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National Gallery Singapore opens co-curated exhibition with Centre Pompidou
Vassily Kandinsky, Impression V (Parc) (Impression V (Park)), 1911. 106 x 157.5 cm. Oil on canvas. Collection of Centre Pompidou, Paris.

SINGAPORE.- National Gallery Singapore today announced the launch of its first international special exhibition, Reframing Modernism, co-curated and co-presented with Centre Pompidou, Paris. This landmark exhibition is the inaugural exhibition at the Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery. Reframing Modernism will showcase more than 200 works from about 50 artists, with approximately half from Centre Pompidou and the other half from Southeast Asia. This will also be the first time that an exhibition displays significant Southeast Asian and European artists in parallel through its study of one of the most influential artistic and intellectual drives of the 20th century – modernism – from the perspective of Southeast Asia.

Reframing Modernism challenges the existing paradigm of how modernist painting is presented. It brings to light previously unexplored perspectives which enrich the overall discourse. Taking a comparative approach, the exhibition reveals shared concerns between the artists and their bodies of work to create a new and different narrative of modernism.

Throughout the exhibition, visitors are invited to draw their own connections and conclusions about the history of modernism and its relevance to the development of art in Southeast Asia. The unprecedented presentation includes works by Southeast Asian artists such as Le Pho (Vietnam), Nguyen Gia Tri (Vietnam), S Sudjojono (Indonesia), Affandi (Indonesia), Latiff Mohidin (Malaysia), Galo B Ocampo (Philippines), Georgette Chen (Singapore) and Tang Chang (Thailand), as well as European masters Vassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.

“We are pleased to work with Centre Pompidou to develop this exhibition which re-examines the paradigm of Modernism. This is the first time in Singapore that visitors can view artworks from European and Southeast Asian masters in the same space. We hope the exhibition will inspire fresh and interesting perspectives of the received understanding of modernism and modern art,” said Dr Eugene Tan, Director at National Gallery Singapore. “Along with the Gallery’s long-term exhibitions, Reframing Modernism will reinforce our aim to further the understanding of modern art from Singapore and Southeast Asia within a global context,” he added.

Reframing Modernism is co-curated by National Gallery Singapore Director Dr Eugene Tan, Senior Curator Lisa Horikawa and Curator Dr Phoebe Scott, together with the Deputy Director of Centre Pompidou’s National Museum of Modern Art – Industrial Design Centre, Catherine David and Curator Dr Nicolas Liucci-Goutnikov.

“Reframing Modernism testifies to the Centre Pompidou’s international reach and its pursuit of collaborations with prestigious partner institutions around the globe. Our collaboration with National Gallery Singapore on this unique project has been a most fruitful one and this co-curated exhibition is an excellent opportunity for us to learn more about modern Southeast Asian art and how modernism was perceived in this part of the world. The collaboration also gives art lovers in Singapore and Asia the opportunity to view major artworks from the Centre Pompidou, which houses one of the world’s two largest modern and contemporary art collections,” said Serge Lasvignes, President of the Centre Pompidou.

Reframing Modernism is showcased in the Singtel Special Exhibitions Gallery, which consists of three galleries, spanning across a total floor area of approximately 20,000 square feet. This was made possible by Singtel’s $20 million contribution last year to the National Gallery Singapore.

Ms Chua Sock Koong, Singtel Group CEO said, “We are excited that our contribution to National Gallery Singapore will enable Singaporeans to enjoy both iconic masterpieces from around the world alongside equally accomplished Southeast Asian art that we are proud to champion. We congratulate National Gallery Singapore and Centre Pompidou on their first-ever collaboration. Art is for everyone and we hope this will reach as many people as possible.”

Reframing Modernism will run from 31 March until 17 July 2016 at the Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery, located on level 3 of the City Hall Wing at the National Gallery Singapore.

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