Born in Shanghai/ China, Marjorie Chu is now a Singaporean citizen. Marjorie was an accountant for 10 years before she opened her first gallery.
Dr Earl Lu was instrumental
in introducing her to Chinese brush painting at the extra-mural lectures at the
University of Singapore. She also attended a course on contemporary painting in
Marjorie opened her Raya Gallery in the 1970s, renamed it Art Forum in the 1980s, and the latter is now located in a 1920s terrace house. She has also exhibited at the 1999 International Art Fair in New York, taken part in the Melbourne 2000 Art Fair, and participated in ARTSingapore 2001 and 2002.
Marjorie Chu is a
founder-member of the Art Gallery Association of Singapore; lecturer to friends
of the Singapore Art Museum; and external lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic,
Singapore. She established the National Museum Shops in Singapore and Thailand.
During the 1970s, she retraced the travel trail of the so-called Singapore Pioneer Artists (Goh Beng Kwan, Khoo Sui Ho, Thomas Yeo, Anthony Poon, and Choy Weng Yang) across the Asean countries.
In her search for artists in Southeast Asia, she also began long friendships with dealers in the region, especially Arturo Luz in the Philippines and Hendra Hadiprana in Jakarta, both of whom were important mentors for the young gallerist.
After many years of collecting art, is Marjorie realized that it was important to document her collection so that others might be able to understand its scope and meaning,.
She has created
the book Understanding Contemporary Southeast Asian Art to impart her
understanding on genres like life drawing, still life, figurative
paintings, landscapes/ sculpture, and abstract art. In this way, Marjorie
compared the differences between artistic styles and concepts in the various
countries of Southeast Asia.
During the documentation of her collection, Marjorie realized that she had discovered important elements in the language of Southeast Asian art:
- Chinese brush techniques have transcended ink on paper.
- The influence of craft, ritual, and folk colors on art
- Black and white are accepted colors in Southeast Asian art.
- The preference for vertical and horizontal position
- Paper and canvas are equally important media in art.