Anthony Poon



Anthony Poon (b. 21 April 1945, Singapore–d. 2 September 2006, Singapore), an abstract artist and sculptor, was a second-generation Singaporean artist. He is best known for his “Wave” series of paintings and wave-relief paintings which he developed. He was probably the most commissioned artist of his generation, with innumerable works found in both private and public collections.1

Early life and education
After graduating from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1964, Poon joined Singapore Glass Manufacturer as an industrial artist. After three years, he left to further his studies in fine art in the United Kingdom. He studied first at the Byam Shaw School of Arts, London, from 1967 to 1970 and then at the Regional College of Art, Bradford, Yorkshire, from 1970 to 1971. After completing his studies, Poon returned to Singapore in 1971. He was the manager of Alpha Gallery from 1973 to 1978 before becoming a full-time artist.2

Achievements in art
Poon was best known for his “Wave” series of paintings, which he started in the early 1970s.3 Over the years, his paintings progressed from geometric abstractions on flat canvasses to curvatures and three-dimensional relief paintings and sculptures.4


Poon had participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions over the course of his artistic career. He had also been commissioned by various organisations, and today his art pieces grace the halls and spaces of many organisations, both local and overseas.5 Furthermore, many of his art works had been donated to the Singapore Art Museum, where the public can appreciate his artistic creations and be inspired by the pioneering abstract artist.6

Besides producing art works, Poon was also active in other activities relating to art, especially in the National Arts Council. He was involved in many panels, including the Art Specialist Panel of the Cultural Medallion and Young Artists Award.7

For his invaluable contributions to the arts in Singapore, Poon received many awards and prizes, including the prestigious Cultural Medallion in 1990.8

Poon died of lung cancer on 2 September 2006, surrounded by his close family members.9

Selected exhibitions
Solo10
1964: Paintings by Anthony Poon, National Library, Singapore.

1967: Mixed Media, National Library, Singapore.
1971: Shape Canvases, Alpha Gallery, Singapore.
1975: Waves Series, Alpha Gallery, Singapore.
1978: Waves Frequency Waves, Alpha Gallery, Singapore.

Group
1964: Southeast Asia Art, Victoria Memorial Hall, Singapore.

1967: 8th National Art Exhibition, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
1969: Commonwealth Young Artists, Royal Overseas League, London, UK.
1970: Young Contemporaries, Royal Academy Galleries, London, UK.
1972: Modern Art 72, Modern Art Society, National Library, Singapore.
1973: Elemental Abstraction, Alpha Gallery, Singapore.
1974: Art in Singapore Today, Victoria Memorial Hall, Singapore.
1975: Contemporary Artists from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, Penang Museum, Malaysia.
1977: Large Paintings, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1978: Ten Contemporaries, Alpha Gallery, Singapore.
1979: 5th Festival of Asian Art, Hong Kong Museum Art Gallery, Hong Kong.
1980: Contemporary Singapore Paintings, Festival of Asian Arts, Hong Kong Museum Art Gallery.
1981: Contemporary Form, ASEAN Travelling Exhibition of Visual Art, ASEAN countries.
1982: Contemporary Singapore Art, Singapore Festival of Arts 1982, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1983: Singapore Art in the Seventies, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1984: Singapore Art, A Decade 1974–1984, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1985: 2nd Asian Art Show, Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan.
1986: Seoul, Contemporary Asian Art Show, 1986, National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, South Korea.
1987: New Directions, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1988: Singapore Contemporary Artist, Hong Kong Art Centre, Hong Kong.
1989: New Art Expo, New York, USA.
1990: Urban Artists, National Museum Art Gallery, Singapore.
1991–93: Many in One: 25 years of Singapore Art, USA.
1994–95: Contemporary Singapore Art, Hong Kong and seven major cities in China.
1996: Contemporary Singapore Art, Soobin Gallery, Singapore.
1997: Singapore Art 97, Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Singapore.
1998: Preview of Early Works, Telok Kurau Studios, Singapore.
1999: Brave New World, Soobin Gallery, Singapore.
2000: Excerpt 2000, Soobin Gallery, Singapore.
2001: Telok Kurau Studios 2001, Telok Kurau Gallery, Singapore.
2002: China International City Sculpture Exhibition & Symposium (Beijing 2002), Beijing International Sculpture Park, Beijing, China.
2003: Telok Kurau Studios 2002, Telok Kurau Gallery, Singapore.
2004: Crossroads: The Making of New Identities, NUS Museum, Singapore.
2005: Art of the Second Generation: Beyond Fact and Fiction, NAFA Gallery, Singapore.
2006: Important Second-Generation Artists Series, DLR Gallery, Singapore.11

Selected commissioned works12
1997: Crimson Eagle, Singapore Land / Space-Time Link, UE Engineers.
1999: Aspirations, Ministry of Information and the Arts, Singapore / Joyluck, Singapore Turf Club.
2004: Affinity, Housing and Development Board.
2006: Sense Surround, St Regis.

