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Tang Da Wu

Bumiputra.jpg

Tang Da Wu | Singapore b.1943 | Bumiputra 2005–06 | Chinese ink | 15 sheets: 105 x 75cm (each) | The Kenneth and Yasuko Myer Collection of Contemporary Asian Art. | Purchased 2008 with funds from Michael Sidney Myer through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Tang Da Wu, Bumiputra 2005-06

Tang Da Wu 
Singapore b.1943
Bumiputra  2005–06
Chinese ink
15 sheets: 105 x 75cm (each)
The Kenneth and Yasuko Myer Collection of Contemporary Asian Art.
Purchased 2008 with funds from Michael Sidney Myer through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Tang Da Wu 

Bumiputra  2005–06

Tang Da Wu is a key figure in the development of contemporary art in Singapore. He was instrumental in establishing the influential artist’s collective The Artists Village in the late 1980s, and his role in promoting performance art and collaborative work has been recognised throughout Asia. His performances, installations, drawings and ink paintings have consistently addressed social and environmental issues, including processes of deforestation and urban transformation in Singapore.

The rapid development of the city–state since the 1960s has resulted in the erosion of many communities, including their dismantling and relocation through rehousing programs and gentrification. This set of ink paintings, titled Bumiputra (Malay for ‘son of the soil’, or original inhabitant), features a range of portraits of colleagues and neighbours from the northern suburb of Hougang, which was developed from forests and pig farms into a residential ‘new town’ in the 1980s. The paintings record its local inhabitants, from artists to street hawkers, gathered around the central image of a well, the traditional meeting place for the community.