Celebrating Teochew artists

The 22nd Ngee Ann National Teochew Artists’ Exhibition 2020

The Ngee Ann Cultural Centre (NACC), a subsidiary of The Ngee Ann Kongsi, held the 22nd edition of its annual National Teochew Artists’ Exhibition (TAE) from 20 – 29 November 2020. More than 90 outstanding art pieces, an amalgamation of both traditional and contemporary art forms, were showcased at The Ngee Ann Kongsi Galleries 1, 2 and Lim Hak Tai Gallery at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. 

The TAE serves as an opportunity and platform for local Teochew artists, of varying age, experience, and qualifications, to come together to present their art works and talents. More than 80 artists participated in 2020 to put together a vibrant and contemplative exhibition. 

It was an especially meaningful year to hold the TAE, amidst COVID-19. The NACC suspended several of their activities last year, such as the Photographic Exhibition and the annual Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations, to play its part in the nation’s fight against COVID-19. As the restrictions eased towards the end of the year, the TAE was held in a safe and socially distanced environment. An online gallery and guided tour was also unveiled to accompany the onsite event, taking viewers on an unforgettable and thought-provoking visual journey.

Renowned artist, Poon Lian, was awarded the prestigious Ngee Ann Artist of the Year Award, in recognition of his pursuit of artmaking and contributions to the local art scene. Poon Lian graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1969, before starting his own business and retiring at the age of 56 to become a full-time artist. Notably, he had devoted more than four decades of service to NAFA, as a teacher and in other capacities.

Separately, NACC also launched a new award in 2020, the “Ngee Ann Young Promising Artist Award”, to recognise and promote emerging young Teochew artists. This also serves as a form of encouragement to budding artists in the field.

Over the years, The Ngee Ann Kongsi has had the privilege of contributing in various ways to the art scene and arts education in Singapore. The Kongsi hopes to foster a society where arts are valued, and established and emerging artists, and art students alike, are supported and nurtured.