The month of November focuses brings the avant-garde visual art practice, theatrical and literary writing of Paris-based recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature, Gao Xingjian to Singapore. Audiences will have the opportunity to partake in an array of programmes related to Gao’s artistic practice, including forums, workshops, exhibitions, performances and films organized by the presenters and partners of Gao Xingjian in Singapore programme. Gao Xingjian donation ceremony – 23 November 2007, 5.00 pm
Born in China in 1940 and a French citizen since 1998, the cosmopolitan, multidisciplinary artist Gao Xingjian has been conferred many awards in France and Italy for his accomplishments in the literary, performing and visual arts. Gao is also the first ethnic Chinese to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, for the literary work Soul Mountain.
Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is proud to present Gao Xingjian in Singapore – a dialogue session with Gao Xingjian. Conducted in Mandarin, English and French (with translations), the dialogue session represents an exclusive opportunity for participants to experience Gao up-close, as well as explore his avant-garde visual art practice, theatrical and literary writing.
Following Gao’s extremely well-received first Asian retrospective exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum in 2005, the dialogue session as well as the related programmes promises to be another significant artistic as well as media event to watch. Says Director of Singapore Art Museum, Mr Kwok Kian Chow, “In approaching Gao’s first retrospective art exhibition in Asia in 2005, the Museum did not begin with painting but with language – through commissioning essays and organising lecture series as part of curatorial research work – in tandem with Gao’s aesthetic trajectory. This year, the dialogue session with Gao will contribute toward earlier scholarship undertaken on Gao’s artistic practice, and provide personal insights into Gao’s inner artistic vision.” Dialogue session proceedings will be recorded for further development, research and archival purposes. Adds Mr Kwok, “It is hoped that the recording can contribute research insights on the development of Chinese literary and visual arts internationally.” The forum is organised as an official event of the 2007 Initiation International Festival in Singapore, the session will include a video screening of Gao’s selected theatre works.
Gao is an acclaimed novelist and playwright. The literary award winner is also well known for his ink paintings. Currently residing in Paris, he paints in ink and has held about 30 world-wide exhibitions spanning across Asia, Europe and the United States.
To further contribute to this event, Gao Xingjian will donate his masterpiece, Day and Night, to Singapore Art Museum. In Day and Night, various figures are seen moving across a landscape. The scene progresses from the sun-lit aspects on the left of the painting, through the middle section representing dusk, onto night. In Gao’s works of literature and art, he communicates the idea of consciousness of self. He sees this consciousness as divided into three stages represented by first person, second person and third person status; otherwise known as I, You, and He/She. The movement of the figures in Day and Night is thus akin to a personal journey of self, in which a person moves from the various stages of consciousness, to return to the original starting point in a circular and never-ending motion, while the monochromatic shades of grey represent the reality of human existence. This work is featured in The Big Picture Show, an exhibition on the muralist tradition in Asia.
Says Mr Kwok, “SAM is honoured to receive the donation from Gao. As an artist, Gao draws his inspiration from his philosophical inquiry into self and consciousness, a theme recurrent in his literary works. Using his chosen medium of Chinese ink, the expressive quality of his work emanates the artist’s subconscious intent which reflects the subtle yet powerful interplay of language and painting. The donation is certainly a valuable addition to the Museum’s collection of contemporary Asian art.”
For more information, visit The Singapore Art Museum at : www.singart.com Mondays to Sundays 10am to 7pm, with extended hours and FREE Admission on Fridays from 6pm to 9pm – Singapore Art Museum is located at 71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189555