A life worth celebrating is a life lived best, and Dr. Chen Wen Hsi lived his life to the very end as a celebrated artist. A homage to the artist’s legacy, Merlin Gallery is proud to present, for the 11th time, a showcase of 22 never-before-seen works curated from the Quek family’s private collection.
To date, Dr. Chen’s iconic gibbon paintings have received widespread acclamation from art critics and the general public. Entitled Back in the Garden, the exhibition aims to direct attention to the lesser-known works of the artist composed from the indulgence of his extensive pacing in the yard of his former dwelling at Kingsmead. With the many animals that frequented his house, nature guided Dr. Chen towards solidifying the foundation of his work, and much of his paintings remain a testament to this.
As recounted by Mr. Johnny Quek, owner of Merlin Gallery, his initial encounter with Dr. Chen Wen Hsi in 1980 had blossomed into a cherished friendship spanning 11 years until the latter’s demise. It is with melancholy that Mr. Quek puts forth Back in the Garden as a tribute and in memory of a close bond once shared between friends while ensuring that Chen’s sophisticated East-West art style will continue to be appreciated by generations of art lovers to come.
Merlin Gallery welcomes all into its reminiscence of Chen Wen Hsi’s garden as it offers a tour of the many inspirations that have been immortalised as subjects within his paintings. Take a step through the gates and experience a slice of the artist’s life when he was once a resident of 5 Kingsmead Road.
Back in the Garden: Chen Wen Hsi is a highlight programme of the Singapore Art Week 2023.
Location: 261 Waterloo Street, #01-11 Waterloo Centre, S180261
Date: 17th December 2022 - 29th January 2023
- Website: http://merlingallery.com.sg
- IG: @merlin_gallery
About Chen Wen Hsi
Chen Wen Hsi (b. 1906) is among the most influential pioneer artists in Singapore’s history. Regarded as a first-generation artist, Chen was in the forefront of the Chinese avant-garde movement in Singapore during the 1950s. He was a member of a group of five prominent artists that founded the Nanyang style, a landmark in the art history of Southeast Asia.
A highly esteemed painter and art educator, Chen’s works have significantly shaped decades of creative development in the art community even prior to the establishment of Singapore as a sovereign nation. His endless inventiveness and creative excellence in Chinese painting have commanded the respect of the Chinese and the international art world.
Chen Wen Hsi:
- Website: https://chenwenhsi.com/