Born 1937 in Indonesia. Studied art with Singapore Pioneer Artist, Chen Wen Hsi. In 1962 he studied at the Art Students' League of New York, USA and in 1964 joined Provincetown Workshop, Massachusetts, USA.


Doors of perception


UOB presents Journeys Revisited, a retrospective solo exhibition by illustrious local artist Goh Beng Kwan

04 July 2005, Singapore
Journeys Revisited, a retrospective solo exhibition of the works of local artist,
Goh Beng Kwan, was officially opened today, at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Gallery. Sponsored by United Overseas Bank (UOB), the exhibition features 37 of Goh Beng Kwan's art pieces, tracing his career over the past five decades.

The exhibition promises to be a mesmerising showcase of his works. Inspired by his extensive travels and his appreciation of nature and the environment, Goh Beng Kwan's art evokes a sense of time, and of encounters and experiences.

Goh's artistic practice began in the mid-1950s when he studied art under the tutelage of Pioneer Artists Chen Wen Hsi and Cheong Soo Pieng. Since then, his many achievements have gained him numerous prestigious awards including the Cultural Medallion award in 1989, and the Salon des Artists Francais Silver Medal in 1985. Notably, he was also the winner of the inaugural UOB Painting of the Year Competition in 1982.

UOB's Deputy Chairman, Mr Wee Ee Cheong said, "We are pleased to present this exceptional exhibition that marks Goh Beng Kwan's five decades of dedication to the arts. As the winner of the first UOB Painting of the Year Competition in 1982, he has gone on to attain local and international recognition for his work and UOB is proud to have been a part of his illustrious career.

UOB has been supporting and promoting the local arts scene for the past 30 years and this exhibition is one of our major efforts in bringing the arts closer to the people."

"This exhibition is one of the most prestigious shows I have done. The work shown covers more than 50 years of my painting career, and the journey will continue after this exhibition", said Goh Beng Kwan.

The exhibition reflects UOB's strong and continued support for the arts, and is part of the Bank's efforts to promote greater interest in local art, as well as encourage and recognise artists and their work.

UOB also organises the annual Painting Of The Year Competition and Exhibition, which has grown in scope and prestige since its inception in 1982. The Competition has come to be regarded as a premier arts event in Singapore, attracting many entries of high standards.

Journeys Revisited is open to public at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Gallery 2, from 5 to 15 July 2005. The exhibition is open from 10am - 8pm daily.

Source: UOB press release

Green Acres of Land

Medium: Mixed media

Size: 122 x 122 cm


Source: with permission: Kwok Kian Chow / SAM

Kwok Kian Chow. Channels & Confluences: A History of Singapore Art. Singapore: National Heritage Board/Singapore Art Museum, 1996. Plate 94.


"A Heroic Decade: Singapore Art 1955-1965"
2005-07-29 until 2005-09-20
Singapore Art Museum
Singapore, , SG Singapore

Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is proud to present A Heroic Decade: Singapore Art 1955-1965, a special showcase in conjunction with Singapore’s 40th year of independence celebration. A critical phase in Singapore’s history, the 1950s was a period of conflicting optimism and anxiety. It was also the most intense period of practice for some of the most important artists in Singapore, such as Lim Cheng Hoe, Chua Mia Tee and Lim Yew Kuan. Responding to the changing social conditions, and drawing from a diversity of cultures and experiences, these artists produced powerful works that pulse with a resonating energy, proclaiming the arrival of a new era. The exhibition will present close to 70 important works from SAM collection and private collections from the period of the 1955-1965, supported by a number of key early works that foreshadow the development in the 1950s.

Presented in four parts, namely, An Intersection of Personal Journeys, 1952 – Bali and its Legacies, 1955 – Ideas and Ideals and 1960s - Surfacing Identities, the exhibition chronicles Singapore art development in the period 1955 – 1965:

An Intersection of Personal Journeys traces the roots of art practices in Singapore. The section explores the varied sources of modernity, featuring works by itinerant artists like Xu Beihong, early works by Georgette Chen and Liu Kang prior to settling in Singapore.

1952 Bali and its Legacies showcases Balinese works by Chen Chong Swee, Chen Wen Hsi, Cheong Soo Pieng and Liu Kang. The section explores the evolvement of Balinese subject in their works around the period and beyond. Their currency in Singapore art, in terms of iconographical resource and market appeal, are considered.

1955 – Ideas and Ideals presents the ecology of Singapore art around the most tumultuous period of the 1950s. Featuring works that respond to the changing social conditions including the social realists like Lee Boon Wang, Lim Yew Kuan, Chua Mia Tee, and at the same time showing parallel and independent concerns in the works of artists like Chen Wen Hsi, Cheong Soo Pieng and Liu Kang. The section also attempts to delve into the development of art amongst the Malay artists through the works of S Mohdir, Mahdar and others.

The last section 1960s - Surfacing Identities explores concerns relating to emergent concepts of national and cultural identities. Themes such as events and change, continuing development in the iconography of the Singapore landscape through the works of Lim Cheng Hoe, coalescing concepts of citizenship and multiracialism through the works of Georgette Chen and the assertion of ethnic identities as seen in literati Chinese paintings and works by Malay artists, continuing articulation of the Nanyang modernity in the works of earlier artists, and tensions with internationalism characterized by the diverse approaches of Ho Ho Ying, and Western trained Ng Eng Teng, Goh Beng Kwan, and Thomas Yeo are presented.

Says Mr Ahmad Mashadi, Senior Curator of SAM, "The development of art and culture is interwoven into the story of our nation. Art making is not contained within its own dynamics, but critical grounds for which emerging ideas about society and nation are engaged, explored and expressed in cultural terms. We have chosen to represent the 1950s as it is perhaps the most intense period of Singapore artistic history, intersecting a critical phase of Singapore’s national history."

Says Mr Kwok Kian Chow, Director of SAM, “The exhibition provides a platform for artists, active or knowledgeable about the period, to contribute and inform on our art history. Working with the National Archives of Singapore, we are documenting primary sources on our artistic heritage.”

Commenting on the rationale for sponsoring the exhibition, Mr Kwek Leng Joo, Managing Director of CDL says, ?ochAs a property pioneer that has grown in tandem with Singapore’s development over the past four decades, CDL is glad to support this meaningful exhibition. It offers the public an opportunity to appreciate a range of art works from a significant phase in Singapore’s history as we celebrate the nation’s 40th anniversary."

In conjunction with the exhibition, a series of talks entitled “Art and society in 1950s: A Discussion Series on Art Collectives and Community” will be held at SAM. Invited discussants, drawn from artists practising during the period such as Lai Kui Fang, Ong Kim Seng and Chng Seok Tin, will reflect on their experiences and thoughts. Programme details are appended. Log on to www.singart.com for programme updates.

Source: SAM press release



Volume 8 Number 5 September/October 1998

Singapore Feature - Staying Power - Parvathi Nayar Narayan / From The Garden Of The Mind: Henri Chen KeZhan - Rachel Farnay / Memory In Paper Landscapes: Goh Beng Kwan - Rachel Farnay


Untitled (Yellow)