Cultural Medallion Grant Recipients Contribute New Contents


Cultural Medallion Grant Recipients


Contribute New Contents


Seven recipients of Singapore’s prestigious arts accolade, the Cultural Medallion (CM), have been awarded the National Arts Council CM Grant to undertake new endeavours. From presentation of new creations to research and documentation projects, these works will further enrich the body of Singapore arts resources.


The CM Grant recipients are Edwin Thumboo (1979, Literature); Foo Tee Jun (1989, Photography); Han Sai Por (1995, Visual Arts); Yeng Pway Ngon (2003, Literature); Lynnette Seah (2006, Music); Tan Choh Tee (2006, Visual Arts); and Eric Khoo (2007, Film). Each artist received $80,000 in project funding.


Launched in November 2000 in response to the Renaissance City Report recommendations, the CM Grant Scheme enables CM recipients to embark on new artistic projects and create original works, while raising their profile and that of their works locally and globally. To date, the Grant has been given to 35 Cultural Medallion recipients and impactfully pushed the boundaries of art creation in various facets of the arts, along with encouraging bold, innovative and diverse projects to be fruitfully executed over the years.


One of the latest completed projects is Alex Abisheganaden’s ASEAN SERENADE, a showcase of his original music compositions and popular Southeast Asian folk songs held this year. New performing arts creations, Lao Jiu the Musical and ME DIA (The Lost Soul),have been developed by artists Goh Lay Kuan and Nadiputra respectively. Decorated writers such as M Balakrishnan and Hj Muhammed Ariff bin Ahmad contributed new publications to Singapore’s literary trove. Several visual artists like Tan Swie Hian, Tan Kian Por, and the late Chua Ek Kay have also undertaken researches and published writings or organised major exhibitions.


Among the 2008 recipients, two have completed their projects. In June 2008, visual artist Tan realised his dream of bringing his art to China and the international audience, when he successfully staged in Beijing a nine-day solo exhibition featuring 30 of his recent oil paintings. In Singapore, local art aficionados were not denied the delights of his works, including five pieces inspired by his 18-day painting trip to China, as these were exhibited here in their entirety. Filmmaker Khoo’s project, My Magic, helped to position Singapore as a global film player. It competed with 19 other entries for the Palme d’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.


The other five CM Grant recipients are giving audiences much to look forward to. Yeng has chosen disparate countries across the world as the cultural backdrop to his novel, Studio, and will examine the intricacies of relationships within a group of Singaporeans. Thumboo will enrich the literary landscape with his collection of poems, Singapore and South-East Asia Poems by E. Thumboo, which will unveil his literary journey throughout the ASEAN region. In the musical arena, Seah will present a concert featuring a repertoire of original compositions and re-orchestrated works in an exploration of musical genres such as classical, jazz and pop. Visual artist Han will create The Changing Landscape – Flora of Singapore, a series of site-specific installations based on the theme of flora in Singapore, while Foo will chronicle the development of photography by showcasing works from its various seminal periods in his exhibition. While their projects are still mostly in the creative genesis, once completed, these will help to raise the artistic bar at home and even abroad. 


We look forward to the fruition of these projects and your support of our CM recipients as they concretise their latest efforts.


Annex: Projects by 2008 CM Grant Recipients