NOISE is back to discover young talents Singapore Biennale Behold

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					                                                                   july-august 2008

Re-appointment of   NOISE is back to         Singapore Biennale:   Making Chinese
NAC Chairman        discover young talents   Behold the            traditional arts
                                             Containart Pavilion   relevant in modern
                                                              instep july-august 2008

CEO Writes                                                                              contents
                                                                                              01     Re-appointment of NAC

                                                                                                     WANTED: Interns for
                                                                                                     international art festivals

                                  he Singapore Arts Festival 2008 has
                                  just ended after a 4-week run, during
                                  which audiences were treated to 25                          02     Singapore Biennale
                                                                                                     Containart in a Pavilion
                           main productions and more than 500 free
                           performances. The overall reach of nearly
                           600,000 audiences was one of the highest since                     03     Unsung Opera Heroes
1980. We are encouraged that many of the programmes, including new
commissions, received critical acclaim and most were well-received by the
                                                                                                     Win and get published
media, patrons, visitors and the international artistic community. We thank
all who have supported us in one way or another to make the festival a                    04-05      Festival Engaged
success.                                                                                             Audiences with New
                                                                                                     Creations, New Partners
For those who are eager to gain first-hand experience in managing
international arts festivals, they can now realise their aspirations through
the inaugural 2009 AAPAF Internship Award which has recently been                             06     From Near And Far
launched. This annual award, offered by the Association of Asian Performing
Arts Festivals (AAPAF), will help to nurture Asia-based arts students,
                                                                                                     Noise Singapore Begins
administrators and practitioners by giving them opportunities to learn the
inner workings of festival management, as well as immerse themselves in
the arts and cultures of festivals overseas. The Singapore Arts Festival is a                 07     Engaging juniors in Kids’
key member of AAPAF.                                                                                 Biennale

The National Arts Council (NAC) is a firm believer of continuous education.                           Singapore and Korea Forge
Indeed, regular upgrading of skills and knowledge is crucial to artists and arts                     Closer Cultural Ties
groups. Besides festival management, NAC has started a series of initiatives to
help practitioners of traditional arts in Singapore raise their artistic standards
                                                                                              08     Making traditional arts
and capabilities. Following the workshops and exchanges conducted for the
                                                                                                     relevant in a modern world
traditional Malay art forms in the past two months, NAC organised a seminar
on professional arts management for the Chinese arts groups in July 2008.                            New leadership at Singapore
The inaugural Mandarin seminar, Marketing Traditional Arts in a Modern                               Chinese Orchestra (SCO)
World, focused on publicity and marketing techniques, sponsorship and
media relations management. With the knowledge acquired, artists and arts
groups can now put their new skills to good use in promoting their art forms                  09     Awards Won
and developing their audience base.
                                                                                                     Artis/Groups Overseas
All these skills and knowledge upgrading initiatives complement NAC’s
holistic support for artists and arts groups, which includes grants, housing                  10     Arts Around You
subsidies and commissioning of new works.

As it is often said, it’s never too soon or too late for learning!

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                                                                                               National Arts Council (NAC).

                                                                                                       Editorial Team:
                                                                                                Serene Foo and Viviane Then

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  To nurture the arts and make it an integral
  part of the lives of the people of Singapore
                                                            instep july-august 2008                                                      01

                                                                                                      Edmund Chen

Re-appointment of
NAC Chairman
        AC Chairman Edmund Cheng takes to the Council’s helm            an innovative media-
        again in his appointment for a second 3-year term with          based festival to
        effect from 1 July 2008. Cheng was first appointed to this       engage the creativity
position on 1 July 2005.                                                of youth; and District
                                                                        Arts        Festivals,
Under Cheng’s leadership, NAC has taken the arts scene in               which engage the
Singapore to a higher plane. The number of arts activities now          community with the arts.
exceeds 20,000 yearly or more than 50 activities on any day of
the year. One out of three people in Singapore has attended at          On the international scene, NAC now holds leadership positions
least one arts event in the past year, compared to one in ten a         in international networks such as International Federation of Arts
decade ago.                                                             Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) and the Association of
                                                                        Asian Performing Arts Festivals (AAPAF). In addition, NAC has
Besides the established stable of arts events such as Singapore         signed Memoranda of Understanding with key arts agencies
Arts Festival (SAF), Singapore Writers Festival and National            such as Arts Victoria, Arts Council England and the Scottish Art
Piano and Violin Competition, NAC introduced several new major          Council to facilitate exchanges and inter-agency cooperation in
initiatives under Mr Cheng’s leadership. These include Singapore        arts development. SAF became the first festival to enter a strategic
Biennale, which has become the most important contemporary              alliance with the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival in
visual arts exhibition in Singapore and the region; Noise Singapore,    June 2007.

