An important slice of Singapore’s art history was celebrated last month, when the National Library on Victoria Street held a two-week exhibit of woodcut prints from the 1960s. “Imprints of the Past: Remembering the 1966 Woodcut Show” commemorates Singapore’s first woodcut print exhibition, held at the old National Library on Stamford Road 40 years ago. The library has once again played host by now featuring this anniversary exhibit of the same works by six prominent local artists.
Graced by the same guest-of-honour, then-Minister of State for Culture Mr Lee Khoon Choy, several “celebrities” of the Singapore arts community attended the opening night on 14th October. It was déjà vu for the participating artists who are also old friends, as they gathered together for this show.
Meanwhile, the National Library’s long support of local artists since the 1960s was highlighted in the exhibition: Singapore’ first sculpture show was once held at the library, and several famous artists such as Ng Eng Teng, Anthony Poon and Tan Swee Hian held their first one-man shows there also. The National Library continues to play a role in Singapore’s art scene today by being one of the venues for the Singapore Biennale and hosting various other exhibitions to promote the learning and appreciation of local art.
Contributed by Alicia Yeo, Lee Kong Chian Reference Library NLB