Visions & Enchantment: Southeast Asian Paintings


        This show opened on 8th June at the Singapore Art Museum. Visions and Enchantment is a brief survey of modern South-east Asian paintings. It is focused on the cultures and aesthetics that were born from the western colonization of the South-east Asia.

        The western-influence in painting is visible from the technical approaches in artistic creation: the use of oil paints and canvases, the composition and the pictorial format. Artists embraced the new-found techniques. These discoveries sparked the employment of alternative treatments of indigenous materials like lacquer, batik, or silk. Painted subjects were framed to reflect an awareness of western preferences. The knowledge of the western civilization is more valued when traits signifying the identities of South-east Asia are made more real and meaningful either in contrast, or in irony. The reading of art becomes more challenging, provocative, and multivalent in the Southeast Asian context.

        Politics, society, culture, language, and economics are facets of nations that layer the development of South-east Asian art. Visions & Enchantment directs the audience toward an appreciation of modern South-east Asian themes that capture the spirit, reflect the lives, amplifies the cultures, and touches on the sources of inspiration. Modernity and traditions are harmonized by intertwining the exhibits with no clear demarcations between each theme. Beginnings, Communities, Portraits, Traditions, Figures and Spaces, and Art for the People are among the themes elaborated.

       Vision and Enchantment is an exhibition represented by works derived from institutions and individuals. These works origin from the mid-19th century to the recent past and are created by famous masters from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. The exhibition is organized by the Singapore Art Museum in association with Christie's International. The show continues until 29 August.