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Realistic Representation. Chua Mia Tee. Enduring Understanding. Students will understand that realistic representation is selected with purpose and function to express ideas and concepts. Essential Questions. Overarching Questions - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Realistic RepresentationChua Mia Tee

  • Enduring UnderstandingStudents will understand that realisticrepresentation is selected with purpose and function to express ideas and concepts

  • Essential QuestionsOverarching QuestionsHow does realistic representation contribute to the ideas and purpose of artists?What are true reflections of life?How is visual art a mechanism for social change?

    Topical QuestionsHow are the various subject matter treated?How is life mirrored here?

  • 5W1H

  • Biographical Outline1931: Born in Shantou, Guangdong, China.1937: Arrived in Singapore at age 6.1938-42:Studied at Shuqun School and then Tuan Mong School1947-50:Enrolled in Chung Cheng High School but left mid-way to pursue a formal art education with NAFA.1950-2:Studied at NAFA under Lim Hak Tai, CheongSoo Pieng, Koh Tong Leong and See Hiang To.1952-4:Taught at NAFA.1954-6:Went back to Chung Cheng High to complete his secondary school education.1956-7:Went back to NAFA to teach.1957-60:Worked as book illustrator with the Shanghai Book Company

  • Biographical Outline1960-5: Worked as a designer and illustrator with Grant Advertising International Incorporated, particularly in figure drawing for advertisements and comic strips.

    1974:First successful one-man exhibition. He also became a full-time artist.

    1990:Designed Singapores new $50 currency noteto commemorate Singapores 25th Anniversary. Also designed the $2 currency note.

  • When (1937- )1937:Sino-Japanese War.1948-60:The Malayan Emergency- refers to a guerilla war for independence, fought between Commonwealth Armed Forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army of the Malayan Communist Party, whose leader was Chin Peng.1959:Singapore granted self-governance.1962:Singapore joined Federation of Malaysia.1965:Singapore gained independence.1965-70s:Industrialisation in Singapore.

  • WhereChinaA time of great political, economic and social change.Woodblock prints were revived in China during 1929-45.

    SingaporeWoodblock printing was then brought to Singapore by the first generation artists in the 1950s and 60s- scene dominated by NAFA graduates like See Cheen Tee, Tan Tee Chie, Chieu Sheuy Fook, Choo Keng Kwang, Ho Kah Leong, Chua Mia Tee, Aw Tee Hong, Lee Kee Bonn, Szeto Chee Keong, Lee Boon Wang, Foo Chee San and Lim Mu Hue. The country was in a state of turbulence with demonstrations, protests and strikes- eg: The Hock Lee Bus incident.

  • WhichRealism/Social RealismA movement observable in art and literature in the mid-19th C.It began in France with Courbets manifesto Le Ralisme.The movements concerns- social realities sprouted from industrialisation. For example- life and its harsh existence (human degradation and poverty).Artists of the movement wanted to show the truth- fact and not ideals, without biases.They painted what they saw in everyday/contemporary life which can be ugly and sordid.They rejected academic art as artificial. They also rejected Romanticism as over-indulging in imagination- the poor and their harsh existence has been romanticised.

  • WhichSocial Realism in SingaporeStarted with a cross influence of the following;1. Our own tradition of realist art.2. Concerns for woodcut.3. Caricature of social themes.4. A sustained aesthetic exchange with China.Social Realists here were associated with the following;1. Woodcut Movement.2. Equator Art Society3. The Arts Association of Chinese High School.

  • WhichWoodcut MovementThe political unrest in Singapore during The Emergency impacted on the group of NAFA graduates (see slide 8).They turned to woodblock printing as a means of expression.Reasons for choosing this medium;1. Expressive and evocative quality.2. Easy to produce- no sophisticated machinery required.3. Inexpensive to reproduce- propaganda through magazines, books and newspapers.These woodcuts also depict the lowly working class engaged in their daily routines- eg: tradesmen and hawkers.

  • Which- Singapore WoodcutChinese Puppet Theatre, Lim Mu HueWoodcut, 41 x 33 cm

  • WhichEquator Art SocietyFounded in 1956.Artists concern- resistance against the rising formalist and Western trends. Such trends were believed to be incongruent with the development of a national identity in art.

    The Arts Association of Chinese High SchoolWorks resonate with more intense political sentiment, and its anti-colonial stance. They have goals in promoting patriotism and to bring art closer to the masses. (Kwok, 1996).

  • WhatSubject MatterAnimalsDeers, arowana, goldfish, monkeys, peacocks, tigers, etc.FigurativeLandscapes/ScenesOf Singapore and scenes from overseas during his travels to Hong Kong, Bali, Java, Spain and Italy to draw and paint in the 70s. These trips have helped him to gain fresh insights for improving his art. PortraitsCommissioned by prominent patrons- businessmen and politicians.

