to fly around quickly in the time I had. However I did manage a sketch of this contemporary work by Eng Tow inspired by grains of rice. The grains are several metres in length and were hung suspended in the gallery space.


‘Grains of Thought, Eng Tow, 2015, acrylic paint on carbon fibre forms

One last sketch from the waterfront with a storm passing in the background.


Singapore skyline, ArtScience Museum (left) and Marina Bay Sands hotel (right)




There has been a distinct absence of posts lately as I have been caught up in all sorts of artistic goings on.

Just after my last post we headed off to Setouchi, or the Japanese Inland Sea, to experience some of the Setouchi Triennial.  A truly amazing collection of art installations, performances and exhibitions held across the small islands and nearby port cities of central Japan.​

Sea Vine, Haruki Takehashi, porcelain vines suspended by fine threads, installation on Ogijima

Like the local fishermen we set out from the port of Takamatsu each day to catch the art.

Straw baboons made by the Straw Art Team of Musashino University

The Triennial is an amazing experience, due in no small part to the army of staff who manage the sites across the islands. I would highly recommend this experience to any art lover. Apart from which we saw beautiful scenery every day. 

Sunset over Ozuchi island, with the Great Seto Bridge in the background

We dragged ourselves away after four and a half days, but decided to stop in Kyoto on the way back, in order to visit the nearby Miho Museum. ​The Miho is a private museum that presents it’s own collection of ancient artefacts as well as special exhibitions.

The entrance to the Miho Museum. The museum was designed by I M Pei

At the Miho we saw an awesome display of the wealth of the Mughal emperors and various Indian royal families since that time. These now form part of The Al Thani collection


Also on display were the  Miho’s own collection of ceramics  by Ogata Kenzan, beauties of an entirely different order. 

Side dishes with Tatsuta River design, from the Miho collection

After a very relaxing week away it was time to get back to the studio and turning some my ideas into reality.