Culture within an inch of stone

25 April 2019
Lim Hak Tai Gallery, NAFA Campus 1, 80 Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189655

Celebrating the artistry of seal carving at NAFA

Left: "风月与共" is a leisure seal carved in a natural stone from Kluang, Malaysia 南山石 created by artist Tan Kian Por in 2014. Right: Seal imprint

The Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) is proud to present "Within a square inch: the art of seal carving", an exhibition featuring artist seals and paintings on loan from artists; with a selection drawn from NAFA's permanent collection as well as the Shi Xiang Tuo Collection and Celebrity Collection that are part of NAFA's Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Library's holdings.

The highlight of the exhibition are the seals, where the art form of seal carving, remains a cornerstone of traditional Chinese painting, calligraphy and poetry that has been in practice for well over 2500 years. The works in this exhibition were created by accomplished seal carvers, ink painters and calligraphers who have played a unique role in reflecting the Nanyang story. They offer a glimpse of how this ancient art form has come to this region while their works illustrate the evolution of such soon after the founding of NAFA into a still relevant, significant and highly contemporary practice today.

Mr Lim Hak Tai, the founding principal of NAFA was a passionate art educator and a visionary. His influence had inspired eminent scholar-artists such as See Hiang To to come to Singapore and teach at NAFA, where he remained for over 4 decades. See and his fellow artist-educators imparted their artistic ideals of personal integrity and aspirations, influencing a generation of renowned artists like Cultural Medallion recipients Wee Beng Chong and Tan Kian Por, as well as accomplished ink painter and seal carver Tan Kee Sek. These luminaries are recognised for their artistic excellence and are deeply involved in art education. They have continued to nurture and groom the next generation of artists, whose works are also featured in the exhibition. This more recent generation of practitioners include Tay Bak Chiang, Chung Chen Sun and Poon Lian.

In conjunction with the exhibition, final year students in the Diploma of Dance Programme will present "The Art of Seal Carving - A Movement Improvisation Perspective", an experimental dance performance that showcases the appreciation of the art of seal carving through the lens of dance. This cross-disciplinary collaboration significantly enriches a single discipline, and reflects NAFA's ongoing initiatives where students engage critically with the history and artworks of various practices, in the context of our regional arts scene.

The performances will take place at the Lim Hak Tai Gallery on 18 April, at 4.45pm and 5.45pm.

Exhibition Details
Within a square inch: the art of seal carving
17 April - 12 May 2019
Lim Hak Tai Gallery
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Campus 1
11am - 7pm
Closed every Monday
Free Admission

Annex A - Biographies of artists
Annex B - Selected Works