Address: 20B Mosque Street Level 3, Singapore 059500 Tel: +65 9487 2006, Email:

Exhibition

A Nation of Shopkeepers

Exhibiting Artists: Foo Kwee Horng

Venue: Utterly Art 20B Mosque Street > venue details

Dates: 07 Aug 2012 - 19 Aug 2012

Napoleon’s mocking epithet for the British belied the importance of commerce to the expansion of the British Empire. Singapore’s founding as a port and trading outpost immediately set the stage for local commerce in British infrastructure – the retail trade in a shophouse or as an itinerant stall along the road. In these days of glittery malls and internet transactions, local painter Foo Kwee Horng’s watercolours revisit our nostalgic trading origins, depicting old-fashioned shopfronts still extant in Singapore, or sampling scenes from neighbouring countries whose modes of commerce have not developed as frenetically as ours have.

Unlike traditional Singapore watercolours which celebrate the architecture and keep figures at a distant impersonality, several of Kwee Horng’s compositions get upfront and personal with customer and shopkeeper alike. The goods of sale are lovingly detailed, as are their nostalgic settings and arrangements. In the exhibition, Kwee Horng uses not only pure watercolour, but ink and wash, and also experiments with artful monochromes. Apart from shopfronts, the artist also broaches their evolution into the first shopping centre complexes, as well as transport modes so important to commerce. The show is a timely reminder of our mercantile past before our relentless progress eradicates its physical manifestations.



Exhibited Works

People's Park Complex Food Centre

2012

56cm x 38cm
Watercolour on paper
S$1500

Bras Basah Complex

2012

56cm x 38cm
Watercolour on paper
SOLD

People's Park Complex

2012

56cm x 38cm
Watercolour on paper
SOLD

Tanjong Pagar

2012

56cm x 38cm
Watercolour on paper
SOLD

金玉满堂 Abundant Wealth

2012

38cm x 38cm
Watercolour on paper
SOLD

Goodbye Railway Line

2012

38cm x 38cm
Watercolour on paper
SOLD

Ang Pow Stall, Chinatown

2012

28cm x 38cm
Watercolour on paper
SOLD

Meng Sang Provision

2012

28cm x 38cm
Watercolour on paper
SOLD

Fruit Seller

2012

28cm x 38cm
Watercolour on paper
SOLD

Printing Shop

2012

38cm x 28cm
Watercolour on paper
SOLD

Oyster Omelette

2012

28cm x 38cm
Watercolour on paper
SOLD

Stone Mason

2012

28cm x 38cm
Watercolour on paper
SOLD

Yoon Thye Medical

2012

28cm x 38cm
Watercolour on paper
SOLD

Magazine Shop

2012

38cm x 56cm
Ink and watercolour on paper
SOLD

Ah Liam Provision Shop

2012

38cm x 28cm
Ink and watercolour on paper
SOLD

Selling Betel Nuts

2012

38cm x 28cm
Ink and watercolour on paper
SOLD

Durian Season

2012

38cm x 28cm
Ink and watercolour on paper
SOLD

Chuan Huat Coffee Powder

2012

38cm x 28cm
Ink and watercolour on paper
SOLD

Ban On Hoe Medical Store

2012

38cm x 28cm
Ink and watercolour on paper
SOLD

He An Tang Medical

2012

38cm x 28cm
Ink and watercolour on paper
SOLD

Artist

  • Foo Kwee Horng

    Singapore

    Foo Kwee Horng obtained his BA with Merit in Social Work and Japanese Studies at the National University of Singapore in 1993, and his Postgraduate Diploma in Education and MA (visual arts research) from the National Institute of Education, Singapore in 1997 and 2005 respectively. He was Highly Commended at the 18th UOB Painting of the Year Exhibition (1999) and won Honourable Mention at the Philip Morris Singapore Art Awards (1999), and has exhibited in London, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Sing

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