Saturday, 28 November 2015

National Gallery Singapore Launched

Former City Hall
Six months ago, I went for sneak peek at Naked Museum@National Gallery Singapore (NGS) organised by NGS on special invitation only and not much changes of the structures and was on guides tours to the historic buildings except Justice's courtrooms and Rotunda that we hadn't entered as there were blocked from entering, only took a few shots of the interiors of the building. Having informed by NGS and over the news, it will launch sometime in Oct or Nov 2015 after it transforms the Arts Works in all galleries and exhibits artefacts  at former Supreme Court.
The iconic Padang transforms into a Art carnival with thematic landscapes for artists and art lovers. A grandeur light and sound displaying set against the backdrop of the newly transformed National Gallery Singapore and was inspired by the arts within its walls.
Finally, the National Gallery Singapore opens its doors to the public on 24th Nov 2015 to 6th December 2015 two weeks celebrations after ten years for the S$532 million project in the making.
High Courtroom One
High Courtroom with Art exhibits
National Gallery Singapore is a home to the world's biggest collection of modern arts from Singapore and South-east Asia It comprises more than 8,000 works from the 19th and 20th centuries in all media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography and video. It also Singapore's first large-scale building dedicated to Singaporean and South-east Asian art.
High Chief Justice 
Six months had passed, we were excited and thrilled to see all artefacts at Rotunda, The Library including High Chief Justice's Chambers, four courtrooms with art exhibitions.
High Chief Justice's chair
The Supreme Court was the last of the neo-classical style structures to be built by Singapore by the British. It was the seat of the highest courts of the Judicial system.
 High Chief Justice's Chamber & Office
Former Chief Justice's meeting place
This was where the former Chief Justice Yong Pung How who held his position from 1990 to 2006, the second of three local Chief Justices of Singapore, chaired his meeting with the other judges.The key highlight of the Chambers and Office is their furnitures and were specially designed for this space and produced locally hand carved by Singapore-based craftsmen..
One of the many emblems featuring arms of the Inns of Court and others, a professional association which provides legal training, selection and regulation for every barrister in England and Wales. It is on one of the cabinets of the bookshelves in the Chief Justice's Chamber.
The Library@Rotunda Dome
Artefacts & Books displayed
Ancient Book
The Four courtrooms surround the centre of Rotunda Dome, where the Library was housed. Now The Library@Rotunda transforms into art gallery (as above), some spaces like Courtroom One and Chief Justice;s Chambers and Office were fully restored and the remaining courtrooms were modified into art exhibition spaces.
Rotunda Table
Level 2@The Rotunda Dome
The 'Round' teak wood table is the centre that is surrounded by ancients books & documents and artefacts items including the above level 2 of the Rotunda Dome of what is thought of the Library ( I used to call it - Supreme Court Library) was housed and used by the Library dedicated staff, was to assist the Justices in fulfilling their constitutional responsibilities by providing them with the best support in the most efficient, ethical and economic manner.
Resource centre
The Library's resources were not only to the Justices and their law clerks but also to the Court officers and Court support staff. I think. At least, it was indeed a quiet place to sort out the legal problems during the court proceeding hearings at that time.
Scrapbook - ART VII
One of the scrapbooks - "ART VII" on loan is on display at the Rotunda Gallery, was chosen from amongst the scrapbooks particularly because of its primary resource materials. It chronicles the 1st Southeast Asia Art Conference and Competition organised in 1957 by the Art Association of the Philippines, is the oldest surviving art association in the country. The Association was founded in 1948 by a group of artists headed by Purita Kalaw-Ledesma.
City Hall Chamber
The late Prime Minister Lee and members of his Cabinet took their Oaths of Allegiance and Oaths of Office on 5 June 1959 in the City Hall Chamber.
 Wounded Lion by Raden Saleh
Closeup: Wounded Lion (Weeping Lion)
This artwork using Oil on canvas - Wounded Lion by Artist Raden Saleh@UOB Southeast Asia Gallery located at level 2 of City Hall Wings. This "Wounded Lion" described about the memories of one person's emotional past, at times of distress, strengthen one's heart. Well, the wounded lion still knows how to roar in pain.