  • WhatThemeNationalistic ConcernsShows aspirations of the common people in the 1950s and 60s.Reflects the political and social sentiments of that time.Human ConditionMans struggles against fate.Elevating the integrity and nobility of their daily strugglesPictorial DocumentaryDocumenting the fast vanishing scenes of Singapore.Shows landscapes that are disappearing under Singapores urban development, especially Chinatown.Tries to capture the spirit of the people living and working in these places.

  • Epic of Life in Malaya, 1955.Oil on canvas, 107 x 126 cm Nationalistic Concerns

  • What- Epic of Life in MalayaShows a group of young adults or teenagers gathered during the recitation of a poem entitled Epic Life in Malaya. Peanuts on the floor. An attempt to dramatise the nationalistic fervour for merdeka or independence in these young Singaporeans.Each face is different from the other- highlights individuals.The dark overcast- indicates a mood of discontent. Chua made studies of individual figures and produced sketches of different compositions.

  • National Language Class, 1959Oil on canvas, 114 x 134 cm

    A class of students studyingMalay which was our national language than.Nationalistic Concerns

  • Description & AnalysisPainting entitled National Language Class, done in 1959 by Chua Mia Tee.Done in oil on canvas measuring 112 x 153 cmChua's painting shows young women and men in a classroom.2 figures sitting at the rectangular table nearer to the blackboard, 7 figures sitting around the round table, there are 2 standing figures in the room. All the figures do not look directly at viewer.The man standing near the blackboard is the teacher. One of the men at the table, in white shirt and black pants is standing with a book in his hands. There are 4 women in the painting. One of the women is blocked by the standing man except for her legs. The smiling woman is wearing a capped-sleeve Shanghai style dress looking at the man who is standing up. The other 2 women are bespectacled.A picture hangs on the wall adjacent to the blackboard.AnalysisLimited palette of warm and earthy hues.Tight space surrounding subject matter. Room looks small and confining.Colours are dull, mainly earthy tones of yellow, orange, brown.Work plaintively smooth- brushstrokes blended carefully on figures.Background- sparse and rougher brushstrokes.

  • InterpretationArt as a historical record of the social and industrial developments of Singapore. Figures sitting around a round table, a symbol of equality. Also signifies a kind of a public sphere, being reminiscent of the marble-top kopitiam tables one find in old coffee shops. As they sat facing each other, they are called to consider the deceivingly simple question in Malay on the blackboard: Siapa nama kamu? Di-mana awak tinggal? (What is your name? Where do you live?) are questions that need to be asked of Singaporeans today.

  • EvaluationProduces poignant questions of national identity.

    Politically charged painting. Art as a historical record of the social and industrial developments of Singapore.

    Figures sitting around a round table, a symbol of equality. Also signifies a kind of a public sphere, being reminiscent of the marble-top kopitiam tables one find in old coffee shops.

    Why are the Chinese young women and men in the painting learning Malay?

    Malay was not promoted as Singapores national language until the late-1950s.

    How is this effective as a Social Realist painting?

  • Workers in a Canteen, 1974. Oil on canvas, 88 x 126 cmConstruction workers lunching in a canteen.Figurative

  • Road Construction Worker, 1955.Oil on canvas, 66 x 83 cm.The artist must conceive his ownidea, exercise sound judgement toreflect vividly the typical characterand noble spirit of his chosen subject.

    Chua Mia TeeFigurative

  • Ah Goh the Boatman, 1972.Oil on canvas, 52 x 70 cm.Figurative

  • Samsui Women, 1977. Oil on canvas,Figurative

  • Amah Shopping in Chinatown (Pork Stall), 1977.Oil on canvas, Figurative

  • Malay Fisherman at Changi Beach, 1977Oil on canvas, Figurative

  • Portable Cinema, 1977. Oil on canvas, Landscape or Scenes

  • Eating on Banana Leaves, 1979.Oil on canvas, Landscape or Scene

  • Tai Chi Practice at Community Centre, 1979.Oil on canvas, Scene

  • Old Chinatown, 1980.Oil on canvas, 61 x 91.5 cm Landscape or Scene

  • Vanishing Scene of Boat Quay, 1981.Oil on board, 60 x 90 cm Landscape or Scene

  • Benjamin Sheares Bridge - The Viaduct, 1981.Oil on canvas, 122 x 244 cmLandscape or Scene

  • Krishnan, 1973.Charcoal on paper, 40.5 x 30.5 cmNational MuseumPortraits

  • Portrait of Dato Loke Wan Tho, 1995.Oil on canvas, Portraits


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