Seven artists, who were among a generation of awakened young artists in Singapore, met frequently to discuss the development of the country’s fine art. They were of the opinion that modern art should be explored with a positive outlook, lofty standard, far sight and panoramic vision. These seven ambitious artists, namely Ho Ho Ying, Wee Beng Chong, Tong Siang Eng, Tay Chee Toh, Tan Yee Hong, Goh Tuck Hai Johnda and Ng Yat Chuang then founded the Modern Art Society. Its mission was to challenge and encourage artists to reinterpret nature with a new vision.
First Modern Art Exhibition
In 1963, they joined hands together to hold the First Modern Art Exhibition which was held at the National Library. Quoting from the foreword in the The 1st Modern Art Exhibition, they felt modern art is “A colourful artistic world reflected by thousands and thousands of unique hearts… modern artists have finally found the depth and breadth of the human soul, and make full use of the new forms of art to express new feelings and thinking.”
As A Society
Thus, Modern Art Society was registered on the 4th of June 1964.
Members of Federation of Asian Artists (FAA)
In 1990, the Modern Art Society was invited, for the first time, to take part in the Asian International Art Exhibition (AIAE). Since then the society has participated regularly in the Asian group show under Federation of Asian Artists (FAA) organisation.
The AIAE was held for the first time in Singapore in 1995 at the National Museum of Singapore, jointly presented by the Modern Art Society and the National Heritage Board; again the second time in 2006 at Singapore Art Museum by Modern Art Society Singapore, National Heritage Board and Nanyang Academic Fine Art College.
Currently, the Modern Art Society has more than 47 members and is one of the most established art associations in Singapore.