ShanghART Singapore is honoured to present Tang Da Wu’s first solo exhibition with ShanghART Gallery, “3, 4, 5, I Don’t Like Fine Art”, opening on 29 July 2023 with a live performance by the artist at 4.30pm. Featuring new works inspired by his personal experiences as an artist, the exhibition showcases several sculptural installations that tell the story of Tang’s life journey with art.
From his very first painting exhibition in 1970, to Earth Work (1980) upon his first return from studying overseas, to co-founding The Artists Village (1988), Tang has been a constant presence in the development of Singapore’s contemporary art scene. Working tirelessly and staying true to himself as an artist through the years, Tang continues to contribute to the growth of the art scene by sharing his knowledge and experiences with the next generations, having been teaching at the National Institute of Education for the past twenty years.
Following up on his series of double-bill exhibitions at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in the recent years, Tang continues to draw upon local mythologies, art history, recurring motifs such as the phoenix, while looking inwards at his personal art practice spanning over five decades in creating this new series of works.
At 80 years of age, Tang’s unwavering dedication to art can be seen through his sustained focus in making art every day, as he continues to hold the belief that art “should provoke thoughts, not to please the eyes or to entertain, much less for decoration." With his artistic vision, the installation works command a strong presence within the gallery space, captivating the audience and inviting us into his world.
About the Artist
Tang Da Wu (b. 1943) currently lives and works in Singapore. Chinese-educated while growing up in Singapore post-World War II, Tang attained a Diploma in Youth and Community Works as the first graduating cohort of the National Youth Leadership Institute in 1968. While not professionally trained in art, Tang enjoyed drawing and actively practised painting while learning from more established painters.
Following his first solo exhibition of drawings and paintings in 1970, Tang sought to further his artistic pursuits by studying abroad. He received a BFA in sculpture from the School of Fine Art, Birmingham Polytechnic (now Birmingham Institute of Art and Design) in 1974 and pursued advanced studies in sculpture at Saint Martin’s School of Art (now Central Saint Martins) from 1974-75. In 1985, he received an MFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London.
After returning to Singapore in 1979, Tang began to work in performance art, and in 1988, cofounded The Artists Village, a collective committed to promoting experimental art through the provision of studio and exhibition space. In 2017, he started the performance art group Stichen Haus da Opera, comprising more than 60 art educators, students, and fellow local artists. Through performance, installation, painting, and drawing, Tang explores social and environmental themes including deforestation, animal endangerment, and urban transformation.
Tang has performed and exhibited widely in countries such as England, Japan, Germany, Australia, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. He was featured in the Singapore Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007), and also participated in the 3rd Gwangju Biennale (2000); the 1st Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial (2000); the 1st Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial (1999); and the 1st Johannesberg Biennale (1995). His works are in major institutional and private collections worldwide, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; and the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka.
Related Artists: TANG DA WU 唐大雾