The Canvas

Earlier this week, the folks behind GOODSTUPH, a Singapore-based social media outfit, launched The Canvas, a new online resource aimed at making art accessible to the “accountant from Toa Payoh.”

The Canvas covers everything from basic Western art history (“The Beginning of Modern Art” by Pat Law) to interviews with local artists (“An Interview with Urban Artist Trase One” by Samantha Lo) to criticism (“How to Critique a Work of Art” by Stephanie Phua).

The Canvas also aims to gather the collective knowledge of some of Singapore’s most talented writers, artists, designers, and other arts professionals. This group, or The Council, will share their insights into their own artistic disciplines. Over the past few months, I have come to know and admire Adrianna Tan of Popagandhi and Melly Fong of greenlaundry, two of The Council’s 17 members, and I look forward to learning more about the others through their art and writing.

This new website is supported by The National Art Gallery Singapore, a yet-to-be-opened visual arts institution that will house the world’s largest public collection of modern Southeast Asian and Singaporean art. The gallery is slated to open at the end of 2014.

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I am eager to see The Canvas evolve. As an educator, I hope that The Canvas will add more resources on creativity and critical thinking, similar to Ms. Phua’s piece. As a writer, I look forward to posts that are more than just an aesthetic judgment or a mere interpretation of a piece of art.

The Canvas’ challenge is to raise knowledge among less-than-interested individuals and to help them engage with art in all of its forms. And they must do this without “dumbing down” the conversation. I have no doubt that this dynamic team is up to it. Onwards, follow art lovers!

(Additional credits: Image via The Canvas. Cheong Soo Pieng, Weavers, 1981. Oil on canvas laid on paper board, 82 x 106cm. Collection of National Heritage Board; Special thanks to Daphne Chui for the heads-up about this online project.)