About SWS

About Us

The Singapore Watercolor Society aims to:

  • Promote the art of watercolour painting
  • Undertake research work with the view of improving and raising the standard of the art
  • Foster and exchange ideas and knowledge (theoretical and practical) of the art
  • Instill in the public an awareness and appreciation of the art

Our Activities

The SWS seeks to achieve its mission through:

  • Holding exchange exhibitions and organising lectures, seminars and workshops in and out of Singapore
  • Holding exchange exhibitions and organising lectures, seminars and workshops in and out of Singapore
  • Publishing magazines, journals, newsletters and other materials concerned with the art

History and Milestones

Cool Timeline

1969
January 1

1969

The Singapore Watercolor Society (SWS) was established on 18 August 1969 to promote watercolor painting in Singapore and provide local watercolourists with greater opportunities to showcase their works.

1970
January 1

1970

A year after its establishment, the society held its first annual exhibition showcasing the works of 16 members, at the Victoria Memorial Hall (known today as the Victoria Concert Hall). The event was Singapore’s first major watercolor exhibition. Since then, the SWS has been organising its annual exhibition, which showcases the works of its members and invited artists.

1990
January 1

1990

Award-winning watercolourist and SWS co-founder Ong Kim Seng became the first Asian outside the United States to become a member of the American Watercolor Society (AWC) – a significant achievement for a local artist. Ong was elected president of the SWS the following year, and held office for the next decade.

1995
January 1

1995

SWS President Ong Kim Seng participated in the President’s Charity Exhibition, during which two of his paintings were bought by Tommy Koh, then chairman of the National Art Council.

1996
January 1

1996

The SWS participated in the first Asia-Pacific Watercolour Painting Exhibition in Taipei. The same year also saw SWS stage their 26th annual exhibition, featuring some 100 works by 54 members.

1997
January 1

1997

The society hosted Asian Watercolours ‘97, the annual exhibition of the AWC and the largest watercolour show in Asia. Some 174 paintings by artists from 13 Asian countries were featured. Held at Tourism Court, the event was the largest scale event organized to date.

1998
January 1

1998

Five SWS watercolourists – Lim Leong Seng, Ong Kim Seng, Tong Chin Sye, Keong Heng Keng and Chan Chang How – were selected to exhibit their works at the biennial Flemish Watercolours Days international art show in Belgium.

2001
January 1

2001

38 year-old Seah Kam Chuan replaced Ong Kim Seng as the new president of the SWS and was joined by an almost entirely new committee made up of younger members, most of them in their 30s. With more than half of the SWS members aged above 50 at the time, the society sought to renew itself by handing over the reins to the younger generation.

2007
January 1

2007

Since 2007, the society has been organising the National Junior Watercolour Competition, held in conjunction with their annual exhibition. The young participants are from schools and community centres.

2008
January 1

2008

Seah Kang Chui took over the reins as the society’s new president and has held office since.

Executive Committee

Seah Kang Chui

President

Donald Tan

Vice-President

Goh Hui Ying

Secretary-General

William Goh

Assistant Secretary-General

Corina Quek

Treasurer

Jane Leong

Secretary (English)

Zhu Hong

Secretary (Chinese)

Yang Zhi Fei

Research Officer (IT)

Phyllis Chong

Assistant Research Officer (IT)

Dr Lim Hai Chiew

Internal Auditor

Honorary Board

  • Ong Kim Seng
    Honorary President

  • Prof Chee Cheng Khee
    Honorary Advisor

  • Edward Phoon
    Honorary Secretary-General

Advisory Board

  • Dr Michael Lim
  • Dib Jin Tan
  • Ruth Wong
  • Seah Kam Chuan

Board of Jurors

  • Loy Chye Chuan
  • Seah Kam Chuan
  • Ng Woon Lam
  • Marvin Chew
  • Seah Kang Chui
  • Tan Leong Kheng
  • Yang Zhi Fei
  • Zhu Hong