The Homecoming of Art Rafflesian

Art Rafflesian, an exhibition featuring artworks by Rafflesians of different eras, opened at the Raffles Archives & Museum on 16 September. The Guest of Honour was Ms Sim Ann, (RGS Class of 1991), Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade and Industry.


This is the second time Art Rafflesian is being held; the first was at the Chan-Hampe Gallery in December 2013. This time, artists and organisers Kum Chee Kiong and his brother CK Kum (both RI 1978; RJC 1980), whose works are also featured in the exhibition, decided to hold it in their alma mater instead.

‘I think it’s very good to bring the show to the school because it would be good for students, especially art students, to have the chance to look at some of the artists’ work,’ said Mr Kum Chee Kiong. ‘We tried to get artists representing different eras in Singapore’s history. Because the social conditions of their eras were all different, their approach to art may also be different.’


One notable artist featured in the exhibition is alumnus Lim Cheng Hoe (RI, 1928, 1930), considered by many to be the foremost watercolour painter in Singapore—his expressive use of the medium was much admired, and he was an approachable and good-natured mentor who did not hesitate to guide younger and more inexperienced artists. Also featured in the exhibition is prominent art historian and alumnus TK Sabapathy, as well as A Kow, a Chinese painter who was commissioned by Sir Stamford Raffles to create natural history artwork.

Prominent artist, curator and arts writer Mr Choy Wen Yang, whose works are also displayed, was the MC for the opening ceremony. He revealed that it was his first time visiting RI’s Bishan campus; he himself graduated in the 1940s, when the school was still in Bras Basah. He enthusiastically and generously answered questions from the students, and shared with them his philosophies on art and life, emphasising the importance of innovation and of creating art not for money but for oneself.


As Guest of Honour Ms Sim Ann elegantly words it, ‘through our efforts in promoting arts and culture, I hope that our young students would gain a deeper appreciation for our shared heritage.’

Art Rafflesian at the Raffles Archives & Museum is open to all staff and students, and will run until 16 October 2016. Organised by C.K. Kum and Kum Chee Kiong (both RI 1978; RJC 1980), the exhibition features works by A Kow, as well as Rafflesians Lim Cheng Hoe, C.K. Kum, Kum Chee Kiong, Choy Weng Yang, Lee Suan Hiang, and art historian T. K. Sabapathy.

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#Alumni #Arts #school happenings

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