2009 Arts Awards Presentation Ceremony




Four established Singapore artists of different disciplines are honoured with the Cultural Medallion (CM) on 16 October at the 2009 Arts Awards ceremony. Visual artist Ang Ah Tee, dance choreographer and artistic director Angela Liong, orchestral conductor Lan Shui, and Chinese literary writer Tham Yew Chin received the esteemed award from the President of Singapore, His Excellency S R Nathan. Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, RADM (NS) Lui Tuck Yew also presented the Young Artist Award (YAA) to five promising artists.


These national awards mirror Singapore’s pride in her artists who develop, contribute and steer the arts in Singapore and on the international stage. The awards have become more inclusive over the years in recognition of the increasingly overlapping boundaries of arts practices and multi-disciplinary art forms. In 2005, the scope was expanded to recognise artists practising genres such as multi-media art, technical theatre and pop music.


The CM is the most prestigious award conferred on individuals who have achieved artistic excellence. To date, 93 artists have been conferred this award.


Ang Ah Tee is well-known for his acrylic, watercolour and oil paintings which are widely sought after by collectors. He has won numerous awards such as the first prize in Dr Tan Tsze Chor Art Award (Western Painting) in 2001 and has participated in many exhibitions locally and in countries and cities like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Israel, United Kingdom and the United States of America (USA).


Angela Liong has contributed significantly to dance development in Singapore and nurtured a new generation of Singapore dance professionals. She was recently appointed as a member of the Singapore sub-commission on culture and information for UNESCO. In 1998, she implemented the first Singapore dance degree programme at LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts while she was the dean of its School of the Performing Arts. Angela is also the co-founder of Singapore’s first multi-disciplinary contemporary dance group, the ARTS FISSION Company.


Lan Shui joined the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) as its music director in 1997. He was the first to bring SSO into the international spotlight through successful tours in Germany, USA, France, Spain, and China. A decorated artist, he has received several international awards from festivals and institutions such as the Beijing Arts Festival, New York Tcherepnin Society, France’s Besancon Conductors Competition, and Boston University. He has also helmed orchestras like the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Stuttgart Radio Symphony and Calgary Philharmonic.


Tham Yew Chin is a prolific Chinese writer, widely known by her pseudonym "You Jin". She is famous for her vast body of works including travelogues, short stories, novels and essays. She has published some 140 books in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In 1991, she was the first writer to receive the inaugural Singapore Chinese Literary Award from the Singapore Literature Society. You Jin’s literary works are studied in Singapore schools and used as a thesis subject at local and overseas universities.


These recipients are eligible to apply for the CM grant which provides the support for them to embark on future projects that would contribute to the creation of original Singapore works while raising the profile of these artists.


Since the introduction of the YAA in 1992 to encourage the development of new talent, the award has been given to 96 artists aged 35 years and below, who have shown promise of artistic excellence. The recipients are eligible to apply for the YAA Grant which encourages them to take on arts projects or studies to support their artistic pursuits. This year’s recipients are filmmakers Boo Junfeng, Anthony Chen Zheyi and Han Yew Kwang, as well as visual artists Ho Tzu Nyen and Donna Ong.


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


Please refer to the annexes for more information on the 2009 Arts Awards:

Annex 1 – Recipients’ Profile

Annex 2 – 2009 Specialist Panels