Brother Joseph McNally: A Comparative History of One Life

Brother Joseph McNally: A Comparative History of One Life marks the centenary celebrations of one of Singapore’s foremost artist-educators, Brother Joseph McNally (1923–2002).

The exhibition undertakes a visual chronicle of Brother McNally’s developmental journey—from a young Irishman arriving in Southeast Asia as an educator in the 1940s, to the founding of LASALLE College of the Arts in the 1980s upon his retirement. Curated by Cultural Medallion recipient Milenko Prvački, the exhibition features artefacts, materials, documents and artworks, offering a glimpse into Brother McNally’s devotion to arts education, insights into his educational philosophy and why he remains a great influence on the development of the Singapore arts scene.

Supported by

A Storyteller’s Tale

Join master storyteller Kamini Ramachandran for a special guided tour of Brother Joseph McNally: A Comparative History of One Life. To book a place for a tour, email

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Encounters: Practising Innovation, Shaping Futures

Encounters: Practising Innovation, Shaping Futures explores the expansive nature of design as an experience, process and worldview. Part of Singapore Design Week, the exhibition showcases projects by design staff and students from LASALLE’s Faculty of Design. It investigates the role of designers in imagining our collective future, and recounts the journey of design education at LASALLE as pioneered by its founder Brother Joseph McNally.

Tracing Steps, Learning Journey

The Tracing Steps, Learning Journey exhibition pays tribute to LASALLE founder Brother Joseph McNally’s journey from Ireland to Singapore. It features a series of drawings responding to a trip to Brother McNally’s birthplace of Ballintubber in County Mayo, Ireland, in June and July 2023.

The works by artist-designers Edmund Chia and Vicente Delgado, lecturers from LASALLE’s Faculty of Design, are developed from sources that include ephemera collected from local charity shops and the natural elements of the land. Physical and digital drawings re-interpret what they have gathered from their visit to showcase a range of approaches, materials and techniques. This encapsulates the ethos of placing drawing as a ‘medium’ as an engine of design pedagogy at LASALLE – reflective of Brother McNally's spirit of exploration and experimentation.

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Public screenings of Brother Joe documentary

Commissioned by LASALLE College of the Arts with support from The Ireland Funds Singapore, Brother Joe is a haunting, elegiac look into the life of a man of the cloth who dared to dream beyond borders, both geographical and spiritual. He made the formalisation of contemporary arts education his personal mission in Singapore, and his faith and gumption forever revolutionised the landscape of learning for generations of artists, creatives and performers.

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McNally Memories: Finissage for Brother Joseph McNally: A Comparative History of One Life

Join LASALLE’s community of staff, students and alumni in paying tribute to Brother Joseph McNally at the closing party for the Brother Joseph McNally: A Comparative History of One Life exhibition. Hear them share personal stories and memories of Brother McNally and get to know the true spirit of the man behind the robe.

Musical Revue: Top Me Up

Fancy a tipple while a dandy gentleman serenades you with a familiar show tune from a famous Broadway musical? Or maybe you would rather be wowed by a dressed-to-the-nines diva who’s performing at such close quarters to you that you can practically catch a whiff of her perfume? Why not have it all by catching this intimate event where the cast will aim to please with a promise to sweep you off your feet with their high Cs and impeccable stage presence!

Blossoms For Brother Joe: A community art workshop and installation

Join us in this community art workshop led by LASALLE alumnus Steven Lim to transform recycled materials into beautiful blooms.

Be a part of the collaborative creation of art installation Blossoms for Brother Joe and be part of a special group of 'gardeners' to 'leaf' messages of hope. The completed work will be on public display at LASALLE's Sky Bridge from January to February 2024 as part of Singapore Art Week.

All ticket proceeds will go to the Brother Joseph McNally Student Care Fund to support students in need.

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