Visual Arts Centre


Inwards vs. Outwards

29 September to 3 October 2017


Two artists jointly present more than 30 pieces of oil paintings with a focus on human portraits through which they question human identity by touching on the topics of heritage, the self, changing perspectives and shared vision.

Nicole Fabry’s work is characterised by her experiences and adventures of world travelling. After living in four countries across three continents, she has observed different cultures.

Michelle Ma’s new series of “prominent early 20 century female Chinese portraits” in the exhibition will be, on one hand, the showcase of her own journey of connecting herself with her Manchurian family root. On the other hand, questioning the tradition and its impact on each individual.

10% of the exhibition sales will be donated to The Red Pencil, a NGO helping children, adults and families through art therapy.

Exhibition View


Michelle Ma

Michelle Ma (b. 1978, North East China) is a Singapore-based Chinese artist. She was trained in the Traditional Chinese Ink Painting (Xie Yi, “写意”) at the age of eight by a Chinese Master. Upon graduation from the University, she started her professional career in one of Fortune Global 500 in Beijing in 2001. After few posts in various cities in China, she was given an opportunity to work in Singapore as a commercial professional in 2007.

In 2015, she decided to leave the corporate world after 13 years to pursue a much delayed childhood dream, to be a full-time artist. Coming from the mainland Chinese, she believes that there are a lot more to be appreciated about China and she hopes that her art work will be able to help China’s rich heritage culture reach out to more people and create more understanding about this beautiful ancient nation.

The current collection of “Prominent Female Chinese portraits” is Michelle’s newest China historical icon series. “Their names and stories are known in China but I want more people to know about those legendary lives as they are the reflection of certain era in the history.”, said Michelle Ma.

One year after her debut art exhibition at The Substation in Singapore in 2016, her art work have been purchased by people from US, UK, Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, Greece, Singapore, China and more.

Michelle Ma lives in Singapore with her husband and two young children.

Nicole Fabry

Born in Belgium, I spent my youth in a family of art lovers. In 1991, I started my journey in the world. As a cultural nomad, I have lived in several continents and many cities. With a background in Human Resources and intercultural coaching, I have a genuine interest and passion for people.

I am a self-thought artist; I have no formal art education, but I learned through observation and perseverant practice. Whenever and wherever I could, I took art classes. For example, in Chicago I joined the Dupage Art League. In Paris I was an habituée at the Academie Grande Chaumière for life drawing sessions and I also followed figurative painting at the Ateliers des Beaux-Arts. In Singapore, I found my second home at My Art Space. I work in various mediums, ranging from charcoal to pastel, acrylic and oil painting.

I am very excited to have a dual solo exhibition with my friend, Michelle Ma. Michelle and me were drawn to each other’s style of work. We both enjoy painting portraits.

We left our cultures in exploration of broader horizons but often have to come back to self-discovery and awareness. That’s what we have in common. In the discovery of others, we recognize ourselves. In our roots, we find humanity. This is the dichotomy of inwards vs. outwards, reflected in our work. Michelle is looking closer to her roots and culture and history, while I am looking outwards, striving to belong to larger community and humanity, beyond borders, in order to seek faces that speak intuitively.

Our exhibition takes you on this journey with us. In the discovery of the other, in our portraits, we hope you will also discover something about yourselves.


Exhibition Details

Inwards vs Outwards: A Dual Solo Art Exhibition by Nicole Fabry and Michelle Ma
29 Sep – 3 Oct 2017 I 11am – 8pm I Visual Arts Centre I Free admission

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