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Anatomy of a Free Mind: Tan Swie Hian Notebooks and Creations

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Tan Swie Hian’s artistic creations have been characterised by freedom – in medium, subject matter, genre and expression. The artist likens his free mind to a hummingbird that can fly in all directions and experience different realms of reality. More than 40 years later, Tan’s works are presented at the National Library in this exhibition featuring over 100 creations in a wide range of media. This is the first time the multidisciplinary artist’s creative process, as documented in his notebooks through writings and sketches, has been featured with his artworks.

Exhibition highlights include:

The Nelson Mandela Unity Series is a work featuring six images of the hands and arms of Mr Nelson Mandela breaking free from manacles sketched by former South African president himself, which was the lithographed and painted on by Mr Tan Swie Hian. The painting was sold for HK$3.52 million (S$630,000) at an auction in Hong Kong.

White Horse and Reed Flowers is a term used in zen practice, which means surpassing the realm of being differentiated. He penned the poem “White Horse and Reed Flowers” in 2013. He also drew a sketch for the poem, and expanded it into a painting with the same title in the following year.

Exhibition details:

Title of exhibition – Anatomy of a Free Mind: Tan Swie Hian’s Notebooks and Creations
Date – 22nd November 2016 to 19th March 2017
Opening hours – Daily, 10am to 9pm
Where – National Library Building, Level 10 Gallery, 100 Victoria Street, Singapore 188064
Admission is free.

More information about the exhibition is available at the website.

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