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Yesterday     2003     2002     2001     2000     1999

Launch of Art Retreat

Excerpt of speech by Acting Minister for Education Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam

"...The opening of Art Retreat provides another, new reason for our regional art lovers to visit Singapore. It is the very first private art museum in Singapore, and dedicated to a collection of Asian, Southeast Asian and European art.

"The museum's collection of over 1500 works, amassed over 15 years, is of the size of some of the public art museums in many parts of the world. It contains what the auction houses would call A-list artists - including Le Mayeur, Affandi, Lee Man Fong and Xu Beihong.
"The collection also houses great international artists like Picasso, and Modigliani; and of course, of much pride to us, Singapore artists like Cheong Soo Pieng and Siew Hock Meng.
The significance of Art Retreat does not however rest on its being the first or the largest, or any such numerical declarations. There are other important reasons why we appreciate this opening.
"Art Retreat is the culmination of years of passion, effort and commitment. Many of us here are already familiar with the reputation of Mr Kwee Swie Teng as a leading art collector in the region. His story, beginning with his first tentative steps into the exhilarating world of art collecting not many years ago, provides the very human character to this museum's remarkable collection.
"The opening of Art Retreat confirms for us the powerful and exciting role that private art collecting and philanthropy plays in contemporary society. Knowledgeable and dedicated private patronage is crucial for Singapore with its still evolving art industry. Art Retreat sets an inspiring example that will hopefully encourage other benefactors to share their extensive knowledge and experience.
"Numerous partners, associates, advisors and supporters have been actively involved in the setting up of Art Retreat  including the National Heritage Board, National Arts Council, Singapore Tourism Board, and Mr Chua Soo Bin of Soobin Gallery. The Singapore Art Museum has also been instrumental in helping this museum develop its programs.
"The retrospective of Wu Guanzhong is a tribute to the long and prolific career of this eminent artist. I understand that Master Wu's art practice moved Mr Kwee to pursue art collecting with even greater vigour and enthusiasm. Their mutual friendship has led to the formation of a marvellous collection of Wu Guanzhong's oil paintings and ink works spanning over 50 years of the artist's career.....
"I am very pleased to officially declare the museum and the inaugural exhibition open."

Source: Singapore Government Press Release 12 Oct 2003



New Works on Paper 2003 - exhibition by Yeo Shih Yun  26 Sep - 12 Nov 2003

ExxonMobil Campus Concerts  Oct 2003

Jesse Cook LIVE in Singapore 12 - 15 Oct 2003

Beyond Therapy 15-24 Oct 2003

The Vagina Monologues 28 Oct - 2 Nov 2003

HOME at Sculpture Square  30 Oct - 21 Dec 2003

Land Of Joy  6 - 30 Nov 2003

Clay Sculptures by Jacqueline Ng  7 - 10 Nov 2003

Ling Chung The Dragon - by Tam Tam Theatre (London)  4-14 Dec 2003

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NEW WEB SITES offers free fertility advice. Its two centres, with 25 volunteers, are in Bukit Batok and Ang Mo Kio. For more information, visit  or call (65) 6896 1805/9183 4483.

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Public Holidays DEEPAVALI is the next public holiday. It falls on 24 October 2003.


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16 October 2003

Singapore Time