Installation view of RADEN SALEH and JUAN LUNA’s “Between Worlds” at the National Gallery Singapore, 2017–18. Courtesy National Gallery Singapore.

Between Worlds

Raden Saleh And Juan Luna

Raden Saleh and Juan Luna are cornerstone figures in 19th-century Southeast Asian art history. The two artists’ successes were unprecedented: Indonesia-born Saleh was the first person from Java to receive art training in Europe, while Luna, a Filipino artist, won the gold medal in the 1884 National Exhibition of Fine Arts in Madrid. The result of three-plus years of research, National Gallery Singapore’s exhibition, “Between Worlds,” spotlighted the two painters. The show shifted the focus away from colonial centers of power by acknowledging the importance of Saleh and Luna in the Indonesian and Philippine national imaginations, respectively. 

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