Art Happen
Documenting art and identity in formation: An arts agent's story
Ink horses artist, an encounter

It was one afternoon when I picked up a call from a business woman who runs a travel agency. She explained that she has just started collaborating with an art agent representing an artist from China. They where promoting him in Singapore and were looking into some galleries to have his second exhibition here.

We made an in promptu appointment and met up altogether. We had a discussion of what were some requirements of art exhibition practices in Singapore. The artist is Qi Hong with his latest series of ink on paper. This series comprises of mainly horses which style derived from Chinese calligraphy.

During our discussion, I learned that he was already exhibiting his first show which was nearby from where we were. We decided to visit that place on that afternoon. It came to a surprise to me that the place was always where I travelled but never did I realised there was some venue like this there. It was located on a one way street off a circular junction near a shopping district in town. There, many expensive apartments towered in rows. And an ancient chinese gate stood in the middle of all.

It was a club I later know was built more than a hundred years back by Teochew businessmen who migrated to Singapore. Singapore itself was less than 70 years of independence. Behind the Chinese temple style gate was a modern building which was recently reconstructed. There was a restaurant and a cafe on the first level of the building. It also has a gym, cultural hall, meeting rooms, gallery and a roof top swimming facility. That itself was somewhat amusing. It feels like another Alliance Fran├žaise where I was working, but a Chinese one. Only people of Teochew Chinese were able to join as a member of the club. Yes, I am. But, in this multi cultural and religious country, it was strange that a club of such stature and scale would limit its audience to a specific Chinese dialect group in Singapore. At least, its restaurant and cafe were open to public.

We proceeded up to the gallery. It was a curve space with windows opened letting in natural light. The panels we placed perpendicular to the windows. It was impressed at first sight of the actual works. The scale of the and the horses he drew. There were also some of his other works like intricately painted landscapes.

Qi Hong was an artist from young. He has practice for few decades. That leaves no wonder that the ink work he paints has strong control over how the abstract strokes turn out. He must have practice strictly on Chinese calligraphy for years before deriving to this artistic standard.

Few weeks later I scheduled him on an exhibition at my gallery which will happen in three months time. image

This was one of my favourite pieces which I acquired. His style was proportionally distictive to a large body and small abstract legs, horses galloping in great force. Other works of his would have a bigger body and sometimes bolder ink stokes. There were horses in pairs and group of three as well.

There were two things that I learnt from this too. The painting would probably be more of the artists favourite if he places more seals on them. And secondly, a lady would probably need to get a pair of horse in an art work than a lone one.

Leave a Reply