Chng Seok Tin lost her eyesight when she was 42 years old, after an accident in London where she fell and hit her head. A brain surgery to remove a resultant brain abscess damaged her optic nerve, and left her with just 10% vision in her right eye. At the time, Chng had already been actively involved in the local art scene, and was heading the print-making department at Lasalle College of the Arts.
But visual impairment hasn’t stopped the multi-media artist, who turns 72 this year, from becoming one of Singapore’s most prolific visual talents. With 30 solo exhibitions and more than 100 group exhibitions in the bag, Chng has made a name for herself and her art both here and abroad, earning the Cultural Medallion—Singapore’s pinnacle arts award—in 2005.
Since losing her eyesight, she has also actively advocated for artists with disabilities, and is a vocal member of local charity organization Very Special Arts Singapore (VSA). Her latest showcase is a group exhibition with two other local artists from the organization, themed and timed to coincide with Chinese New Year. Aptly called Hail, Chinese Culture!, the exhibition runs from Jan 31-Mar 30, at the Public Art Space (Level 2) of Pan Pacific Singapore.
By Chng Seok Tin
A collaboration between VSA and Pan Pacific Singapore, the exhibition will be a series in three parts, featuring artworks by nine of VSA’s artists with disabilities. This first edition will showcase Chng’s mixed-media paintings based on Chinese poems—along with Chinese ink paintings from fellow local greats Teresa Tan and Lee Mun Choong.
Tan, 67, who is diagnosed with paraplegia, first embarked on her artistic journey after attending lessons at the Handicaps Welfare Association. Her painting style today utilizes multiple layers of paints to achieve a look known as ‘elaborate art’—which you’ll be able to see up close and personal at the exhibition. 51-year-old Lee, a former student of Spastic Children’s Association School for cerebral palsy, will be showcasing oriental works done entirely in Chinese ink.
By Teresa Tan
By Lee Mun Choong
If gorging on treats and receiving red packets feels like it has lost a lot of its cultural meaning, be sure to check out Hail, Chinese Culture! as it also aims to create awareness about the inclusion of people with disabilities; artists included. Take a trip down to the complimentary show, and if you like what you see, the featured artworks will be available for sale after the exhibition. There’s no doubt they’ll make great pieces in your home, even after the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Hail, Chinese Culture! runs from Jan 31-Mar 30, at the Public Art Space (Level 2), Pan Pacific Singapore.