COMPILED BY JOEL TAN
Published on 13 April 2015
NG ENG TENG
Ng Eng Teng was one of Singapore’s pioneering sculptors, affectionately dubbed the ‘Grandfather of Singapore Sculpture’. Ng trained under Nanyang-style visual artists Georgette Chen and Liu Kang, and studied ceramics in the United Kingdom. On his return to Singapore, he worked on a prolific body of work that spanned several decades until his death in 2001. Ng produced many works of public art, most notably ‘Mother and Child’, reflecting his larger practice of giving humanist ideas dramatic and quirky physical forms. Throughout his career, Ng was a big champion of education and community-building. His well-loved Studio 106, his home and studio in Joo Chiat, was where he hosted informal gatherings of artists. It was later turned into a residency space after his death, though the house has since made way for urban redevelopment. Ng was conferred the Cultural Medallion for Art in 1981.
NANYANG ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS (NAFA)
NAFA is the oldest and most established tertiary arts education institution in Singapore. It was established in 1938 by educator, Lim Hak Tai, and a group of arts educators with the support of the Society of Chinese Artists. The school gained momentum after the post-war years, attracting to the faculty émigré artists fleeing the Japanese occupation in China, as well as Singapore-born artists like Georgette Chen. In the post-independence years, a small faculty of well-known Chinese artists taught classes to a small enrollment. The school grew in the 1980s, opening departments for interior design, music, dance and fashion, paving the way for further expansion in the ’90s into a full-fledged multi-disciplinary art school. In 2004, NAFA moved into its own purpose-built premises at Bencoolen Street. Notable alumni include sculptors Ng Eng Teng and Han Sai Por, as well as painter Ang Ah Tee.
NECESSARY STAGE, THE
One of Singapore’s most prominent theatre companies, The Necessary Stage (TNS) was formed in 1987 by current artistic director Alvin Tan. The seed of the company was a National University of Singapore campus theatre group, where Tan, resident playwright Haresh Sharma and other collaborators met. Over the years Tan and Sharma evolved TNS into an award-winning theatre company with a strong reputation for staging socially-conscious work. The company premiered several of Sharma’s plays that are regarded classics of the Singapore stage, notably Those Who Can’t, Teach (1990) and Off Centre (1993). Both Sharma and Tan are recipients of the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Awards, conferred in 1997 and 1998 respectively. TNS also organises and curates the annual M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, a creative platform for local and international artists.