Cheong Soo Pieng (1917–1983) was one of Singapore’s most accomplished and prolific painters, and his oeuvre spans more than four decades and across various painting media, demonstrating both significant technical prowess and his immensely broad scope.
Still not sure who he is? You might be carrying his artwork in your wallet – his ink painting Drying Salted Fish is featured on the back of the Singapore $50 banknote.
See more of his works at Cheong Soo Pieng: A Retrospective, an exhibition in honour of the revered pioneer master. The exhibition, presented by artcommune gallery with the sponsorship of Dr. Lee Hung Ming, will take place from Sep 16 to Oct 1 at Artspace @ Helutrans.
As a pioneer of the Nanyang art style and renowned figure in the local art scene, Cheong’s works are widely revered by practitioners and collectors both at home and overseas. View over 100 works from the artist, a result of artcommune gallery and local collectors working together to curate the works which were sourced exclusively from private collections.
The long-awaited exhibition marks Cheong’s first retrospective showcase in 13 years since his last show at the Singapore Art Museum, presenting an in-depth exploration of the diverse styles and themes that have characterised his prolific career over the span of 40 years.
Given the diverse facets of Cheong’s art, the exhibition aims to facilitate and provide accessible ways of interpretation for both seasoned and new audiences to better understand his art, appreciate his artistic achievements, and grasp the rationale behind his status as one of Singapore’s greatest artists.
Explore the master’s creative journey through three distinct areas of study: “Non-painting mediums and matured abstract series” from 1966 to 1978; “Nanyang decorative style” between 1974 to 1983 for a comprehensive look into his most renowned collection; and the “Sung-style Nanyang Ink series”.
Cheong was also a keen educator, where his teaching stint at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts cultivated a generation of Western media artists, and secured Singaporean painters a spot in global art history.
Delve deeper into Cheong Soo Pieng’s artistic journey with artcommune gallery’s release of the second edition of The Story of Cheong Soo Pieng in commemoration of the launch of the exhibition. Written by Ho Sou Ping, artist and director of artcommune gallery, the 320-page bilingual publication (in English and Chinese) traces the chronological developments of Cheong’s oeuvre, featuring new and expanded research and around 300 artworks in different mediums.
Cheong Soo Pieng: A Retrospective runs from Sep 16 to Oct 1,12pm to 7pm daily, at Artspace @ Helutrans, 39 Keppel Rd, #01-05 Distripark, Singapore 089065. Admission is free.