Channel NewsAsia

Rui En to play Singapore's pioneer artist Georgette Chen in docudrama

The actress will star in the three-part docudrama 'The Worlds of Georgette Chen', to air in April 2015 on Channel NewsAsia and MediaCorp Channel 5.

SINGAPORE: The life story of the late Georgette Chen, one of Singapore’s pioneer artists, will soon be captured in a three-part docudrama. Titled 'The Worlds of Georgette Chen', it is produced by Channel NewsAsia and will be shown on Free-to-Air channels next year. The series is commissioned by the National Gallery Singapore, which will hold an exhibition of her works when it opens in 2015.

"As we prepare for the opening of the National Gallery next year, our curators have been doing a lot of research. We came across materials that showed that many of our pioneer artists have led very rich, very intriguing lives. And Georgette Chen is one of them,” said Ms Chong Siak Ching, CEO of National Gallery Singapore. “We thought that 'The Worlds of Georgette Chen' actually in a way also reflect what the National Gallery is aspiring to do - through art, we create a dialogue between various worlds."

Born in China, Georgette Chen (1906-1993) received her art education in Paris, New York and Shanghai. The docudrama will portray her life during these three phases. Set against the tumultuous years of World War II, the series will also feature her artworks.

Regarded as an important artist who contributed to Singapore's art movement for over four decades, Chen moved to Singapore in 1953 and taught at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts until her retirement in 1981. She was awarded the Cultural Medallion in 1982.

Said Ms Debra Soon, Managing Director of Channel NewsAsia: "Her collection of work and the vast expanse of it show the depth of the change in society, and how she understood it to be. I think it is important for us, as a new generation, to make this story accessible so that we can understand where we come from, so that we know where we are going."

The role of Georgette Chen will be played by MediaCorp actress Rui En. Playing a non-fictional character for the first time in her career, she has been busy with her homework. "I have been actually poring over information (about Chen),” she said. “It also helped that they had some personal writings by her, like personal letters, that they shared with me, which made her very human to me."

'The Worlds of Georgette Chen' will be aired in the run-up to the National Gallery's opening next year. Produced by Channel NewsAsia's English Current Affairs team, filming will begin in August in Europe, China and Southeast Asia.

The English-language drama will air in April 2015 on Channel NewsAsia and MediaCorp Channel 5. It will also be adapted into Chinese for Channel 8 viewers. Artworks by Georgette Chen will be on display in the DBS Singapore Gallery when the National Gallery Singapore opens in 2015.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia