Given that the monsoon has arrived which in true tropocal style means rain and thunderstorms pretty much every day, we decided to stay one more day in air-conditioned luxury, abandon plans of going to the national park and head to Melaka on Friday instead.
The last day in Singapore, we went to the National Art Musuem,a relativley new musuem that focuses only on art from asia, south east asia in particular. This turned out to be the highlight of the trip. I haven’t been going to art galleries or taken much of an interest in art for quite awhile so that could be why when I stepped into a room full of Ramachandran paintings, a series of three luminious pieces of lotus flowers each at different times of the day, I was moved almost to tears.
I’d not felt so affected by paintings before, never felt such a complex mixture of joy and wonder. I’ve only had very few such exeriences. Some miniture mogul woodcuts, a japanese wooden buddha in the National Gallery at Canberra and now these paintings by Ramachandran.
After that, it’s a testement to the strength of the rest of the exhibits that my interest was maintained consistently for the rest of the afternoon. I have not much of an idea of contemporary Asian art. I flick through the occasional magazine and I know that China is producing some very exciting artists, but other than that the rest of the region is a bit of a blank to me. That’s changed now and i’ll be keeping an eye out for galleries, big and small, as I travel through SE Asia.
But not asnymore. There’s some very impressive things happening in SE Asia and i’ve got to say from the collection at the Singaporean musuem, the PPhiliphiones seems to be leading the way in passion, vibrancy and vision.