Established in 18 August 1969 by 13 young watercolour enthusiasts, the Singapore Watercolour Society (SWS) is the only non-profit art organisation in Singapore that focuses on the art of watercolour painting. With the ever-increasing membership of more than 150 artists, the society holds its annual exhibitions in September each year. Members also get together for outdoor/plein air painting sessions every week and the society organises overseas painting trips regularly.
Since its establishment, SWS has organised and participated in major exhibitions in Singapore and abroad. As part of our community outreach, we have initiated the National Junior Watercolour Competition to generate interest in watercolour painting amongst the younger generation. Students from the main stream schools are invited, and winners are given cash awards and certificates. A special pre-competition workshop is also organised to prepare the young participants for the competition. In conjunction with SG50 Jubilee Celebration, SWS has partnered with Lianhe Zaobao, the main Chinese daily, to provide a painting every week to complement their special weekly write-up on the historical places of Singapore, for the whole of year 2015.
Our honorary President, Ong Kim Seng put Singapore onto the watercolour world map when he became the first Asian outside of United States to be awarded signature membership of the American Watercolor Society (AWS) in 1990 and became a Dolphin Fellow of AWS in 2000. His achievements pave the way for other Singaporean artists to venture outside of the island nation and today many members of SWS have won major awards and getting juried into international shows throughout the world.
In 1997, SWS moved its premises to Telok Kurau Studios. SWS has been operating from TKS ever since with many visiting artists came to give talks, demo and workshops.