Artists and Empire art exhibition @ National Gallery

This art exhibition, in short, is actually a collection of artworks done by artists (past and present) who have expressed their view during the ruling of the British empire. Singapore is one of the British colonies and therefore has a stake in this. However what caught my attention is not really the intention of the art pieces (whether it has a political intent) but rather the style that are expressed in some of the artworks.

The painting of Sir Stamford Raffles and Queen Elizerberth II are classical representation of a portrait painting done in oil paint. These are the norm we expected for a painting. What is uncommon is the painting below which has a touch of humorous art (like cartooning) but painted in a formal way. There is a story behind the handshake and it reminded me of a editorial cartoon except that it is missing a gag and punchline!

The painting of the bulldog below is done by Singaporean artist, Tang Da Wu. Most of us will see a bulldog…a dog of course, but this bulldog is actually a substitution of the British empire and it bleeded its influence on those who are under her…feet! There is an element of satirical cartoon in his artwork.

The drawing below serves as an educational material to inform the natives that punishment is equal under the law. This is obviously a comic strip or sequenctial art in my view. The question is, after looking at all the artworks, which one do you think is a serious form of art? Are there equality under the context of ‘serious’? Seriously…it all looked kind of serious to me:P




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