VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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After the Fire (Bukit Ho Swee fire)
S1999-0014-003-0
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The Bukit Ho Swee fire on May 25 1961 razed more than 2,200 squatter houses and made 16,000 homeless occasioned a national emergency that saw a massive charity drive and immediate action by the government for construction projects by the Housing Development Board to relocate and house the fire’s victims. Works dealing with the fire by Koeh Sia Yong and Ng Eng Teng are also represented in the Museum’s collection. Lim’s 1966 woodcut of the fire is a particularly large piece detailing a devastated and the desolated landscape in the aftermath of the blaze.

History of the Object
The son of Lim Hak Tai, the pioneer artist and founder of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, he migrated to Singapore during World War II, and followed in his father’s footsteps to pursue a career as an artist and an art educator. After graduating from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1950, he taught in the institution before leaving for London to further his training in the Chelsea School of Art between 1958 to 1962. Lim Yew Kuan was a founding member of the Equator Art Society. Founded in the 1956, the group included Lim’s NAFA contemporaries Koh Siah Yong, Chua Mia Tee, Lee Boon Yang and Lai Kui Fang. The artists of the Equator Art Society were influenced by the social realist woodcut movement in China and attributed social responsibilities to art and artist in post-war Singapore. Artists who participated in the exhibitions organised by the group included Choo Keng Kwang, Lim Mu Hue, and Tan Tee Chie.

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Type
Print 
Materials
Woodblock print on paper 
Measurements
Width 45.5 cm Length 61 cm  
Creator name
Lim Yew Kuan 
Creator date
1929 
Where it was made
Singapore 
Geography
Singapore 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th Century; 1966 
Function
An artwork 
Acquisition
Purchased by NUS Museum from the artist in 1999. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
NUS Museum, NUS Centre For the Arts 
Museum
NUS Museum, NUS Centre For the Arts 
Credit line
 

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