Event Title

Chinese diasporic identities in transformation: The collecting and exhibiting of the Lingnan school of painting in 20th-century Singapore

Location

Lingnan University / Online Session via Zoom

Start Date

20-5-2021 3:00 PM

End Date

20-5-2021 4:30 PM

Description

The history of collecting and exhibiting art has become a subject as important as history of artwork per se in the field of Chinese art history. Notwithstanding the trend of cross-cultural study, much scholarly attention has been paid to the representation and conceptualization of Chinese art in East Asia and EuroAmerica but less in Southeast Asia.

This presentation thus examines how local people in Singapore collected and displayed paintings of the so-called "Lingnan School", one of the most popular "schools" in Southern China, Hong Kong, and a few overseas Cantonese communities in the century. The presenter will focus on the art by Chao Shaoan (1905-1998), a famous "Lingnan" painter based in Hong Kong, and investigate how various agents in Singapore, including Chinese clan associations, individual collectors, universities, and the Singapore government, collected and displayed Chao's art in various sites, including the associations' buildings, domestic homes, university museums, and national museums since the 1950s. In specific, I will analyse what artworks were collected, on what occasions they were collected, and in what ways they were exhibited in terms of the visual and narrative relationships between the collection and the site, as well as between Chao's art and other artworks categorised as "Chinese" and "Asian" exhibited in the same space.

With the study, the research project aims at exploring how the ways of collecting and exhibiting of "Lingnan" art in Singapore have been transformed; and more critically, with an integration of methodologies of Diaspora Studies, how this transformation has been responding to and shaping the multiple and changing understandings of a "Chinese/ Guangdong diasporas" in relation to the cultural politics in Singapore.

Recommended Citation

Wong, Y. H. (2021, May). Chinese diasporic identities in transformation: The collecting and exhibiting of the Lingnan school of painting in 20th-century Singapore. Presented at Then and Now: Collecting Art and Exhibiting Cultures in Asia Conference, Lingnan University, Hong Kong.

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May 20th, 3:00 PM May 20th, 4:30 PM

Chinese diasporic identities in transformation: The collecting and exhibiting of the Lingnan school of painting in 20th-century Singapore

Lingnan University / Online Session via Zoom

The history of collecting and exhibiting art has become a subject as important as history of artwork per se in the field of Chinese art history. Notwithstanding the trend of cross-cultural study, much scholarly attention has been paid to the representation and conceptualization of Chinese art in East Asia and EuroAmerica but less in Southeast Asia.

This presentation thus examines how local people in Singapore collected and displayed paintings of the so-called "Lingnan School", one of the most popular "schools" in Southern China, Hong Kong, and a few overseas Cantonese communities in the century. The presenter will focus on the art by Chao Shaoan (1905-1998), a famous "Lingnan" painter based in Hong Kong, and investigate how various agents in Singapore, including Chinese clan associations, individual collectors, universities, and the Singapore government, collected and displayed Chao's art in various sites, including the associations' buildings, domestic homes, university museums, and national museums since the 1950s. In specific, I will analyse what artworks were collected, on what occasions they were collected, and in what ways they were exhibited in terms of the visual and narrative relationships between the collection and the site, as well as between Chao's art and other artworks categorised as "Chinese" and "Asian" exhibited in the same space.

With the study, the research project aims at exploring how the ways of collecting and exhibiting of "Lingnan" art in Singapore have been transformed; and more critically, with an integration of methodologies of Diaspora Studies, how this transformation has been responding to and shaping the multiple and changing understandings of a "Chinese/ Guangdong diasporas" in relation to the cultural politics in Singapore.