Tanoto Foundation Centre for Southeast Asian Arts at NAFA

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Seven artists who were among a generation of awakened young artists of 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, Johnda Goh 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. In 1963, they joined hands together in organising the 1st Modern art exhibition which was held at the national Library. Quoting from the foreword to 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.”

In 1990, the Modern art Society was invited to take part in the asian International art exhibition (aIae). Since then the society has participated regularly in this asian group show. the aIae was held for the first time in Singapore in 1995 at the national Museum of Singapore. the show was jointly presented by the Modern art Society and the national Heritage Board. More than 80 delegates from ten participating countries attended the opening ceremony.

Currently, the Modern art Society has more than 50 members and is one of the most established art associations in Singapore.

Modern Art Society was founded to concentrate the talents, intermix the ideas, and amplify the energies of its member artists in Singapore. Modern Art Society, as it is named, is one of the oldest existing art instituions in Singapore. In the post-modern artworld, the Modern Art Society has found its name nostalgic of earlier times, when its founding artists made headway in the introduction of new techniques of artmaking, and new contexts to showcase. Modern Art Society is a organization that seeks sincerity in art-making as the tenet for membership, and the myraid of styles of the member artists are acknowledged and respected on this basis. Modern Art Society seeks to contribute to the local arts scene by involvement in Singapore and Asian art shows. The society is actively looking to recruit young members who are bold and energetic in their artmaking and aspirations.