Nanyang spirit spurs school’s success

29 May 2018
The Straits Times, Life! Page D1 & D2

Sculptor Han Sai Por, painter, printmaker and sculptor Lim Yew Kuan and painter Thomas Yeo were students at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa). All three are recipients of the Cultural Medallion.

The Straits Times did a feature on Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts as the institution celebrates its 80th anniversary this year (2018). The story detailed the school’s history, challenges and achievements through the 80 years.  About 14,000 students have graduated from Singapore’s oldest arts education institution, including 13 Cultural Medallion awardees, such as sculptor Han Sai Por and painter Thomas Yeo, as well as 14 Young Artist Award recipients such as multi-disciplinary artist Ezzam Rahman, 37, and theatre practitioner Goh Boon Teck, 46. The strong school spirit is evident from the fact that quite a few of its alumni returned to teach, including Han, 74.

The reporter also interviewed three Cultural Medallion winners - Lim Yew Kuan, Thomas Yeo and Han Sai Por - who shared their experiences at Nafa. Lim took over his father, Lim Hak Tai, who was Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts’ founding principal, and steered it through some of its most difficult times in the 1960s and 1970s. Yeo met his mentor, the late Singapore pioneer artist Cheong Soo Pieng, at Nafa, and was touched by his mentor’s discipline and love for painting and tried to inculcate this spirit in himself. Cheong also gave his disciple a good foundation by teaching him all about composition and the way paintings are created. Han, who majored in Western painting and took supplementary courses in Chinese painting at Nafa, also shared that the academy helped her grow in confidence.

View the full article here.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.