July News: An Update for Art Collectors

July News: An Update for Art Collectors


About Collecting: Q & A Saturday 5th July, 3.00pm – 4.00pm
Drop by for a casual chat with Seah Tzi-Yan in attendance.

Opening Saturday 5th July, 4.00pm – 6.00pm

Exhibition 5th – 18th July, 11.00am – 7.00pm daily

Venue artspace@222
222 Queen Street 02-03 Singapore (across from 8Q Singapore Art Museum)
Free admission

Modernist tendencies in South East Asian art have been consolidated in a staple of private and corporate collections in Asia, from Goh Beng Kwan and Latiff Mohideen to U Lun Gywe. This period/genre (pre- and post-1980s) make exciting opportunities for collectors in the region (and also outside) as much of the art is of very good quality, the artists are mature in their output, and the prices have not yet peaked. Many of these works are semi-abstract or expressionistic, with some figurative works being extremely popular.

Noticeably missing from major private collections with Southeast Asian artworks are some excellent modernists (1980s-1990s) who have not yet been in the limelight due to the developmental nature of their own home markets. For this July feature, we have selected expressive and thought-provoking works by Zulkifli Yusoff, San Minn and Aung Myint, and two special appearances – Benny Ong and Kyaw Lin.

The three artists Zulkifli Yusoff, San Minn and Aung Myint have been collected since the 1990s by two of Asia’s leading art museums – Singapore Art Museum and Fukuoka Asian Art Museum. Zulkifli Yusoff’s paintings and installations are also in the collections of Galeri Petronas, Bank Negara Malaysia and National Visual Art Gallery, Malaysia, as well as some important private collections. His recent work “Rukunegara 1: Belief in God” was commissioned by the Singapore Biennale 2013-14, with a much earlier 1996 work “Don’t Play during Maghrib” being shown at the Venice Biennale.

Aung Myint and San Minn have been the leaders of the modern art movement in Myanmar since the 1970s, starting important artists’ collectives that created both physical and emotional space for artistic creation. A recent milestone for the recognition of Aung Myint as a major artist is the recent recurring telecast aired by Myanmar TV of their interview with him. Aung Myint’s work has been at Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, Singapore Art Museum and also Fukuoka Asian Art Museum and also recently collected by the Guggenheim UBS Global MAP Initiative. Following closely San Minn’s work received much critical attention by curators and collectors for his works made between 1990s and now.

We chanced on two 1996 drawings by Zulkifli Yusoff, from his seminal “Ahmad and His Shadow” series. These beautiful pieces are full of raw energy, and the line-work is gorgeous. Also on show are a few small rare canvases from “Reformasi” and “Breathing” series.

In the midst of our research we also found Kyaw Lin, an up-and-coming Myanmarese painter with delightful colour sense and great compositional know-how. A special cameo appearance is by London/ Singapore designer-artist Benny Ong. His graphic works in hand-spun and hand-woven silk are on local themes.

The Artists

San Minn
An important Myanmarese painter working since the 1970s, his paintings make strong social commentary on the actions of the individual person. Speaking out through his paintings, his views touch on the dual nature of objects as intended by people – the weapons of abuse cited include “For fun and for harm”, a painting about real and imaginary weapons and the intentions in the mind of the user; “Melting Gun” is a figurative expression of melting icecaps and water issues seen as a loaded gun; “Genetically Modified Fruit” looks at the issues of nutrition and commercial food production. A few rare 1970s works from the artist’s collection will also be on view.

Aung Myint
Aung Myint (b. 1946, Yangon) is a self-taught artist, working in painting, installation and performance. Since 1995 his work has caught the attention of curators at Fukuoka Asian Art Museum and Singapore Art Museum. He has been exhibited and collected by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in their exhibition “No Country”, (2013). He has made numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally including at Royal Tropics Institute, Amsterdam (1998), “Imaging Selves”, a permanent collection exhibition of Singapore Art Museum (1998), ASEAN Masterworks (ASEAN Leaders Summit, Kuala Lumpur, 1997,

“Oriental Curtain”, Varcaus Art Museum, Helsinki (2001) and “The End of Growth”, Heinrich Boll Foundation, Bangkok (2001).

Zulkifli Yusoff
Zulkifli Yusoff has recently made several series of works & exhibitions across Malaysia and Singapore. Recognised for his sharp commentary and deep insights into the Malay/Malaysian psyche and historical situation through his art, the 50-year old artist has since held successive critically-regarded solo exhibitions at leading institutions in Malaysia and Singapore including National Art Gallery, Malaysia, Petronas Gallery and NUS Museum, National University of Singapore. He also represented Malaysia in the inaugural Asia Pacific Triennial, 1993, Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland. 

Benny Ong
As a top international couturier, Benny’s work is in collection of Victoria and Albert Museum and also National Museum Singapore. Benny Ong is a pioneer of an exported Singapore fashion industry since 1970s. His remarkable acclaim in extremely respectable collections has given a face to his birth nation.

Benny’s fashion legacy in the United Kingdom, to his fashion work in silk from Europe to Asia, and now as art pieces being produced by the finest Laotian weavers. His work allows the weavers in Laos to develop new ideas, skills and weaving techniques. He hopes that out of this it will eventually be possible to establish a training centre in Vientiane for disadvantaged women to learn new skills and livelihoods.

Kyaw Lin
Born in Laputta, Myanmar in 1975, Kyaw Lin under took studies from renown mastersand started his first exhibition in Yangon’s Gray Art Exhibition, Lokanat Gallery, 1997 before he graduated from University of Culture, Yangon, MYANMAR. B.A (Painting) in 1998.

Kyaw Lin’s first solo show was held in Yangon, 2009″Landscape by Kyaw lin” First Solo Show, Lokanat Gallery and started exhibiting his works abroad the same year in Singapore, The Art House. Kyaw Lin has exhibited in the “Orient 2012” Art Market, Asean – Japan Centre, Tokyo, Japan and “Myanmar Art Exhibition 2012”, Galerie Art Concorde, Paris, both in the year 2012.

Min Wae Aung
Paintings by a modern master from Myanmar, Min Wae Aung ‘s first solo exhibition outside Yangon was in Singapore in 1994. Now twenty years on, his works are collected internationally, and the artist has just completed another groundbreaking solo at ION Art Gallery, ION Orchard in April.

Min Wae Aung has used the classic motif of the traveller as a starting point for this new series of work. Placing ad hoc persons together, he makes a discourse on the power of people groups. The powerful energy of people grouping together for a common cause, farming and land issues, family concerns, the issues of survival, are etched into the narrative of each painting. Min Wae Aung first exhibited his paintings at The Substation, Singapore, going on to show at Karin Weber Gallery in Hong Kong and at King’s Road Gallery, London. His work has gained him international recognition, exhibiting also at Taipei International Art Fair, at the 4th Asian Art Exhibition in Fukuoka Art Museum, and at Westhoorn Museum, Netherlands. Since then he has gone on to exhibit in Zurich, London, New York, Chicago and San Francisco. His work has been seminal in giving a face to Myanmar art, impressing a next generation of artists who follow his work.


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