Sunday, August 11, 2019

At the National Gallery Singapore

A few months back, I went to visit the National Gallery Singapore, an art museum located in the Downtown Core of Singapore. Housed in two iconic Singapore buildings, the former Supreme Court Building and City Hall, it oversees the world's largest public collection of modern Singapore and Southeast Asian art, consisting of over 8,000 artworks. It was opened on November 2015.

I went back twice to revisit the artworks, but there is always never enough time to see them all. But that is enough for some of the artworks to inspire me to write some poetry on them. Maybe the next trip will inspire more verses?

I did a series and they are over at my other blog, i write too. I have chosen a few to showcase here.

If you want to see the whole lot, 10 of them, please click here

At the National Gallery Singapore


The Face in Meditation by Abdul Ghani Hamid
photo by dsnake1


silk flowers -

the faces
in the doctor's waiting room.



# 7

Untitled (Grey and Green) by Arthur Yap
photo by dsnake1


this morning, it is sunny and bright
but was it that day in Golgotha?
did the birds chirp from the olive groves?
and children play in sand-dusted streets?
or was it just a mob calling for blood?

revised 03/05/2019



Nude by Ta Ty
photo by dsnake1

wilted roses

wilted roses in a vase

wet tiles
after she has used the bidet

a scent of flowers
after she has left.

May 2019

Why did I visit this museum? Because I was bored and free that day, and there is no admission charge for citizens, and a friend was willing to tag along. I did not go in search for beauty or truth or life's meanings, and instead I found beauty, and the truth hurt because I realised how little I knew of local art. As for life's meanings, I tried to understand why a broad brushstroke was used, why the artist painted only on one colour, or a riot of colours. I stood before the artwork and the painting tried to talk to me. The friend said we should come back another day, and I agreed.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2019

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Blogger Sherry Blue Sky said...

What a wonderfully rich post, Lee San! I loved making that trip with you.

11 August, 2019 22:59  
Blogger Jae Rose said...

It is good to find treasures..what a fine collection of words it inspired

11 August, 2019 23:16  
Blogger C. Sandlin said...

I find abstraction in art hard to connect with--I don't read paint the way I do other media. These poems are amazing to me the way they bring out the emotions that I wouldn't have seen in the paintings.

11 August, 2019 23:52  
Blogger Myrna R. said...

It sounds like art had some surprises for you. I guess that's what good art can do - it intrigues and inspires. I like poetry you wrote. Have a good time when you return to the museum.

12 August, 2019 02:57  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Oh, I love these paintings, and also the reflections they inspire in you. It seems like a wonderful Gallery. Wish I could visit! I'll pop over to your other blog now, for the rest.

12 August, 2019 06:20  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Oh, I loved all those images and words at your other blog too. (But it's easier to comment collectively here.) I particularly liked the chain gang ants – and the way, in each case, your words don't merely try to describe the images but use them as a springboard to new directions in thought.

12 August, 2019 06:28  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thank you! :)


i am glad the artworks can inspire. :)


thank you for your comment.
it is true that abstract art is not everyone's cup of tea. for me, abstraction is how the artist sees the subject, how he/she reduces the picture to lines or patches of colours. :)

12 August, 2019 11:50  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


it does.
you are an artist too, so yes, good art can really inspires. :)


thank you for visiting my other blog.
the way the ants are working feverishly on the bits of rice reminds me of a chain gang. :D
i think my haiku has matured over the years. i compare my earlier haiku with the newer ones, and certainly there are changes in style and content.

12 August, 2019 12:29  
Blogger Sanaa Rizvi said...

This is incredibly evocative both in words and image ❤️❤️

12 August, 2019 23:13  
Blogger Susan said...

Exquisite! Spare and sensual. My favorite:

"silk flowers -

the faces
in the doctor's waiting room."

12 August, 2019 23:35  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thank you! :)


thank you!
i like this haiku too. :)

13 August, 2019 22:01  
Blogger Magaly Guerrero said...

I suspect the first will always stay with me. I will probably see your words on the faces of hospital waiting rooms, living poetry.

13 August, 2019 22:12  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Magaly, thank you for your kind words. :)

14 August, 2019 21:43  

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