Cavenagh Bridge, 2010
Water Colour on Paper, 52.5 x 72.6 cm
About the artwork
Built in 1868, Cavenagh Bridge is the oldest bridge that spans the Singapore River and was named after Sir Lieutenant General William Orfeur Cavenagh - the last Governor of the Straits Settlements from 1859 - 1867 appointed by the British East India Company. It was constructed with the labour of Indian convicts that were based in Singapore and the Cavenagh family coat-of-arms is displayed prominently on the cross-beams at the ends of the bridge. Turned into a pedestrian crossing around 1910, the bridge design had not taken into account the rise and fall of tides and as such, even in the 1980s, bumboats that frequented the river had to wait for low tide before being able to bypass the area of water under the bridge. Ong Kim Seng depicts the idyllic area surrounding the bridge and even the 'uncle' selling Kings brand ice cream under a distinctive blue umbrella to tourists and passers-by.
About the artist
Born in 1945 in Singapore, Ong Kim Seng is an internationally renowned watercolorist and one of Singapore’s most prominent artistic icons. Self-taught and self-supported, the artist has participated in group and solo exhibitions in Singapore and in the United States, China, United Kingdom, Japan , Australia, Belgium, Germany, France, Middle East, Taiwan and Hong Kong. He has won a multitude of awards including six awards from the American Watercolor Society, and the coveted Cultural Medallion in 1999. Playing an active part in some of the most prestigious art fellowships and organizations, the artist was President of the Singapore Watercolor Society from 1991 to 2001, subsequently becoming Honorary President.