Georgette Chen has a distinctive and instantly recognisable art style. You can get a close-up look at her works at the exhibition Georgette Chen: At Home in the World, now on till 26 September 2021 at National Gallery Singapore.
This exhibition is a retrospective of Georgette Chen, a museum first in more than 20 years. It provides a look at the well-travelled Chen’s works from her time in Malaya and Singapore to her early years.
Three Continents and Five Decades
Georgette Chen lived from 1906 to 1993. Born in China, she went on to study art in Paris and New York, leaving behind the world of Chinese painting in favour of the medium of oil. She lived through different conflicts, including two Chinese revolutions and two World Wars. Eventually, she moved to Singapore where she taught for close to 30 years at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.
The Georgette Chen: At Home in the World exhibition is presented in two galleries. The first covers her time in Malaya and Singapore.
There are scenes from the 1950s including famous works such as Malay Wedding from 1962.
Also on display are portraits which she painted, along with still life artworks that she is well-known for painting.
One of the significant works on display at the exhibition is also her largest before she arrived in Malaya. Hakka Family, painted in 1939, is a 162 cm x 120 cm work that portrays a domestic scene with women.
The second section of the exhibition delves into Georgette Chen’s early years and development as an artist. You can view her plein air works. It is easy to see how the Impressionist movement influenced her art style.
Throughout the galleries, there are glass display cases which include various artefacts from her life. These help to tell her life story and how her experiences shaped her art.
Georgette Chen: At Home In The World at National Gallery Singapore
Georgette Chen: At Home in the World provides a good look back at the life of the artist and allows visitors to go beyond her paintings and her somewhat serious-looking self-portrait that she painted to present herself.
Admission to the exhibition is free for Singaporeans and PRs.