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Charting New Waters:

A Study of Cheong Soo Pieng's

Late Ink Work

06.09 // 15.09 2019

CSP 448, Untitled, 1979, 123.5x68cm, Chi
Cheong Soo Pieng, Untitled, 1979, Chinese ink and colour on paper, 123.5  x 68 cm

Featuring about 12 paintings by revered pioneer artist Cheong Soo Pieng, this exhibition aims to provide audience an insightful glimpse into a rarely seen late body of ink work by the artist. Beginning in the period of 1978, Soo Pieng undertook another stylistic turn in his ink practice where previous familiar pictorial styles were eschewed in favour of a new discourse founded on the classical aesthetics of Chinese Sung dynasty. To date, this late body of ink work remains poorly understood in its context and relevance to the artist’s entire oeuvre.


Charting New Waters: A Study of Cheong Soo Pieng’s Late Ink Work is curated with the objective to study Soo Pieng’s ink work of this late period, illuminating the intricacies involved in his innovative interpretation of ancient classical Chinese ink aesthetics. The showcase also includes a small handful of Soo Pieng’s early ink work, which helps demonstrates the artist’s earlier compositional preoccupations and allows us to trace his transitions in artistic strategies to arrive at a new stylised pictorial language in this late body of ink work. The works are drawn from a few private collections, with most of the pieces being exhibited for the first time.


The exhibition will be accompanied by a ticketed talk titled Singapore Artist Series: CheongSoo Pieng, happening Wednesday, 11 September 2019, 7:00pm – 9:30pm at artcommune gallery’s premises.Interested participants, please email us at


Cheong Soo Pieng (1917 - 1983) is widely regarded as a trailblazing figure in the early Singapore art scene and among the most creative Chinese artists of the 20th century. His varied output, which centres on the bold pursuit Modern aesthetics and innovative amalgamation of forms and techniques derived from both Western and Chinese art traditions, was instrumental in shaping the development of Singapore Modern art.


Born in 1917 in Xiamen, China, Soo Pieng studied at Xiamen Academy of Fine Arts and furthered his education at Xinhua Academy of Fine Arts in Shanghai. Being schooled in the Beaux-Arts type of education then common of art academies in Shanghai was pivotal in exposing him to the fundamentals of Chinese and Western Modern art (Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism and Cubism) in this early formative period.


Soo Pieng relocated to Singapore in 1946 to escape the civil war that broke out between the Communists and Kuomintang forces after the end of the 2nd World War. He took up a teaching position at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and thereon began his fervent amalgamation of Western and Chinese pictorial styles, drawing often from themes and subject matters relating to his new, immediate environment in Malaya.

Exhibition Period

Date: 6 September - 15 September 2019

Time: 12pm - 7pm

Venue: artcommune gallery | Carlton Hotel, 76 Bras Basah Road #01-01, Singapore 189558 (Along Victoria Street)

Talk | Singapore Art Series: Cheong Soo Pieng

Date:Friday, 13 Sept 2019

Time: 7pm – 9.30pm

Venue:artcommune gallery

Fee: $25 per person

RSVP is required. To register your interest, please email us at:

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