MG Kumar

Boat Quay Dawn


MG Kumar, ‘Boat Quay Dawn’, 2020, Oil on Canvas, 30 x 36 in

‘This is no river of Babylon. You do not weep there. It is an ancient river of pleasures and pains.’ – ‘Singapore River, 1962’, Heng Siok Tan

 As the sun rises upon Boat Quay, one will invariably catch glimpses of Sampans drifting along the river, like cicadas drawn to the Tembusu trees. Awaking from her slumber, Boat Quay will begin to come alive with the voices of seafaring merchants who have come from near and far, and coolies discussing the business of the day. As you gaze across the painter’s golden strokes and watch the tide of new immigrants ebb and flow upon her canvas, know that you are witnessing the dawning of a new era. Truly, you will say to yourself, as you behold the oceans of the world washing their riches upon the shores of Singapore, ‘the sun has risen upon this land.’

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