Water Colour on Paper, 52.5 x 73 cm
About the artwork
Viewers are able to discern the side profile of Jinrickisha Station immediately as this iconic building has been through thick and thin alongside the development of the city. Gazetted for conservation in 1987, the landmark was bought over in 1989 for commercial redevelopment by L&B Holdings - an investment company, and sold to movie star Jackie Chan in 2007 for $11 million. Jinrikisha is another name for the “rickshaw” which is a cart with wheels pulled by one man, thus meaning “man-powered carriage” in Japanese - where it was first invented. Designed in an Edwardian style that allowed for exposed brickwork to contrast the facade of white plaster mouldings by engineer Samuel Tomlinson and architect David Mcleod Craik, the structure of the station is in the shape of a “V” and has a square tower with an octagonal cupola to provide a vantage point. It’s purpose was to serve as a place where new rickshaws were registered and to inspect the large number of rickshaws that zipped around the streets, numbering around 13,000 in 1893. Strikes occurred outside the building in 1919, 1920 and 1938 over issues of regulation of the rickshaw pullers.
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.