Goh Beng Kwan

Goh Beng Kwan portraitBorn in 1937. Singaporean.
1st Prize, 1st UOB Painting of the Year Competition, 1982
Cultural Medallion, Ministry of Culture Singapore, 1989

Goh Beng Kwan was born in 1937 in Medan, Sumatra. His father was a Chinese immigrant and his mother was a Peranakan. His family migrated to Singapore after the end of World War II in 1945. He received education at the Chinese High School and was tutored in art by artists Chen Wen Hsi and Cheong Soo Pieng.

In 1962, Goh travelled to USA to study at the Art Students League of New York. He studied oil painting under Sidney Gross, before leaving representational painting behind for Abstract Expressionism. He was awarded the Allen Tucker Scholarship and the Ford Foundation Scholarship. In 1964, he met Leo Manso and Victor Candell at the Provincetown Workshop in Massachusetts. He began creating abstract painting-collages by integrating Chinese artistic principles with Chinese calligraphic strokes. In 1965, he had his first solo exhibition at the Ruth Sherman Gallery and another major solo exhibition in San Diego. He returned to Singapore in 1966 and organized his first solo exhibition in the National Library. During his time at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute in 2006, Goh created an innovative “water collage” technique with Richard Hungerford. He continued to exhibit his artworks at various exhibitions and events abroad and locally for the following decades. He held and participated in other exhibitions and art workshops internationally, mostly in Southeast Asia. Through all the travelling, he gained inspirations and insights for his artworks, bringing out his art to be in the form of tapestry, glass and ceramics.

Various organisations such as the Singapore Art Museum, Changi Airport, United Overseas Bank (UOB), Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Westin Hotel and other collectors have collected his artworks. His other artworks are displayed at Conrad Centennial Hotel, May Bank, Punggol MRT/LRT station and the Singapore Turf Club. The major awards that Goh had received are the first prize in the inaugural UOB Painting of the Year Competition in 1982, the first prize at the Australia Business Council and Australia High Commission Art Awards in 1984, the silver medal in the Salon des Artists Francais in 1985, and the Cultural Medallion in commendation for his artistic achievements in 1989 by Ministry of Culture Singapore.

Education

1952-57 | Studied art in Singapore under artists such as Chen Wen Hsi and Cheong Soo Pieng
1962 | Art Students’ League, New York, USA, with Sydney Gross
1964 | Provincetown Workshop, Massachusetts, USA, with Leo Manso and Victor Candell

Honours/ Awards

1963 | Allen Tucker Scholarship, New York, USA
1963 | Ford Foundation Scholarship, New York, USA
1964 | Provincetown Workshop Scholarship, Massachusetts, USA
1982 | Inaugural United Overseas Bank UOB Painting of the Year Award, First Prize, Singapore
1984 | Australia Business Council and Australia High Commission Art Award, First Prize, Singapore
1985 | Salon des Artists Francaises, Silver Medal, Grand Palais, Paris, France
1987 | IBM Art Competition, ‘Category’ Award, Singapore
1988 | IBM Art Competition, ‘Merit’ Award, Singapore
1989 | Cultural Medallion, Ministry of Culture, Singapore.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

1965 | Ruth Sherman Gallery, New York, USA
1975 | National Library, Singapore
1977 | Dewan Sri Pinang, Malaysia
1982 | Citibank, Singapore
1991 | Journeys, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore
1992 | C-Line Gallery, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
C-Line Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
The Journey Continues, Room at the Top, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2005 | Journeys Revisited, NAFA Galleries, Singapore
2007 | Renewal, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore
2007 | Journey to the East, CJ Gallery, San Diego, USA
2019 | Cresting The Waves, Cape of Good Hope Art Gallery, Singapore
Cresting The Waves Book Launch & Solo Exhibition, Daiichi Art Space, Penang, Malaysia

Selected Group Exhibitions

1961 | Five Men Exhibition, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore
1972 | Adelaide Arts Festival, Adelaide, Australia
1985 | Salon des Artistes Francaises, Grand Palais, Paris, France
1985 | Contemporary Asian Art Show, Fukuoka, Japan
1988 | Hongkong Art Exhibition, Hongkong Art Centre, Hongkong Masterpieces from Private Collections, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore
2007 | Encounters and Journeys, National Art Museum of China, Beijing
2011 | Exchange 2011, Singapore-China Art Showcase, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, Singapore
2015 | Florence Biennale, Italy
2016 | Global Arts Agenda, Hangzhou, China
2016 | Asian Watercolour Art Workshop and Exhibition, Krabi, Thailand
2017 | Masters’ Cut, Daiichi Art Space, Penang
2018 | 3rd Malaysia Art Biennale 2018, Daiichi Art Space, Penang, Malaysia