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We Are NUS

The People and Everyday Life of a University

For the National University of Singapore


We Are NUS: The People and Everyday Life of a University

Commission project for the National University of Singapore

We Are NUS is a series of sixty paintings of the people and everyday life of NUS, by artist and NUS alumnus Yeo Tze Yang. In order to collaborate directly with members of the NUS community, Tze Yang had painted most of the portraits face-to-face. During each painting session, he conversed with the subjects, and sought to bring their stories to life in each painting.

The resulting images of the university feature a diverse range of people of the university, including faculty, students, administrators, support staff and alumni. These people may range from fresh graduates, to staff who have been with the university for decades. Alongside are scenes of campus, from the daily paths taken by members of the community, a sunset over Kent Ridge, to tasty meals at the university's many canteens and cafes.
Since its founding in 1905, the university has triumphed despite numerous challenges – because the NUS family has sacrificed, persevered and given back. We Are NUS celebrates the usually unnoticed stories of the many generations of people who make up the NUS community.

As Tze Yang says, “It's my hope that this project serves as a reminder to the NUS community and beyond, of what makes a university, beyond the accolades and trophies. These many paintings capture those tiny moments and stories of the people of the university that make this institution matter to so many over its numerous decades of existence.”

Watch the short documentary about the behind-the-scenes of We Are NUS here.

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