Selected appointments
1999–2002: Member, Art Specialist Panel, Cultural Medallion & Young Artists Award, National Arts Council.
2002: Vice-chairman, Art Specialist Panel, Cultural Medallion & Young Artists Award, National Arts Council.
2002–05: Member, Panel of Arts Advisors, National Arts Council.
2002–06: Member, Singapore Note and Coin Advisory Committee, Board of Commissioners of Currency.
2003: Chairman, NAC-Telok Kurau Studios Management Committee.
2003–06: Member, Annual Grant Assessment Panel for Visual Arts, National Arts Council.13



Author

Yin Ker



References
1. National Art Gallery, Singapore. (2009). Light and movement portrayed: The art of Anthony Poon. Retrieved 2016, October 20 from National Art Gallery website: https://www.nationalgallery.sg/sites/default/files/pdf/press-light-and-movement-portrayed-art-anthony-poon.pdf
2. National Art Gallery, Singapore. (2009). Light and movement portrayed: The art of Anthony Poon. Retrieved 2016, October 20 from National Art Gallery website: https://www.nationalgallery.sg/sites/default/files/pdf/press-light-and-movement-portrayed-art-anthony-poon.pdf
3. Yap, S. (2006, September 3). Pioneer abstract artist dies from lung cancer. The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. An explorer riding his waves. (1999, December 4). The Business Times, p. 24. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. National Art Gallery, Singapore. (2009). Light and movement portrayed: The art of Anthony Poon. Retrieved 2016, October 20 from National Art Gallery website: https://www.nationalgallery.sg/sites/default/files/pdf/press-light-and-movement-portrayed-art-anthony-poon.pdf
6. Yap, S. (2007, January 26). Artist’s family donates works to museum. The Straits Times, p. 87. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. National Art Gallery, Singapore. (2009). Light and movement portrayed: The art of Anthony Poon. Retrieved 2016, October 20 from National Art Gallery website: https://www.nationalgallery.sg/sites/default/files/pdf/press-light-and-movement-portrayed-art-anthony-poon.pdf
8. National Art Gallery, Singapore. (2009). Light and movement portrayed: The art of Anthony Poon. Retrieved 2016, October 20 from National Art Gallery website: https://www.nationalgallery.sg/sites/default/files/pdf/press-light-and-movement-portrayed-art-anthony-poon.pdf; National Arts Council. (2016) Cultural Medallion: About Cultural Medallion. Retrieved 2016, October 20 from National Arts Council website: https://www.nac.gov.sg/singaporeartsscene/culturalMedallion/overview.html
9. Yap, S. (2006, September 3). Pioneer abstract artist dies from lung cancer. The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG. 
10. National Art Gallery, Singapore. (2009). Light and movement portrayed: The art of Anthony Poon. Retrieved 2016, October 20 from National Art Gallery website: https://www.nationalgallery.sg/sites/default/files/pdf/press-light-and-movement-portrayed-art-anthony-poon.pdf
11. National Art Gallery, Singapore. (2009). Light and movement portrayed: The art of Anthony Poon. Retrieved 2016, October 20 from National Art Gallery website: https://www.nationalgallery.sg/sites/default/files/pdf/press-light-and-movement-portrayed-art-anthony-poon.pdf; Lim, R. (Ed.). (1990). Singapore artists speak. Singapore: C. H. Yeo, pp. 90–93. (Call no.: RSING 709.95957 SIN)
12. YouTube. (2012, July 17). Interview with Anthony Poon. Retrieved 2016, October 20 from YouTube: https://youtu.be/BZb52VcXfm8
13. National Art Gallery, Singapore. (2009). Light and movement portrayed: The art of Anthony Poon. Retrieved 2016, October 20 from National Art Gallery website: https://www.nationalgallery.sg/sites/default/files/pdf/press-light-and-movement-portrayed-art-anthony-poon.pdf



The information in this article is valid as at 2008 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Arts>>Painting
Personalities>>Biographies>>Artists>>Cultural Medallion Recipients
Arts>>Sculpture
Cultural Medallion Recipients (Art)
Painters (Art)
Sculptors
Poon, Anthony, 1945-2006
Painters--Singapore--Biography
Sculptors--Singapore--Biography
Award winners--Singapore--Biography
Award winners