NAC awards its first Scholarship in Applied and Media Arts


The National Arts Council (NAC) and Takashimaya Co. Ltd has awarded the prestigious Takashimaya-NAC Scholarship to 25-year old Martin Heng Aik Chin.  He will leave for Japan to embark on a one-year Japanese language course in Sanno College, Tokyo, followed by a two-year graphic design diploma in a college of his choice.


Administered by NAC for the first time since its inception in 1993, the Scholarship supports outstanding talents in pursuit of Diploma studies in applied or media arts discipline in Japan.  These disciplines include product design, interior design, jewellery or fashion design, multimedia studies, broadcasting and audio-visual studies, and retail management. The estimated value of the Scholarship, sponsored by Takashimaya Co. Ltd, is $100,000 for Martin’s three years of study and covers tuition fees, accommodation, living allowance, return airfare, book and warm clothing allowances.


Martin was selected from 25 applicants, following stringent selection procedures that included interviews with a specialist panel drawn from academic institutions and the applied arts industry, as well as with Takashimaya’s appointed Recommendation Review Committee. Presenting a self-directed and self-made short film montage that gave a personal and humorous take on his psychological state while preparing for the interviews, he impressed the Committee with his sense of creative spontaneity and ability to communicate effectively with his audience.  The Committee also felt Martin had a deep understanding of Japanese culture and appreciation for Japanese conceptual designs, as well as a strong sense of commitment, which would allow him to reap tremendous benefits from studying in Japan.

Martin joins 14 other Singaporeans who have received the scholarship when it was previously administered by the Economic Development Board.  Administration of the Scholarship was handed over to the NAC in April 2002 for greater synergy given the Council’s strong focus in the arts and interest in the creative business.


“We are excited by the award of the scholarship to Martin.  It is in line with our efforts to enhance the contribution of the arts to businesses and the economy, helping to develop talents for the local applied and media arts industries,” says Ms Stacey Tan, Director (Artist Development).


Martin will receive the scholarship from Takashimaya in an award ceremony on 6 March (Thursday), 11.15am at The New Otani Hotel (Plum Room Level 5).  Martin will share about some of his works during the ceremony.



  • Annex 1 – Martin Heng Profile
  • Annex 2 – Takashimaya-NAC Scholarship Award Ceremony