Wu Guanzhong
Village on Rock Island
oil on board, 46x46cm, 1976

From Shore to Shore

The first ever retrospective of Wu Guanzhong's distinctive paintings, From Shore to Shore became an important milestone in the artist's illustrious career. It was perhaps the best choice to inaugurate Singapore's first and biggest private art museum established in 2003 by Indonesian collector Kwee Swie Teng who has played a significant role in promoting Wu's art in the region. The shows continues in an ongoing exhibition in Art Retreat's Wu Guanzhong Gallery and now stands as a shining testimony to the artist's long and lasting association with Singapore and Southeast Asia going back to the early 1980s. The inaugural exhibition was all selected from Mr Kwee's collection of Wu's work, which stood at about 200 pieces. In the light of recent events such as the artist's generous donation of his works to Singapore n 2008 and his passing at age 90 in June 2010 the Wu Guanzhong Gallery at Art Retreat has taken on a new special meaning. The title ˇ°from shore to shoreˇ± refers to the artist's life-long journey to traverse the different aesthetic domains of East and West ¨C starting from one shore to reach the other shore. This also reflects his abiding concern about finding ways in his painter's practice ˇ°to indigenize oil paintingˇ± and at the same time ˇ°to modernize Chinese ink paintingˇ±. Curated by art historian Jia Fangzhou, the exhibition was meant to present Wu's works that had become classics most of which had been acquired through Singapore and directly from the artist. Mr Kwee in his effort to collect Wu's paintings had got to know and become good friends with the artist. He says it was Wu Guanzhong who inspired in him a keen interest in art.