National Language Class
National Language Class by Chua Mia Tee who was born in China in 1931 and migrated to Singapore in 1937, growing up along the banks of the Singapore River. He painted a group of Chinese students learning Malay in 1959. Remember a time when Singapore was forever a Malaya before Singapore gained a independence in 1965. I have not seen the play but I did reflect at length on the painting, which I have seen at the Singapore Art Museum. There's another painting done by Chua Mia Tee - Market Place at Clive Street 1982.
National Language Class by Spell#7
Conduct Lesson in Class
Even though the four official languages are given equal weight, one of them is accorded the “national language” status. The Malay language is the national language whereas English is the main working language. The national language of Singapore is Malay for historical reasons but the official languages are English, Chinese (Mandarin), Malay and Tamil. Each carries equal weight under our constitution. I remember when I was in primary school, I had to attend two or three times a week lesson of non-examination national language (Malay) in school and other languages - English and Chinese. 
 Keppel Centre for Art Education
Brand new artistic space for children located at Keppel Centre for Art Education at level 1 at City Hall Wing. The centre features four unique and vibrant art spaces s well as a changing series of special displays.
Here they come! 1965 by Koeh Sia Yong
Born in 1938 Koeh Sia Yong, graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art. Since then he has undertaken his exploration in the art world for over fifty years. The displayed work - "Here they come!" inspired me by looking at this painting would make you imagination of the Singapore social changes of undergoing in post-war and early-independence years.
Chua Mia Tee: Epic Poem of Malaya 1955
The painting of Epic Poem of Malaya embodies and evokes the desire to inculcate Malayan nationalism in the younger generation. A group of students listen intently, transfixed by their leader who is reading nationalistic poems about Malaya. The hint of light in the dark clouds signals better days to come with the achievement of independence.
Portrait of Lee Boon Ngan
This painting "Portrait of Lee Boon Ngan", 1957 is a oil on canvas painting by artist and husband Chua Mia Tee.
 Welded Metal by Jerry Elizalde Navarro
Welded Metal by J Elizalde Navarro (b.1924 to 1999) was a visual artist, and his numerous works has been sold at auction including " The llongot War Dance" sold at Leon Gallery 'Spectacular Mid-Year Auction 2014' in 2014 for $63,927.
 Welded Metal thru the hole
His work was mainly used wood and stone, by carving; in clay, by molding; and in metal, by casting. Welded sculptures involve making objects by bonding together sheets of metal scraps by electric or acetylene torch. 
  Wayang on show
The word "Munusia Dan Wayang" or "Humans and Puppets" would often heard from older generations like my late grandma and my mum who used to watch the wayang in early years. This wayang is originated from Indonesia where my late god-father whose eldest son, lives in Jakarta Indonesia, brought me and my mum to watch the wayang in Indonesia in early 1980s. I have been to Bali to watch Wayang too.
 Munusia Dan Wayang
 Closeup: Human and Puppet
Wayang or Puppetry (shadow puppet) is often called by many in early generations from Indonesia.  A wayang kulit or shadow puppetry are usually made from water buffalo hide, considered to be the oldest free-standing puppet form, the eldest to date from 800s. There are the people who weeps, are sad, and aroused watching the puppets, though they know they are merely carved pieces of leather manipulated and made to speak. These people are like men who, thirsting for consensus pleasure, live in the world of illusion, They do not realise that the magic hallucinations they see are not real.
 Expense of spirit in a waste of shame
The Expense of Spirit in a Waste of Shame enthralls the viewers and public with its mesmerising sounds and movement of elements. The installation consists of 6 long sets of light bulbs using cables, control unit, broken glass, motors, aluminium rods, mirrors. Each set has 12 lights paired with 12 elliptical mirrors. Controlled by baby rocker motors, the bulbs descend towards the mirrors, producing a chorus of rhythmic, ‘clanging’ sounds, every time the bulbs hit the mirrors.
1st shot of a bulb
2nd shot: Can you see a Spirit inside the light bulb?
Image of a 'head'
I was surprised to see a image of a "head" appearing onto a light bulb when I snapped a shot that closer to the light bulb. Can you see an image of a 'head' that I circled. I think it's reflection of the broken glass and mirrors that take the form of a shape, I presume. Well, what do you think it is? Share your thoughts.
