Arts Awards 2011 Opens For Nominations


Recognise our arts luminaries as cultural heroes


There is no shelf-life when it comes to artistic careers and breakthroughs. At 72 years old, 1986 Cultural Medallion winner Teo Eng Seng has created a new series of works to be launched in an exhibition Experential Recalls in April, funded under the Cultural Medallion grant. They mark his official return to painting after he famously declared that he would abandon oil painting in 1976 in order to seek a more Asian identity to his work. For the first time, the artist has produced an installation using digital imaging photography related to the theme of recalling.


Nominations for the Cultural Medallion and Young Artist Award are open from now till 26 April 2011. The Arts Awards, organised by the National Arts Council, bestows the national honours to artists in recognition of artistic excellence. So those who feel strongly that an artist deserves recognition for his or her significant artistic contributions and achievements; are keen to encourage an artist aged 35 years old or below who has displayed tremendous potential in a chosen field; submit their names for the Arts Awards 2011. Nominees must be Singaporean or Permanent Residents.


The Cultural Medallion, instituted in 1979, is conferred by the President of the Republic of Singaporeupon individuals who have attained artistic excellence in their respective fields. Last year, poet Suratman Markasan, Dr Liang Wern Fook, a composer and performance artist Amanda Heng joined the ranks of the 100 artists who have received the award so far. Recipients are also eligible for the Cultural Medallion Grant, which awards a quantum of up to S$80,000 to enable them to embark on new major projects.


The Young Artist Award was introduced in 1992 to encourage the development of new artistic talent in Singapore. The Award, presented by the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, is accorded to young artists, aged 35 years and below, who have shown promise of artistic excellence.To date, 106 budding artists have been bestowed with the award, including photographer Zhao Renhui, comic artist Sonny Liew, poet Toh Hsien Min, filmmaker Sun Koh and multimedia artist Choy Ka Fai in 2010.


Both awards comprise four broad categories for nominations:

 Art Form


 Literary Arts

 Plays, poetry, fiction and non-fiction

 Performing Arts

 Theatre, dance, music and technical theatre
 (e.g. set design, lighting design, sound design)

 Visual Arts

 Painting, drawing, printmaking, photography,
 sculpture, installation and multimedia




Nominations supported by the National Arts Council will be assessed by specialist panels for literary arts, performing arts, visual arts, and film.


Assessment by the Specialist Panels is based on the following principal criteria:

  1. Candidate should be recognised for his/her artistic work and contribution.
  2. Candidate should have attained artistic excellence (for Cultural Medallion award) or have  shown potential to excel in his/her field of work (for Young Artist award)
  3. Candidate should demonstrate, through a body of works pursued through a number of years, creative originality and professional maturity in one or more disciplines as specified in the scope of award.  
  4. Candidate should be an inspiration and role model to other young artists in the arts community.
  5. Candidate should have established his / her name internationally, or won international awards (for Cultural Medallion award).
  6. Candidate should be involved in educational or community development projects towards the promotion of the respective art form (for Cultural Medallion award).


To make a nomination online, or for more information, please visit the National Arts Council website: