Solamalay Namasivayam: Points of Articulation
16 November - 22 December 2019


Solamalay Namasivayam: Points of Articulation is a retrospective exhibition dedicated to showcasing the legacy of Namasiavayam. 

While his significant contributions as one of the pioneers of figurative art in Singapore was previously overlooked, the gallery aims to bring his works and life as an artist-educator to light through this exciting and important archival project.The exhibition showcases more than 30 works done in a variety of mediums to render the human figure; ranging from monochromatic charcoal or ink on paper, to coloured pieces done in pastels or gouache. A prolific artist, these works were carefully selected from his extensive oeuvre, that provide insights into his life and practice as both an artist and art educator.

S. Namasivayam played  a leading role in the development of figurative art in Singapore as a founding member of Singaporean art group, Group 90.  Attracting  like-minded individuals who adhered to European artistic traditions of live drawing and the human nude as the foundation of art, Group 90 was at the forefront of live drawing in Singapore and created opportunities for this important study in aesthetics and discipline in art to develop. This exihibit accordingly makes an important contribution to the history of art in Singapore by highlighting Namasivayam's role as a prominent pioneer of figurative drawing within the local arts scene.  

Points of Articulation wishes to provoke new inquiries into Singapore’s art history as well as to acknowledge Namasivayam’s significant contributions. In conjunction with the exhibition, Yeo Workshop has invited 4 contemporary artists (Alvin Ong, Jason Wee, Mike HJ Chang, and Milenko Prvački) to create new works in response to Namasivayam’s works and writings. These works are being shown at the space operated by our venue partner Art Outreach, and this section hopes to illustrate how figurative art has evolved and continues to remain relevant today.

VIDEO PART 1 CLICK HERE:  Presentation by Yang Yilin about the production of the nude in 20th century Singapore and Group 90, the first informal arts group to focus exclusively on the practice of life drawing and the figure in Singapore in this video. 

VIDEO PART 2 CLICK HERE: Presentation by Jolene Teo from Yeo Workshop about the research the gallery has done on Namasivayam using various historical sources and methods, featuring archival materials such as the artist’s sketchbooks and personal notes.