Photo credit: ARTAF, GOH BENG KWAN

Local contemporary artist Goh Beng Kwan exhibiting 85 works in May

Held at Conrad Centennial Singapore, the exhibition features Beng Kwan’s traditional and digital works which include AR and NFTs.

Caleb Lau

Grew up a musician, found a calling in photography and writing. Still in love with all of them.

Published: 22 April 2022, 12:37 PM

In commemoration of his 85th birthday, local contemporary artist and Cultural Medallion recipient Goh Beng Kwan will hold a solo exhibition from May 20 to 29.  

Titled #GBK85, the exhibition will be held at Conrad Centennial Singapore and will feature 85 of his artworks that chronologically represent 60 years of his artistic career. It is held in collaboration with art platform ArtAF. 

In his time as an artist, Beng Kwan garnered accolades including first prize at the inaugural UOB Painting of the year Competition in 1982 and the Cultural Medallion for Visual Arts in 1989.


Many of Beng Kwan’s commissioned works are still on display around the country, at hotels, corporate offices, as well as Punggol MRT station. PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK/@GOHBENGKWANSG


The upcoming 10-day installation is Beng Kwan’s first since his 1991 exhibition at National Museum Art Gallery and will lead visitors through four sections.

The first will feature his early works from the 1950s to 1970s, a time when he learned Chinese ink techniques and western abstract expression under the mentorship of artists Chen Wen Hsi, Sidney Gross and Leo Manso.


1950-Indonesia-Puppet Show-goh-beng-kwan
Indonesian Puppet Show (1950s), a work he did within this time period, reflects on Goh’s birthplace of Medan in Indonesia. PHOTO CREDIT: GOH BENG KWAN, ARTAF


The next section will feature collage works done in the 1980s, as part of his exploration of different styles and materials through world travels for exhibitions and workshops. 

The third segment of the exhibition consists of works in the 1990s, drawing from Beng Kwan’s trips around Asia and his residency with the Singapore Tyler Print Institute.


Visitors can view increasingly layered collage and media works like Ahka Village (1991), which features a village Beng Kwan chanced upon in Thailand. PHOTO CREDIT: GOH BENG KWAN, ARTAF


In the concluding part of the exhibit, canvas works created during his travels to rural landscapes from 2000 to 2019 will be displayed.


Diverse works from this period include Grass by the River (2006), created with paper pulp and paper strips to create texture and movement. PHOTO CREDIT: GOH BENG KWAN, ARTAF


Partnering with ArtAF, a platform founded by his daughter Hazeleen Goh which connects local pioneer generation and younger artists and collectors, a dedicated app will allow visitors to further engage with Beng Kwan’s works during and after the exhibition. 

Through it, visitors can view 11 augmented reality works in the hallway of the exhibition, which will incorporate animation and sound. Four of the works will include non-fungible tokens (NFTs) minted for National Gallery Singapore’s fundraiser back in January this year. 

After going through the exhibit, visitors can view the entirety of Beng Kwan’s exhibited works through the app, offering a virtual 360-degree tour of the exhibition and a virtual experience of how his works will look if placed within their homes or other settings.

#GBK85 will be held at Conrad Centennial Singapore, 2 Temasek Boulevard, Level 6, Singapore 038982. The exhibition is open from 11am to 9pm, with two-hour slots available for booking. Each slot will accommodate up to 35 visitors and vaccination status will need to be shown for entry.

Tickets, priced at $13.65 and free for children below seven years old, are available for purchase via Eventbrite. One-hour docent tours, limited to six persons within each session, are also available and priced at about $22 per ticket. 

A portion of all tickets sold will be donated to the Singapore Association for Mental Health. 

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