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Anatomy of a Free Mind: Tan Swie Hian’s Notebooks and Creations 《解析自由心–陈瑞献稿本与创作》

Published on : 1 Nov 2016

Anatomy of a Free Mind: Tan Swie Hian’s Notebooks and Creations 《解析自由心–陈瑞献稿本与创作》
Level 10, Gallery, National Library Building   
22 November 2016 – 23 April 2017  
Free admission

Lauded as a cultural icon in Singapore and the most expensive living artist in Southeast Asia, Tan Swie Hian’s artistic accomplishments are nothing short of Olympian — his oeuvre encompasses multiple mediums, genres, languages and subject matters. The celebrated multi-disciplinary artist has published 58 works of poetry, prose, stories, songs, criticism, translations and books on his art, held 23 solo shows worldwide, and won numerous accolades locally and internationally. It is not for nothing that Time magazine has proclaimed him as “Singapore’s Renaissance man”.

In collaboration with the artist, the National Library presents “Anatomy of a Free Mind: Tan Swie Hian’s Notebooks and Creations”, an exhibition that features over 100 works of his creations, including paintings, sculptures, calligraphy, seal carvings, photographs, lithographs, multimedia performances as well as his original writings. Accompanied by the artist’s personal notebooks, manuscripts and artefacts that will be displayed alongside the respective artworks, the exhibition will take visitors on a fascinating journey into the mindscape of a creative genius.

20161122 – 2017年4月23日 



Roving Exhibitions: Compassion for Lives: Tan Swie Hian’s Literary Creations

  • Jurong Regional Library: 1 November 2016 – 29 December 2016 
  • Central Public Library: 30 December 2016 – 28 February 2017 

Singapore Cultural Medallion recipient Tan Swie Hian is the top grossing living artist in Southeast Asia who has received numerous accolades both locally and abroad. Although he exhibited impressive artistic talents at a tender age, he was first recognised for his literary creations when he ventured into the arts scene. 

Tan wrote and published prolifically in the 1960s under the pseudonym of “Mu Lingnu”. Before long, he had established a reputation for advocating Modernist literature in the local Chinese literary circle. He once said that his literary works “mostly reflected the dark side of reality; and the sorrows of human destiny”, thus compassion for lives has been a key theme in his writings. To date, the multilingual artist/writer has published close to 40 literary titles. 

As a complement to the Anatomy of a Free Mind: Tan Swie Hian’s Notebooks and Creations exhibition at National Library Building (22 November 2016 – 23 April 2017), this roving exhibition will feature Tan’s literary accomplishments in various genres – poetry, prose, novels, fables, translated works as well as publications edited by him. Visit the above libraries during the specified periods to learn more about Tan Swie Hian’s written works that took the literary world by storm.


  • 裕廊区域图书馆: 2016111–20161229
  • 中央公共图书馆: 20161230–2017228




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