Date   :   Friday, 17 October 2008


Time  :   6.30pm


Venue :   The Istana


Guest-of-Honour   :   President of Singapore, His Excellency S R Nathan


On 17 October, the 2008 Cultural Medallion will be conferred on two literary artists, Chia Hwee Pheng and P. Krishnan, and musician, Iskandar Mirza Ismail, by the President of Singapore, His Excellency S R Nathan. Accompanying the artistic luminaries are five Young Artist Award recipients who will receive their accolades from the Senior Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts, RADM (NS) Lui Tuck Yew. 


The Cultural Medallion is Singapore’s highest honour for the arts conferred on artists who have achieved artistic excellence. Since its institution in 1979, 90 artists have been given this distinction.


Chia Hwee Pheng is an accomplished poet and novelist. He is a winner of many major awards including the Golden Lion Literary Awards and the National Book Development Council of Singapore’s Book Awards. He has published eight books: one collection of essays, four collections of fiction and three collections of poetry. His literary works are studied in Singapore schools and as a thesis subject at university.  He is currently the President of the Singapore Association of Writers and the Vice President of the World Chinese Mini-Fiction Research Association.


A recipient of the prestigious Southeast Asian Write Award in 2005, P. Krishnan has written close to 40 short stories, 360 plays and 100 essays over a span of more than 50 years.  In recognition of his writing, he was honoured with the Thamizhavel Award by the Association of Singapore Tamil Writers in 1998, Community Arts & Literary Award by the United Indian Muslim Association in 2000, Community Literary Award by the Singapore Tamilian Association in 2002, and Tamil Literary Award by the Tamil Language & Cultural Society in 2006.


Multi-talented Iskandar Mirza Ismail is a composer, arranger, conductor, music director, artistic director, producer, performer and educator.  Recognised not only in Singapore but also regionally and internationally, he has arranged and conducted for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Istana Budaya Orchestra (Malaysia), Bangkok Symphony Orchestra and China National Opera & Ballet Orchestra.  He was the recipient of Malay newspaper Berita Harian’s Achiever of the Year (2003) for Arts. In 2007, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the London College of Music, Thames Valley University.


Recipients are eligible for the Cultural Medallion Grant which assists them in embarking on new projects that will contribute to raising their profile, and support creation of original works. 


The Young Artist Award recognises artists, aged 35 years and below, who have shown promise of artistic excellence. Introduced in 1992 to encourage the development of new artistic talent in Singapore, this award has been accorded to 91 artists to date. The recipients of the 2008 Young Artist Award are Daniel Kok Yik Leng (Dance), Xia Haiying(Dance), Aidli Mosbit (Theatre), Cai Bi Xia (Theatre), and Jason Wee (Visual Arts).


Recipients are eligible for the Young Artist Award Grant which encourages them to undertake arts projects or studies in support of their artistic pursuits.


Six specialist panels for literary arts, music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film were set up to evaluate the nominations received for both awards. 


Please refer to the annexes for more information on the 2008 Arts Awards:

Annex 1 – Contact List of Recipients

Annex 2 – Profiles of Recipients

Annex 3 – 2008 Specialist Panels

Annex 4 – Programme for 2008 Arts Awards Ceremony