Tang Da Wu (1943 - )
A prominent figure in the local art scene, Tang Da Wu was born in 1943 in Singapore. In 1970, he left for England to study sculpture at the School of Fine Art, Birmingham Polytechnic and obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1974. He then furthered his studies in sculpture, enrolling in Advanced Studies in Sculpture at Saint Martin’s School of Art. In 1985, he received his Master of Fine Art from Goldsmith College, University of London. Throughout his time in the U.K., Tang performed extensively and continued to work in performance art after he returned to Singapore. In 1988, he started The Artists Village, an art collective that makes art, holds exhibition and organises performances, while discussing and challenging boundaries of art in Singapore. Spearheaded by Tang, several of Singapore’s iconic contemporary artists joined The Artist Village and they were amount the first to practice installation and performance art in Singapore. Later in 2017, Tang founded performance art group Stitchen Haus da Opera.
Tang’s works are often provocative as he raises contemporary issues and urges his audiences to be involved and take action. A multidisciplinary artist, his works and performances have gained him recognition and won him awards such as the Visual Arts Award from the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1978 and the 10th Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in Arts and Culture in 1999. He has also participated in numerous exhibitions around the world and to date has held more than 30 solo exhibitions. Besides creating art, Tang is also an educator who passionately encourages his students to express themselves unapologetically through art. He has taught at various schools while in the United Kingdom and was an adjunct lecturer at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and LASELLE College of the Arts in the late 1980s. Since 2000, he has also been teaching part-time at the National Institute of Education at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.