Chua Ek Kay in New Light at SMU exhibition

Family, collectors and students come together to mount show on the Singapore artist
By A&M

Chua Ek Kay, ‘Street Scene’ Series — ‘Rickshaw Memory’, ink on rice paper, 83x97cm. Image courtesy of Art Agenda, S.E.A..

Chua Ek Kay, ‘Street Scene’ Series — ‘Rickshaw Memory’, ink on rice paper, 83x97cm. Image courtesy of Art Agenda, S.E.A..

‘A Long Way from Home’, featuring works from Singapore artist Chua Ek Kay (1947-2008) opened tonight at the De Suantio Gallery, School of Social Sciences at the Singapore Management University (SMU). It is curated by Wang Zineng together with the students in the SMU-X Arts and Culture Management course on Exhibition and Curating, led by Associate Professor Kwok Kian Chow.

Chua Ek Kay, ‘A Repast’, 1992, ink on rice paper, 67.5 x 51cm. Image courtesy of Art Agenda, S.E.A..

Chua Ek Kay, ‘A Repast’, 1992, ink on rice paper, 67.5 x 51cm. Image courtesy of Art Agenda, S.E.A..

In his introductory text to the exhibition, Kwok notes that the show “hopes to contribute to the broader memory of and conversation about Chua Ek Kay and his relationship to Singaporean art history”. The selection of artworks in the show demonstrates the artist’s constant innovation in ink art, such as in the ‘Street Scene’ Series, 1986-2006, which is part of SMU’s Chua Ek Kay Collection.

Exhibition team and students of SMU-X Arts and Cultural Management course on Exhibitions and Curating viewing artworks at Fine Art Storage Services, Singapore.

Exhibition team and students of SMU-X Arts and Cultural Management course on Exhibitions and Curating viewing artworks at Fine Art Storage Services, Singapore.

The involvement of students in the curation of this show is an interesting and not often taken approach. Wang notes that in executing of this exhibition, “the curatorial voice consciously takes a back seat to other voices – that of the sponsors; the estate; the students and the lecturer — and functions to enhance the articulation of the various contributors.”

The result is an intimate exhibition that tells a non-linear story about the artist’s life and work from plural perspectives, allowing visitors to view and interact with the artist’s works in a more meaningful way.

‘Chua Ek Kay: A Long Way from Home’ is open to the public from 20 October to 20 December 2018.

Read more about Chua Ek Kay in our special profile piece on the artist.