Benny Ong: Walking the Thought

Benny Ong: Walking the Thought

Exhibition Information

Opening Day3 August 2017, Thursday
Period6 August - 24 September 2017
Location 51 Waterloo,

In celebration of Singapore’s 52nd anniversary of independence, The Private Museum is proud to present Benny Ong: Walking the Thought. This solo exhibition marks the first showcase of works by the renowned fashion designer and textile artist, Benny Ong at The Private Museum.

Along with other textile works centred on Buddhist themes, the exhibition revisits a series of Ong’s older works from his inaugural textile exhibition titled, Re-woven: A Celebration of Lives opened at the Singapore Arts Museum a decade ago. Ong’s artistic practice traces back to the roots of his spiritual. The body of textile works is a reflection of the artist’s interpretation of the Buddha’s teachings based on inner contemplation, peace, dualism, compassion and meditation.

Although the series of textile works was inspired by the values and teachings of Buddhism, the exhibition reveals a deeper layer of Ong’s artistic practice. Through the use of succinct imagery, Ong bridges his spiritual beliefs with art making— compelling the viewer to get a closer glimpse of the thought process behind his artistic practice.

Programme Documentation

Programme Media

About the Collaboration


Artist Benny Ong,
Benny Ong (b.1949, Singapore) is a Singaporean fashion designer and textile artist. His fashion work is produced under his own label, The Ong, which is sold in Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, and throughout Europe. Ong has also designed uniforms for the British Airports Authority, British Telecom, Raffles Hotel in Singapore, and he has remodelled the clothes of security staff at leading hotels in Beijing, ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. His private clients have included Princess Diana, the Duchess of Kent, Queen Noor of Jordan, and Shakira Caine. Ong is a graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins and is a founding member of the London Designer Collections.

In the early 2000s, Ong made the switch from fashion designing to contemporary textile art. In 2007, he presented the exhibition, Re-woven at the Singapore Art Museum. It comprised 46 pieces of silk textiles based on the art of Lao weaving. In 2015, Ong received the Singapore Design Golden Jubilee Award. In January 2016, Ong, in collaboration with a family of master Laotian weavers, presented The Pioneering Spirit at Raffles Hotel, an exhibition of 21 woven textiles, including the S$10,000 “The Shirt”, featuring Lee Kuan Yew in his iconic white shirt in the shape of Singapore.

Programme Outreach

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Accompanied by the essay writer of the exhibition, Kang Siew Kheng, the artist will discuss his journey from fashion to art and the relationship between his spiritual beliefs and artistic practice. Participants of the talk will get the opportunity to get to know the artist and find out more about his thoughts, visions and experiences.

Programme Publication