In November and December of 2017, ACJC Art students and teachers joined local artist Tang Da Wu as members of the performance art group Station House da Opera as embroiders and performers in his performance piece, Our Children.
Presented at the Esplanade Forecourt Garden, the work consisted of an embroidered canvas and a performance to speak about the nurturing and education of future generations. The act of embroidery can be represented by the Chinese saying “一针一线” which translates into “One needle, one thread”, describing its meticulous, monotonous, painstaking process. Members of Station House da Opera and the public, stitch by stitch, threaded a towering image that was the centrepiece of the performance — an image of a mother sheep nursing her lamb; the image and medium a representation of the undertaking of a mother nurturing her child and an educator imparting knowledge and skills to their student, done completely by the demographics it talks about: students, teachers, children, parents. A reminder of the effort and the value of the work we must place in growing the next generation.
Our Children- a performance art piece
As a performance piece, Our Children used a combination of movement, music, voice, and props in addition to the embroidered canvas during the performance on 2 December 2017. This new experience was a good hands-on opportunity to learn about what we study. The experience shed light on the interplay between art forms in a performance piece, showing A level art theory put into practice. But moreover, the experience, a first foray into performance art for many of us, nurtured us as young artists by allowing each and every one of us to turn Our Children into something of our own. Though Our Children was his brainchild, Tang encouraged discussion and suggestion throughout the whole process. His mindset towards nurturing art education and appreciation meant he encouraged open dialogue. As rehearsals progressed, anyone could make suggestions to the performance. Additionally, each performer had the latitude to interpret sequenced actions, injecting a personal touch, whether in cooing to and cuddling an imaginary baby we were supposed to be carrying, or choosing our own favourite childhood playground games to play as children running around. The experience has not only encouraged us to engage the art scene in Singapore as active contributors but has opened our eyes as artists.
The process of creation
The ACJC Art community is extremely grateful to Tang and the members of Station House da Opera for the unique opportunity to be a part of and learn from Our Children, and looks forward to even more involvement in local art in the future.
To further our learning and experience, ACJC Art also went to Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre to visit Art Stage Singapore on the 26th January 2018. Art State Singapore is a flagship art fair of Southeast Asia that showcased the works of Asia’s best contemporary artists. Displayed was a vast range of art forms such as fine art, sculptures, interactive works, installation pieces, film and performance art created by both local and international artists. Each work provided an insightful experience as they touched on a variety of topics and subjects (society, politics, etc). The class thoroughly enjoyed the works which reflected the diverse regional and global art scenes. The experience greatly enhanced our understanding and interest in Southeast Asian contemporary art.
To God Be The Glory, The Best Is Yet To Be.!
Gillian Goh (H2 Art Student, Class of 2017)
Jolene Loh (H2 Art student, Class of 2018)