Hak Tai’s Bow, Brother’s Pool and Our Children: Tang Da Wu is a two-part exhibition featuring three series of work that make up the name of the show. The first part consists of Hak Tai’s Bow and Brother’s Pool (4 August to 4 September) while the second part will present Children’s Pool (8 September – 8 October).
The overarching concept that drives the show seems to be teaching figures. Part 1 is billed as a tribute to Lim Hak Tai and Brother Joseph McNally, the founding principals for NAFA and LASALLE respectively. Part 2 is described as a showcase of works that illustrate Tang Da Wu’s teaching experiences over the years. As the founder of The Artists Village (TAV), one of the most influential artist collectives in Singapore from the 1980s to the present, Tang stands alongside Lim and Brother McNally as a significant figure of art education in Singapore.
The exhibition itself is a blend of conventional “art objects” and processual works that express a certain desire to achieve effective pedagogy. The skeletal nature of Six horses representing the six principles by Lim Hak Tai for art education is echoed in a drawing of a similar horse skeleton on the side. Heavily annotated, this drawing is similar to the kind of image we might find in anatomy or general medical studies, casting an educational light to the sculptures.
On this side of the gallery, there is also an area demarcated “Art Teacher’s Seminar”. A site that is literally used for a seminar with trainee art teachers by Tang, exploring its objects is sadistically delightful. The ex-student will find great pleasure in knowing that their teachers are equally messy and confused, though not exactly completely disorganised.
Through workshops, performances and other activities, this first part of the show transitions easily into one about Tang’s practice. Opening next week, it is definitely a show worth looking out for, for artists, students and collectors looking to understand the life and work of an artist outside of their art objects.
Hak Tai’s Bow, Brother’s Pool and Our Children: Tang Da Wu
4 August to 4 September, 8 September to 8 October 2017
The Ngee Ann Kongsi Galleries 1 & 2
NAFA Campus 1
80 Bencoolen Street
11am – 7pm
Closed on Public Holidays