Arts News

University of the Arts Singapore unveils its logo at the inaugural UAS Arts Symposium

The long-awaited University of the Arts Singapore (UAS), Singapore’s first arts university, has revealed its logo at the inaugural UAS Arts Symposium. The logo was unveiled by Minister for Education, Mr Chan Chun Sing, in the presence of over 450 arts educators and partners from government agencies, industry and cultural organisations, as they gathered to discuss the transformation of the arts as a collective mission.

Designed in collaboration with award-winning branding agency Foreign Policy Design Group, the logo encapsulates the ‘dynamic spirit of an arts education and its nature to never stand still’. The curved handle on the ‘A’ brings warmth and friendliness whilst symbolising both the creator and beholder of art, resembling both the tip of a pencil or the shape of an eye. The main colour, UAS Magenta, merges red and sky blue, which respectively symbolise Singapore and the desire to bring their influence to the world. The logo can also be reconfigured into different permutations to reflect the dynamism of an arts education.

Mr Lito Camacho, Chairperson of UAS Board of Trustees, said: “We are excited to launch the UAS logo today which gives a visual identity to our educational mission. The logo symbolises our commitment to fostering creativity, innovation, and excellence in arts education. I am also personally pleased to witness the enthusiasm of so many arts educators coming together to discuss common challenges at this symposium.”

Unveiling the launch of the UAS logo (L-R): LASALLE President, Professor Steve Dixon; LASALLE Chairman, Mr Peter Seah; UAS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kwok Kian Woon; Minister for Education Mr Chan Chun Sing; UAS Chairman, Mr Lito Camacho; NAFA Chairman, Ms Low Sin Leng; NAFA President, Mrs Tan-Soh Wai Lan

The Guest-of-Honour for the event, Minister for Education Mr Chan Chun Sing, shared his vision for UAS, noting in his opening speech at the symposium: “At a time when we are confronted with a world increasingly fragmented by different ideologies, political and economic systems, UAS must be an institution which draws strength from a diversity of ideas, people, and partners. It is my hope that it will be a bridging force that brings people and cultures across borders together, through arts education and practice.”

The establishment of UAS is a milestone in Singapore’s tertiary arts education, building on the legacies and strengths of its two founding members, LASALLE College of the Arts (LASALLE) and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). In the spirit of close partnership, the unveiling of the UAS logo was accompanied with visuals created by LASALLE’s School of Design Communication, together with a performance by students and staff from NAFA’s Faculty of Performing Arts. NAFA’s students, staff and alumni also put up a collaborative music and dance performance in the afternoon, titled “Guo Fan Ge (Songs of Overseas Migration)” in acknowledgement of the country’s early years. The event closed with two musical numbers from LASALLE’s BA (Hons) Musical Theatre students.

Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing giving an opening address at UAS Arts Symposium

UAS will validate, confer, and award degrees offered by both LASALLE and NAFA. New programmes offered by both institutions will be announced in the coming months, with applications opening in August 2023 for the first student intake commencing in August 2024.

With the launch of its logo, the university also took the opportunity to show appreciation and recognition for Mr Lim Hak Tai, the founding principal of NAFA, and Brother Joseph McNally, the founder of LASALLE, as well as the contributions of ten senior arts educators who have nurtured generations of artists, practitioners, and researchers.

These arts educators were selected for their diversity of art forms, impact and mentorship, contributions, length of service and scholarship. The educators, who come from a diversity of disciplines, include:

  • Mr Choy Weng Yang (Fine Art)
  • Madam Goh Lay Kuan (Dance)
  • Ms Han Sai Por (Sculpture)
  • Mr Iskandar Jalil (Pottery)
  • Mr Lim Yau (Music)
  • Mr Milenko Prvacki (Contemporary Art)
  • Mr T. Sasitharan (Theatre)
  • Mr T. K. Sabapathy (Art history)
  • Mr Teo Eng Seng (Sculpture)
  • Mr Wee Beng Chong (Fine Art)
UAS Vice-Chancellor Professor Kwok Kian Woon giving a keynote speech at UAS Arts Symposium

In his keynote address, UAS Vice-Chancellor Professor Kwok Kian Woon highlighted the special qualities of the arts as reflected in the life experiences of artists, as well as key challenges for arts education in the face of global crises and technological advancement. He shared a vision of arts practitioners, educators and partners collaborating across institutions, communities, and industries. Professor Kwok said, “Strengthened by a mission approach, each member of the community plays a role in shaping lifelong vocations and contributing to the public good. Singapore’s location in Southeast Asia also enables our arts practitioners and educators to draw creatively from major civilisations and make new connections with peoples from the region and the rest of the world.”

During the panel discussions, senior institutional leaders and arts educators from diverse disciplines weighed in on core priorities and the implications for practice, pedagogy, and research in the arts. The Presidents of LASALLE and NAFA shared their views on the challenges and opportunities ahead in arts education, especially as the two colleges strengthen their alliance as the founding members of UAS.

Arts Educators Appreciation (L-R): Mr Iskandar Jalil, Senior Arts Educator; Suriani Suratman, Mentee

Professor Steve Dixon, President of LASALLE, said: “LASALLE is very proud to be a founding member of the University of the Arts Singapore. From the beginning, the College has championed the significance of the arts to transform lives, make a difference in society, and embody the spirit of a young and vibrant nation. The opening of UAS affirms these values and heralds a bold new era for Singapore. It is my great hope that LASALLE’s strengths in contemporary arts and design education will continue playing a part in elevating the cultural industries not only locally, but in the region and beyond.”

NAFA President Mrs Tan-Soh Wai Lan shared the academy’s priorities on arts education, focusing on future-proofing its graduates in a VUCA world. She said, “As arts education and pedagogy have to evolve in tandem with technological advances, we need to continually broaden our perspectives on arts education. While technical skills are the springboard for creativity and knowledge exchange, the key skill of the future is the ability to think and to work collaboratively to create–this is what NAFA is focused on through its interdisciplinary programmes and curriculum. Above all, empathy and the human touch remains essential to how NAFA nurtures the next generation of change makers.”

University of the Arts Singapore officially opens in August 2024, with applications open from 2023. More information available here

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