Goh Beng Kwan

STPI presents a series of 40 new unique paper pulp works and editioned etchings by Singaporean artist Goh Beng Kwan. Goh is regarded as one of the vanguard artists that shaped the history of modern art history in Singapore in the 1970’s. For the last four decades he has worked in collage and mixed media, continually introducing new ways of art-making to artists locally. In October 2006, Goh spent a month in residence at STPI on its Visiting Artists Programme (VAP).

Employing his signature collage approach, Goh worked closely with STPI’s team and in particular with master papermaker Richard Hungerford to experiment with new papermaking techniques and processes. Together they created the ‘water collage’ technique where material is floated onto or into the surface of the work. “It’s very exciting to break new ground with an artist” says STPI’s Hungerford. “What we did here reminds me of a glassblower working on a hot lump of glass.”

The resultant works are vivid and evocative, suggesting open seas, rich terrain, or even a mood of elation or jubilation. They explore the idea of renewal, a recurrent theme in Goh’s work, observing both the cycles of renewal in Nature and the idea of renewal in collage by giving new life to discarded materials.

Goh, one of the first artists to study in the USA, attended the prestigious Arts Students League in New York in the 1960’s and returned to Singapore with new ideas and constructs which have proved highly influential in Singapore’s contemporary art scene. In 1989 he was awarded Singapore’s Cultural Medallion. Goh continues to exhibit widely in Asia and in 2005 Singapore’s NAFA Gallery presented a major retrospective of his work.