Crossroads - Singapore through the lens 1870-1940Curated by Gretchen Liu and Wang Xin, “Crossroads: Singapore Through the Lens 1870-1940” offers valuable historical images that reflect Sin gapore’s transformation into a flourishing, international, multi-ethnic port city from a photographer’s perspective.
Curator: GRETCHEN LIU
Born in 1951 in Minneapolis Minnesota USA, lives in Singapore since 1975.
Gretchen is a writer, former book editor and independent scholar with an interest in Chinese history, the history of photography in Asia and visual heritage. She is the author of Singapore: A Pictorial History 1819-2000 (1999) which serves as a starting point for the "Crossroads – Singapore Through the Lens 1870-1940" exhibition. Other illustrated books include From the Family Album: Photographs from the Lee Brothers Studio Singapore 1910-1925; and In Granite and Chunam - Singapore’s Architectural Heritage. As an editor she commissioned the first book to explore the history of photography in Singapore, A Vision of the Past: A History of Early Photography in Singapore and Malaya: The photographs of G. R. Lambert & Co, 1880-1910, published in 1987. Most recently she has been researching the early life of her father-in-law, the Shanghai-trained Singapore pioneer artist Liu Kang. This journey that has taken her frequently to Shanghai and deep into the history of Chinese art of the Republican period. In 2018 she collaborated with the Liu Haisu Art Museum on the exhibition "Art with Audacity" which featured Liu Kang’s photographs of the 1920-1930 Shanghai art world and documented the long friendship between Liu Haisu and Liu Kang.
Curator: WANG XIN
Born in 1976, lives and works in Shanghai.
Wang Xin is a Ph.D recipient in Art History, Director of Academic Repository Department of Shanghai Chinese Painting Academy. Research interests include Chinese modern and contemporary art history and Shanghai visual culture studies.
Wang Xin has taken part in a number of photography projects, including the exhibitions and publications of "Art with Audacity: Photos from the Albums of Liu Haisu and Liu Kang", "Shanghai Aura: Exploring Photographic Modernity in Early 20th Century", "Elapsed Time and Monumental Images — Chang Tsai, his Life and Photographs", and "Commemorating Shanghai 1980s"; the exhibition, publication and forum of "Commemorating Shanghai 1990s". Wang Xin also curated "The Youth Photography Section at Shanghai Youth Fine Arts Exhibition 2013", "Back Home: Images of Fujian circa 1928 in Liu Kang's Album" in 2020 Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival and was responsible for the publication project "How They Accepted Photography: The Liu Haisu Museum and Photography". Wang Xin has been dedicated to the study of historical images of Shanghai painters and the Shanghai Art Academy.
Country road, 1890s, G. R. Lambert & Co. Lee Kip Lin Collection, Courtesy of National Library Singapore.
German mail steamer at Borneo Wharf, 1890s, G. R. Lambert & Co. Lee Kip Lin Collection, Courtesy of National Library Singapore.
Lee Poh Yan in reception area of Lee Brothers Studio, c1915. Modern print from original negative. Lee Brothers Studio Collection, Courtesy of National Archives of Singapore.