Singapore Pioneer Artist Fan Chang Tien Showcases His Collection of Masterpieces in Beijing 31 Years After His Passing Reaffirming the Artistic and Cu

Published : Friday, January 17, 2020, 9:00 am
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Following a distinguished exhibition in Beijing attended by fans, fellow artists and government representatives, the family of the late Singapore pioneer artist - Fan Chang Tien intends to continue exhibiting his artworks to other parts of China and Asia in the effort to share his legacy and philosophy with art fans and collectors around the world

SINGAPORE, Jan. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- After a successful debut in Beijing, Fan Chang Tien: Homecoming of a Heritage, organized by The Fan Chang Tien Committee, was held last August 2019 where over 80 pieces of his works were on display at the CICEC (China International Cultural Exchange Centre), it was only natural that his artistic journey and achievements should be celebrated in Singapore.

The decision to further the exhibition to other provinces and countries was inspired by heartfelt words from Wu Weishan, Director of the National Art Museum of China during their exchange in August. Wu presented a Collection Certificate to Fan's daughter, Teresa Yao, Chairwoman of The Fan Chang Tien Committe for the donation of Fan's works to the museum, expressing his gratitude to the family and committee and said in his congratulatory speech that, "Master Fan had a profound education and devoted his life to studying traditional culture and had a strong feeling of duty to carry forward the Chinese culture to the next generation. Fan has made tremendous contributions to promoting the cultural exchange between China and Singapore and deepening the friendship between these two countries. These works will always be valued and preserved in the National Art Museum of China."

Being the link between the 'haipai' Shanghai School tradition in China and the burgeoning art scene in Singapore, Fan was essential in providing Singaporean artists an alternative mode of modernist ink paintings that, though with an entwined heritage, was ultimately different from that taught in NAFA (Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts).

Yao said, "Father was a man of few words, his emotions and philosophy were all expressed in his poetry in the calligraphic inscriptions in his paintings, and it was his lifelong wish that his works could be exhibited in China, the country of his birth." She shared that Fan had no intention to leave China in 1949, however, he was posted to Thailand for work, and subsequently landed in Singapore in 1956.

Fan was a fervent mentor as all his energy and attention was channeled to teaching the fundamentals in the tradition of Chinese ink painting, and kept emphasizing to his students that only when they have mastered the basics were they free to develop a style of their own. Fan cultivated core values of Chinese culture to his students and his dedication to art helped nurture a new generation of Singaporean ink artists. Some of his students included Cultural Medallion recipient- Chua Ek Kay, Nai Swee Leng, Lim Kay Hiong, Henri Chen Kezhan, Lim Cher Eng and Tan Oe Pang.

CEO of National Gallery Singapore, Ms Chong Siak Ching said in her letter to the family, "Mr. Fan Chang Tien's lasting legacy within the development of ink art in Singapore is a testament to his unwavering dedication to the traditional principles of Chinese Ink, and the key role he played in the transmission of these ideals to his students". Currently the gallery has in their collection, 71 pieces of Fan's works some of which are currently on display.

Plans for more exhibitions have already started. The family mentioned that they are exploring options with a few museums and galleries in different provinces and cities in China.

The Fan Chang Tien Committee:

The Fan Chang Tien Committee was initially formed in 2012 with the purpose of promoting Fan's works in Singapore. In 2014, Fan Chang Tien - The Literati Artist book was launched and 50 pieces of his works were exhibited at The Arts House in Singapore. The committee hopes to showcase the artistic legacy of the late Fan Chang Tien and promote traditional ink brush painting to art lovers in Asia and beyond. 

Current Exhibition:

In conjunction with Singapore Art Week 2020, Fan Chang Tien: The Timeless Ink Heritage exhibition will be on show at artcommune gallery at Carlton Hotel (Singapore) from 3-19 January 2020. Curated by Tan Yong Jun. This exhibition aims to uncover the many facets of Fan's adherence to classicism and traditionality- aspects of his art that continue to be relevant today as his students further posit the form of a 'new literati painting'.

Letter from National Gallery:

For PR enquiries please contact:
Frederick Yao
Hp: +65-8222-2297

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