Victor Ang, a renowned Singaporean artist – one of the top 20 finalists in the 2017 AAC awards – has led a group of his female contemporaries as they hold a group exhibition at the Hyatt Regency in Phnom Penh.
Victor held solo exhibitions in Phnom Penh in 2014 and Siem Reap in 2018. This time, Victor is bringing along 25 Singaporean women artists.
The Seeking Wonder Through Art exhibition aims at sharing art with Cambodia – the Kingdom of Wonder, according to Victor, who studied Chinese floral brush painting, calligraphy and seal carving under renowned artists in 1980s.
The exhibition will show one piece by each of the 26 artists, each one reflecting something of Singaporean art, as a form of exchange with the Cambodian public.
“Seeking Wonder Through Art is a way for us to share our own ideas about art. We are also looking for wonder, like Cambodia, the Kingdom of Wonder. This was why I titled the exhibition ‘seeking wonder’,” Victor told The Post.
The exhibition aims to promote the inspiration and ideas of women artists. It provides a platform to encourage a sense of empowerment and recognise women’s artistic achievements, as well as an opportunity for art lovers and members of the public to share their appreciation for art.
The Singaporean women artists hail from the Singapore Women Artist Association, founded by Lim Sue Luan in 2014.
Breaking with tradition
The association has more than one hundred members and art lovers of different nationalities. Victor currently serves as the organisations committee adviser.
Victor broke away from tradition and experimented with a unique ‘glass ink tube’ technique for Chinese calligraphy in the 1990s. The refinement of this process was reflected in his paintings of many famous temples in Thanjavur, India.
For the past 25 years, Victor’s paintings and artworks have been put up for auction, exhibition and sales for personal and charitable purposes, both locally and internationally.
The group of artists arrived in Phnom Penh on September 18.
“Basically, the theme for the exhibition is related to Singapore. I personally chose to paint an iconic Singaporean character, a ‘Samsui Woman’ in acrylic on canvas. The other 25 paintings each reflect iconic images, like the orchid – our national flower – or classic landscapes and scenery of Singapore,” he said.
The term Samsui women largely refers to a group of Chinese women immigrants who came to Malaya and Singapore between the 1920s and 1940s in search of better lives in the industrial setting of Singapore.
These women commonly hailed from the Sanshui district of modern Guangdong, a province in southern China.
Their hard work contributed to the development of the Straits Settlements, first as colonies and later as the new nations of Singapore and Malaysia. Samsui women did labour work comparable to the coolies of the day, but were perceived as especially independent.
Victor titled his piece Gratitude (Samsui Women) using acrylic on canvas. The 45cm x 65cm painting priced at $3,000.
“This is my third exhibition in Cambodia, and I wanted to share the experience with 25 of my female contemporaries,” he said.
The 25 women are Wong MahJiaLan, Chen Aiping, Lim Sue Luan, Teo Kien Loo, Sarbani Bhattacharya, Cheng Ping, Grace Chew, Monica Chua Ah Huwa, D’gers Feitouchi, Irina Forrester, Mary He Yimin, Dion Khoo, Alice Lee, Li Honglei, June Lim,Jasmin Maniam, Nidhi Sidhartha Mathur, Anjum Motiwala, Shyama Nadimpalli, Stephanie Oei, Teo Lay Hoa, Aruna Vallury, Sandhya Wadhwani, Susanna Wong and Xu Liya.
“As a part of our trip, they will be visiting Weavers Village, a silk farm in Takeo province and will make a donation to the school, which was founded and run by the surrounding community,” said Victor.
The exhibition will be held from September 18-21.