Brush strokes of a bygone era

Published Thu, Apr 10, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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DESPITE a prolific career, you won't find Lim Mu Hue's best-known work in a fancy light and humidity-controlled gallery, but in an MRT station. The late artist was one of those who benefited from the Land Transport Authority's Art in Transit project - perhaps the single most effective way of showcasing local artists.

His large woodcut mural for the Esplanade station makes one think of a bygone era - both because of its subject and the mode of art-making, but it was in fact one of the last works by the Singapore-born second-generation artist who died in 2008, at 72 years of age. It was also his only commission and monumental work in Singapore.

Lim's behind-the-scenes perspective of the Chinese opera at the Esplanade Station is iconic in many ways which will be evident at the retrospective of some 60 works now showing at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa). Lim Mu Hue: The Inventive Life is the first major exhibition on the artist after his death, and the works on show - featuring his sketches from his days as a student at Nafa, right up to his works in the mid-2000s - lifts the veil of this artist's talent and versatility, and also avant-garde experiments of his time.

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