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Singapore International Art Fair
VO Box 881310,
Singapore 91919,
Republic of Singapore
tel: +65 6446 3018     
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The visual arts scene has experienced tremendous growth and development since the colonial days, where artists ranging from well-known European painters to anonymous local craftsmen plied their art in the bustling entreport centre of Singapore of the 19th century. There were 537 visual arts exhibitions in 2003, compared with 150 a decade ago.

Art education was formally introduced in Singapore with the establishment of the Nanyang Fine Arts Academy in 1938. Many notable figures in Singapore art like Cheong Soo Pieng, Chen Chong Swee, Georgette Chen, Chen Wen Hsi and Liu Kang taught at the academy. They fused western modernist concepts with eastern traditional techniques to create the uniquely local Nanyang style of painting.

Visual arts was given a stronger boost with the founding of the Art Gallery at the National Museum in 1976 which held regular art exhibitions for local artists. In the early 1990s, the National Museum was split into 3 component museums that led to the creation of the Singapore Art Museum .

Today, besides the museums and art schools (NAFA and LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, founded in 1984), the scene is enriched with numerous commercial galleries as well as non-profit art spaces like Sculpture Square and the Substation. Visual artists have also branched out from traditional 2- and 3-D artforms to embrace multi-disciplinary and new media works.

Singapore 's artists continue to make an impact overseas, with Tan Swie Hian, Heman Chong and Francis Ng participating at the prestigious Venice Biennale in 2003. Tan also became the first Singaporean to receive the World Economic Forum Crystal Award in 2003 for his achievements and contributions to the field. In 2004, Lim Tze Peng showcased his works at the National Museum of the Philippines during the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation Exhibition.

Today, there are almost 200 visual arts companies and societies in Singapore , which includes photographic societies, art galleries, art auctioneers and other visual arts related businesses. Various assistance and development resources are available to develop the local visual arts industry at all levels from the budding artist and emerging arts collective, to the established artist or art company


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