Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) celebrates its 85th anniversary in 2023, marking its achievements in advancing arts and design practice across the region, and beyond. The academy’s forefront curriculum and world-class partnerships have consistently propelled it to new heights, underscoring its drive as a leading institution. Since 1938, NAFA has produced more than 15,000 graduates, with 13 Cultural Medallion recipients and 15 Young Artist Award recipients, and many winners of prestigious international competitions such as Cannes Lions, Prix de la Photographie, Paris, Red Dot Design Awards, and Venice Biennale, illustrating the academy’s rich heritage and strong traditions rooted in its Southeast Asian identity.
To engage communities across the world, NAFA has lined up a year-long schedule of celebrative events, art exhibitions, as well as the launch of a refreshed brand that marks the academy’s next era of success and growth. Highlights include exhibitions such as NAFA Hui Chun 挥春 2023, Yong Mun Sen in Nanyang and The Grad Expectations 2023; a Charity Art Camp and an array of performances and fundraisers such as Arts in Motion – NAFA Virtual Challenge and NAFA’s 85th Anniversary Fundraising Gala Dinner––all set to provide exceptional and astounding art experiences for the communities.
Arts in Motion – NAFA Virtual Challenge [1 – 26 Feb 2023]
Inaugurating its celebrations is the academy’s first ever fundraising fitness challenge, Arts in Motion – NAFA Virtual Challenge. In bid to raise $100,000, the month-long fundraiser encourages corporations and individuals to walk, run or cycle. All proceeds will go towards the NAFA Development Fund––established to enhance campus infrastructure while forging a dynamic learning environment for aspiring artists and creatives. The Challenge will culminate in a Walkathon at Pasir Ris Park, held in conjunction with the NAFA Fun Day at Wild Wild Wet on 3 Mar. Registration is open here.
NAFA Hui Chun 挥春 2023 [28 Jan – 5 Feb 2023]
莲花 (Lotus) by Cultural Medallion awardee Tay Chee Toh will be showcased at the exhibition.
In conjunction with the festive Lunar New Year, the academy presents NAFA Hui Chun 挥春 2023 on 28 Jan. Jointly organised with NAFA Alumni Association, the庆 Celebration exhibition celebrates the academy’s strong legacy, featuring art pieces from over 20 renowned alumni and distinguished artists such as Tan Siah Kwee, Tay Chee Toh and the late Tan Kian Por. Guests can watch the masters in action as they create calligraphy and ink works live in the gallery. Alongside the annual festive exhibition, an online gallery will be available from 16 Jan – 5 Feb for greater accessibility to view the artworks. The works will be for sale, with proceeds going towards the NAFA Development Fund to enhance campus facilities and resources.
85th Anniversary Fundraising Gala Dinner [ Sep 2023]
The concluding centrepiece of NAFA’s anniversary celebrations is its 85th Anniversary Fundraising Gala Dinner. Guests will be treated to an evening of merriment and delectable dining, for a meaningful cause. The night unfolds with an epic multi-sensory immersive arts experience by NAFA talents; showcasing our young artists and performers’ quality training at the academy. Additionally, a charity auction of original works from prominent NAFA artists will be held in support of NAFA Development Fund.
Mrs Tan-Soh Wai Lan, President of NAFA shared her aspirations for this year’s celebrations, “NAFA’s 85th anniversary marks an important milestone for our institution, as stewards of the arts, from one generation to another, across cultures and geographical boundaries. As we look to honour the academy's rich history and pioneering spirit of our Founders, we will remain steadfast in nurturing the brightest creative talents and thought leaders in the arts. Above all, we will ride on the great sense of esprit de corps among our communities to realise our aspirations and inspire future changemakers to lead and create with courage.”
In support of its momentous anniversary, NAFA has also unveiled a rejuvenated brand identity that reflects its forward ambitions while staying true to its values and mission. Included in the revitalised branding is a new logo, as well as an updated website (www.nafa.edu.sg). Activities related to NAFA’s 85th anniversary are featured on NAFA’s website, as well as on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram.
ANNEX 1 – Background Information
ANNEX 2 – Event Highlights
ANNEX 3 – Prominent NAFA Alumni