Art is a means to record and tell history, not just a decorative item.
That was my main realisation when I visited the Princely Treasures from the House of Liechtenstein exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore. The exhibition comprises over ninety masterpieces, collected over five hundred years, from the collection of the Prince of Liechtenstein.
The many art pieces on exhibit allowed the visitors to have an understanding of the Princes’ life in Liechtenstein back then, such as their activities as well as the architectures that they stayed in.
Seeing the art pieces perform such a function made me realise that the method which we use to record history and capture memories of the past have changed over time. In the past, we use art (drawing, painting etc) to illustrate what happened. Now, we use photographs to capture our life events and other memories.
In addition, Art can also help to illustrate stories, bringing the characters to life. This can be seen by the many Art pieces by the Baroque Artists that illustrate and depict certain parts and characters of the bible. The characters were painted so well such that you would be forgiven for feeling that they are actually alive in the painting.
In fact, that was the one big common feature of all the art pieces exhibited. The artists captured the “souls” of the characters so well through their illustration of the facial expressions and eyes. The colour they used also allowed the subject of the painting to seem so real such that it looked 3D in the photos I took with my phone.
The Princely Treasures from the House of Liechtenstein exhibition was definitely worth the time. The quality of the collection is so impressive such that you would most likely leave the exhibition in awe of the artistry behind those works.
The Princely Treasures from the House of Lichtenstein exhibition will be held from the 27 June to 29 September 2013, 10am-6pm daily. Do visit http://www.nationalmuseum.sg for more information.