 The Pleasure of Being,Crying,Dying & Eating
The Pleasure of Being, Crying, Dying and Eating was installed at Glass porch of Singapore Art Museum (SAM) in 1996. Singapore artist Tang Da Wu helped Thai artist Montien Boonma 9B.1953-2000) install the bowl tower, the centrepiece of the work. The two artists were first met at 2nd ASEAN Workshop, Exhibition and Symposium on Aesthetics in the Philippines and developed a close bond thereafter. Thai artist Montien Moonma (b.1953-2000) was first installed The Pleasure of Being, Crying, Dying and Eating at the The National Gallery of Thailand in 1993 and later installed at Singapore Art Museum, the bowl tower was assembled without the use of adhesives. Then the sudden vibration in the Gallery's floors caused some of the bowls to topple to the ground and shattered into pieces.
Bowl assembled in such a way
So now each bowl is assembled with the use of adhesives (white) to prevent the bowl to topple to the ground when the construction of the building is on going who knows.
Pleasure of eating is when people use food as a way to deal with feelings instead of to satisfy hunger.
 Closeup: Ceramic bowls with the use of adhesive
I think the late Moonma printed the pictures of jaw bones onto the bowl and stacked them up. In addition, he placed the dining table with red cloth and 'chopsticks' made of bone. the stacked bowls portrayed the fragility, probably of life.
Printed picture of Jaw-bones & false teeth onto ceramic bowls
This is an installation of hundreds of ceramic bowls that form a pagoda-like tower. These ceramic bowls that printed a picture of jaw-bones & false teeth onto it,
 bamboo jungle or bone-shaped chopstick
Early generations or over 3,000 years ago, the use of bamboo jungle chopsticks or bone-shaped chopsticks were used in China before the use of ancient chopsticks. I believe that Chinese chopsticks are traditionally blunt at the tip and thus somewhat poor choices to try to spear food as you would with a fork.
 Chopstick with a 'red' handkerchief
Closeup: Bone-shaped on Red handkerchief
A whole row of 'chopsticks' protruding from a wall and each chopstick is holding to a piece of red handkerchief inscribed a shape of bone,
Jaw-bone bowl & teapot on wooden table
This routine human condition of eating and dying is reflected in the jaw-bones, bone-shaped chopsticks, false teeth and a dark red cloth, which symbolise heaven and wealth.
 Ceramic bowls on weighing machine
About Forty-eight ceramic bowls weigh about 5.1kg
Picture of false-teeth printed onto ceramic bowls
The ceramic bowls are reminiscent of the Theravada tradition in Thailand, where monks adopted a simple life without belongings, use an alms bowl to get their daily provision and foods from laypeople.
Main Dome
The main dome of former Supreme Court of the building is fixed by intersecting steel trusses imported and fabricated in Britain. A new glass has been added to allow public to view the internal structure.
Journey of a Yellow Man by Lee Wen
Journey Of A Yellow Man No. 11: Multi-Culturalism printed by Lee Wen using inkjet on archival paper. Lee Wen has appeared as the Yellow Man in a series of performance all over the world. This performance took place at The Substation in 1997, where he presented a lecture before immersing himself in a tub to wash the yellow paint off his body.
Pink Man Collection@Supreme Court Terence
Front row of Pink Man Collection (Left to Right) - Socialist Pink Man, Pink Man The Siamese Intellectual and Pink Man Thai Hi-So. Behind: Globalizing Pink Man, Golfing Pink Man and Green Pink Man (behind Pink Man Thai Hi-So as below).
 The Shocking Pink Collection by Manit Sriwanichpoom
The Pink Man performance by Sompong Thawee began in 1997 as above. Fancy and Fantasy Costumes for image-building and role-playing, in life-sized photographs lit by neon.
Sompong Tawee is depicted in various pink costumes characterizing different fronts within a personality. The series is a satire on the Thais being more obsessed with form than content.
Three of the photographs are particularly effectful: Globalizing Pink Man wearing a suit and a mobile phone with one foot resting on a globe, Siamese Intellectual posing with a glass of wine and a pink stick surrounded by books, and Thai Hi-so Man standing in front of Ananta Samakom Throne Hall with an imperialistic expression on his face.
Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Gallery
The family of Far East Organization founder Ng Teng Fong has become the Gallery's fifth founding partner with the donation worth S$20 millions given to National Gallery Singapore. A roof garden exhibition space on Level 5 of the City Hall Wing will be named after the late Mr Ng. It will be called the Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Gallery. The roof garden is the result of restoration works to preserve the architectural authenticity and character of the former Supreme Court and City Hall.
Smoke & Mirrors Bar
 Aura light facing sunset
Roof bars are no rarity and it's perched on the Old Supreme Court Building at National Gallery Singapore at the roof top level 6 next to Smoke & Mirrors.
The Former Supreme Court Holding Cells

The Former Supreme Court Holding Cells were the remainder of the original 12 holding cells of which 10 for men and 2 for women. Defendants were held in this cells between the time they were brought to Supreme Court and when their trail begun.
 Row of ten cells for men (2006)
Series of suspended steel corridors, only a portion of which has been preserved, led directly from the cells to the four original courtrooms. You can view where the corridor that led to Courtroom 3 emerged. The courtroom is now at Gallery 7 of the UOB South-east Asia Gallery at level 4 of Supreme Court Wing side.
 Closeup: Ten Cells for men
I heard that one of these cells was where the notorious criminals like Adrian Lim and Anthony Ler were held while waiting for their verdicts to be announced at the former Supreme Court on 23 Mar 1983 and 2001 respectively.
Interior of Holding Cell (2006)
The key trails at former Supreme Court in war crime trails, relating to the Double Tenth incident, involving 21 Kempeitai of the Singapore Branch who potted to arrest 57 civilian prisoners at Changi Gaol, and a trail of prisoners from penal settlement Pulau Senang who started a mutiny there.
 Heavy steel gate
 Peek thru the steel gate
 Typical squatting toilet
 Toilet thru the steel gate
Concrete bench
Above picture of holding cell of which the accused were not kept overnight in these cells, each cell was equipped with only a toilet and a long concrete bench but had no "sleeping" bunk. 
Toilet Cisterns outside the two cells
The interior of the cisterns (can be found in my blog) or toilet flushes were located outside the cells to prevent the accused from harming themselves by hanging with the flush chains as seen above. After the accused had done their business in the toilet, he or she would call out the prison officer to flush it. Would they provide the toilet paper too? The terrible smell of waste would fill the cell rooms.
 Supreme Court Foyer
Tree-like Steel Pole
The shadow white patch on tree-like steel pole positioned between the former supreme foyer and city hall wing still strong, that was used to be carpark at that time
Share the Hope
Share the Hope is a commissioned production that incorporates moving stories inspired by the Gallery's collection. The stunning displays of light, sound and visual set against the backdrop of the newly transformed National Gallery Singapore.
 Former City Hall
 Blown-up version of portrait of Lee Boon Ngan
Kick-off celebration in front of former City Hall, a blown-up version of a new face of portrait of Lee Boon Ngan, wife of Chua Mia Tee, was mounted on a giant frame on the steps of the City Hall wing. There was a 'eight minutes' light show, summary on the major painting on display on the wall of the building. Singapore artworks were beamed onto it in a light and sound show as part of the opening weekend celebration - from 27th Nov to 29th Nov 2015.
Blown-up version of portrait on City Hall wing
Series of painting show display on wall of the building
Smoke filled up the air after show ended
After the eight-minutes ended, a huge sheet of cloth is covered again with a portrait of Lee Boon Ngan for the next an hour (8pm, 9pm, 10pm) from 27th to 29th Nov 2015 for three nights only.
Getting around to National Gallery Singapore
After the opening celebration ends in two long weeks from 24th to 6th Dec 2015, you still can visit starting from 7 Dec 2015 onwards.
7 Dec 2015 onwards
Mon to Thu, Sun and Public Holidays: 10 am to 7 pm;
Fri, Sat & Eve of Public Holidays: 10 am to 10 pm
Free admission for Singapore Citizens and PRs and children six years and under (except for selected exhibitons)
$20 for non-Singaporeans
$15 for concession holder and children between seven and 12 years old.

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