Monday, April 21, 2014

Khoo Seok Wan Singapore early Poet ... and Reformist too!

Khoo Seok Wan Singapore early poet. Saw his calligraphy & poems at Woodlands Regional Library today. Featuring three of his works: "A Letter to Lee Choon Seng", "Relocating" and "Making Ink to My Wife's Boudoir".

Khoo Seok Wan (born 1874) is one of Singapore’s literary pioneers. He is not only remembered as a prolific literary giant, having penned over 1,000 poems, but also as the main player of the reformist movement in early Singapore. Khoo is also believed to be the person who first popularised the name ‘Sin Chew’ (literally meaning ‘Starry Island’) to refer to Singapore. In this exhibition, Khoo Seok Wan: Poet and Reformist, visitors will be able to explore these two elements of Khoo’s colourful life and through that a vignette of Singapore’s early history. On display are rare documents like handwritten manuscripts of poems by Khoo, couplet with the seal of the Guangxu emperor (reign 1875-1908) and letters from Kang Youwei, leader of the reform movement of 1898 in China. To appreciate Khoo’s literary output, visitors will be able, with the help of audio-visual displays, to listen to his poems recited in Mandarin and in Hokkien, with English translations. Come and discover in this exhibition, why Khoo Seok Wan has earned the esteemed title of ‘Master Poet of the South’.

From National Library Board, "Khoo Seok Wan: Poet and Reformist 浪漫与革新:南侨诗宗邱菽园".

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