Bringing Sembawang’s myths, legends and development to life

06 September - 03 November 2019
The Ngee Ann Kongsi Galleries 1 & 2, NAFA Campus 1, 80 Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189655

Tang Da Wu
Detail of Sembagraphie tapestry, 2019

Tang Da Wu’s Sembawang: The D. D. Land and Sembagraphie
Sembawang: The D. D. Land: 6 – 29 September 2019
Sembagraphie: 5 October – 3 November 2019
The Ngee Ann Kongsi Galleries 1 & 2
NAFA Campus 1, 80 Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189655
11am - 7pm daily
Free Admission

Official Opening
Thursday, 5 September 2019, 6pm
The Ngee Ann Kongsi Galleries 1 & 2

Special Guests
Dr John Chia, Oncologist, Curie Oncology
Mr Teo Han Wue, Independent Curator
Ms Xin Xiaochang, NAFA Fine Art Lecturer
Mr Chua Poh Leng, NAFA Fine Art Adjunct Lecturer

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) is proud to present “Sembawang: The D. D. Land” and “Sembagraphie”, an exhibition double bill by pioneer contemporary artist Tang Da Wu, showcasing the artist’s reflections of the site of Singapore’s first artist community The Artist’s Village (TAV).

The first exhibition “Sembawang: The D. D. Land” will be held from 6 to 29 September 2019. The titles of several exhibits take reference from the locale which the exhibition is named after, such as “Sembawang”, “Admiralty House”, “Shipyard” and “Island”. Central to the showcase is “Sembawang: The D. D. Land”, a nearly 3m-tall tree trunk containing 40 drawings documenting the artist’s reflections and memories accumulated from the year he returned from the UK. In addition, a 9kg tapestry on canvas titled “Sembagraphie” is inspired by Picasso’s “Guernica” featuring familiar motifs of the eye, horse and human figures. Stitchen Haus da Opera will be putting up a performance of the same name at the opening event.

The second exhibition “Sembagraphie” will be held from 5 October to 3 November 2019 and will showcase Tang’s journal of Sembawang. 100 drawings and video documentaries illustrate his personal experiences and observations of this unique landscape.

The exhibition double bill presents another landmark show by Tang since his last solo at NAFA two years ago. Tang’s artistic practice explores national and cultural identities and his works are often commentaries on social and environmental issues. The subject of this exhibition double bill is Sembawang, an area located at the northern tip of the Singapore island. The area holds a special connection for the artist. He founded TAV in 1988 which occupied a 1.6ha space in the area until 1990. TAV was pivotal to Singapore’s contemporary art development and was a springboard for many of Singapore’s seminal contemporary artists such as Vincent Leow, Amanda Heng, Zai Kuning, Jason Lim and Cultural Medallion recipient Lee Wen.

Dr Bridget Tracy Tan, Director of Institute of Southeast Asian Arts and Art Galleries at NAFA said, “This exhibition in some ways conceptualizes the memories of Da Wu and the historic legacy of TAV, while enumerating the rigours of contemporary practice as vivid and authentic expression. “Don’t make art, make questions,” Tang Da Wu reiterates. His self-reflection is a stirring surface on the water that can only yield when everything becomes still once more, long after the ripples and cascades settle, if only for a moment.”

Several public programmes will be held in conjunction with the visual showcases. “Southeast Asian Art Clinic VI: Tang Da Wu” is the sixth instalment of art clinic at NAFA, a platform which facilitates dialogue between students and artists. In this instalment, the dialogue will explore Tang’s statement “Don’t Make Art. Make Questions.” In addition, student presenters from the School of Art and Design will also analyse the artist’s installations through expression, language and form.

An Art Students’ Seminar, which evolved from previous dialogue sessions that were inspired by Tang’s advocacy of art teaching as a means of nurturing future generations, will also be held.

This showcase of works by an extraordinary local artist as well as the accompanying gamut of activities are part of NAFA’s ongoing initiatives to enrich the learning experience and creatively inspire the academy’s students, artists, and faculty, strengthening NAFA’s position as a premier arts institution in Singapore and the region.

Annex 1 – Selected works and details of Tang Da Wu’s Sembawang: The D.D. Land and Sembagraphie
Annex 2 - About the Artist

Exhibition Details

Public Programmes
Southeast Asian Art Clinic VI: Tang Da Wu
Wednesday, 11 September 2019, 4 – 6pm
This sixth instalment of Art Clinic explores a statement by the artist – ‘Don't Make Art. Make Questions'. Student presenters from the School of Art & Design will also analyse the artist's installations through expression, language and form. Please register your interest with [email protected]

Exhibition Performance
Saturday, 5 October 2019, 7pm – 8pm
Stitchen Haus da Opera will be performing ‘Stitchen Stitch’ at the foyer.*

Art Students' Seminar – ‘What Students Want in Art Lessons’
Tuesday, 8 October 2019, 12.15pm – 2.25pm
Tuesday, 15 October 2019, 12.25 – 2.25pm
In 2017, a series of Art Teachers' Seminar was organised during Hak Tai's Bow, Brother's Pool and Our Children: Tang Da Wu exhibitions. These series of dialogue sessions will evolve to seminars for art students.

There will also be a series of workshops by Tang Da Wu on how an artist works and thinks. Sessions are to be arranged upon request.

*All events are held at The Ngee Ann Kongsi Galleries 1 & 2 unless otherwise stated.
Admission is free.
Please register your interest with [email protected]