WANTED: Interns for
international art festivals
      rts enthusiasts keen to work for         member festivals for at least four weeks.       who will contribute to fostering long-term
      international art festivals can now      The Internship Award is AAPAF’s first major      goodwill and strong working relationships
      realise their aspirations, all thanks    public initiative to bridge the Asian arts      between festival communities in Asia and
to the inaugural 2009 AAPAF Internship         professionals and the AAPAF community           beyond. We also hope that the experience
Award.                                         in order to deepen and expand knowledge         and exposure they gain will support them
                                               of festival management and development          in key roles they might play in festival and
Offered by the Association of Asian            in Asia.                                        cultural development in their own societies
Performing Arts Festivals (AAPAF), the                                                         in the near future. At the same time, host
annual internship awards are aimed             The member festivals participating in the       festivals will also benefit from the external
at providing Asia-based arts students,         2009 programme include Singapore Arts           support and knowledge that these overseas
administrators and practitioners with          Festival (SAF), Auckland International          interns bring,” says Chairperson of AAPAF
opportunities to learn the inner workings      Festival, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Seoul        and Director of SAF, Goh Ching Lee.
of festival management, and immerse            Performing Arts Festival and OzAsia
themselves in the arts and cultures of         Festival (Adelaide).                            Applications are open to residents in Asia,
festivals overseas.                                                                            aged 35 years and below and the deadline
                                                “With this initiative, we hope to build an     is 31 August 2008. Application forms
Each year, two successful candidates           alumnus of AAPAF-supported young arts           can be downloaded from
will be attached to participating AAPAF-       professionals and ambassadors in Asia           award.asp
02                                                                   instep july-august 2008

     Manas by
     Ilya and
                                                                      abel Aquilizan
     Emilia                                              and Maria Is
                                          an Aquilizan
                     Daing   by Alfredo Ju

                                                                                                                     Shigeru Ban’s Containart Pavilion, 2008, Singapore

in a Pavilion
      desolate snowscape, alien civilizations, interactive ellipses
      and even the underwater world will be “created” in the name
      of art at Marina Bay for the upcoming Singapore Biennale
2008 (SB2008), organised by the National Arts Council (NAC).                             NAC Chairman
                                                                                                         Edmund Chen
                                                                                         Hiang and repr                  g (centre), tog
                                                                                                        esentitives fro                   ether with NA
                                                                                         commencemen                    m partners NO                  C CEO Lee Su
                                                                                                        t of constructi                  L, URA, and Cl              an
To mark the start of an exciting journey down the theme of                                                              on of the Pavil
                                                                                                                                                        ub 21 officiate
WONDER for Singapore’s premier international contemporary
visual arts event, NAC Chairman, Edmund Cheng officiated at the
groundbreaking ceremony of Shigeru Ban’s Containart Pavilion,                          Besides, the environmental-friendly pavilion will act as one of the
held at the Central Promontory Site on 26 June 2008.                                   information centres for the exhibition. It revisits Ban’s previous
                                                                                       contribution to Singapore Biennale 2006, where he designed the
The Containart Pavilion, an architectural creation by internationally                  media centre made from recycled paper tubes.
well-known Japanese artist Ban, will be constructed using 150
twenty-foot long shipping containers, along with 34 ten-metre                          Outside the Containart Pavilion, artists Alfredo Juan Aquilizan and
recyclable paper tubes.                                                                Maria Isabel Aquilizan (Philippines) will create an “underwater
                                                                                       world of fishes” by recycling about 6000 old slippers for their site-
Once completed, this stunning spacious structure will house three                      specific installation.
of SB2008’s largest indoor installations – Manas by Ilya and Emilia
Kabakov (Russia), Between You and I by Anthony McCall (UK),                            Curated by Artistic Director Fumio Nanjo (Japan), Joselina Cruz
and Location (6) by Hans Op de Beeck (Belgium).                                        (Philippines) and Matthew Ngui (Singapore), SB2008 (from
                                                                                       September 11 to November 16) will feature an illustrious list of
In addition, Australian artist Gary Carsley’s works will also be                       more than 50 artists and art collectives from over 36 countries and
featured in the form of functional tables and chairs within the                        regions including Singapore.
pavilion that come completely cladded with flora-themed scenery
prints photographed from Singapore’s parks and gardens.                                For more details, visit
                                                               instep july-august 2008                                                         03

Unsung Opera Heroes
                                                                                                      and in 23 countries and territories. This
                                                                                                      September, CTC will also be staging a
                                                                                                      Cantonese Opera titled Qiu Jin – The
                                                                                                      Unsung Woman Warrior, with the support
                                                                                                      of the National Arts Council’s (NAC) Major
                                                                                                      Grant Scheme.

                                                                                                      Since 1985, CTC has been venturing
                                                                                                      abroad to refine their craft and tour their
                                                                                                      works. In early July, CTC attended the
                                                                                                      International Festival fair in Latvia - an
                                                                                                      annual professional event which unites
                                                                                                      performers from all over the world who
                                                                                                      are interested in the research of theatre
                                                                                                      methods of traditional and contemporary

                                                                                                      Closer to home, CTC also aims to cultivate
                                                                                                      a deeper interest of the Chinese art form
                                                                                                      among the young. Through the NAC
                                                                                                      Arts Education Programme, CTC is able
                                                                                                      to present interactive Chinese Opera
                                                                                                      workshops and training programmes in
                                CTC’s Joanna Wong and Sabrina Chow in Women Warriors of Yang Family   schools. This allows students to have
                                                                                                      hands-on experience in the art form and in
                                                                                                      turn, help them appreciate Chinese Opera

        he promotion of traditional art form Chinese Opera in Singapore may be an uphill              better. More students have also embarked
        battle but Chairman of Chinese Theatre Circle (CTC) Limited, Leslie Wong reckoned             on projects concerning Chinese opera and
        that he and his team will “soldier on because we are passionate lunatics”. Indeed,            CTC has also been getting regular queries
it is this great devotion that drives Wong to keep the interest of Chinese Opera well and             about the art form too.
alive in Singapore.
                                                                                                      Looks like the unsung opera heroes like
CTC is an ethnic arts group that preserves and promotes the fine art of Chinese Opera.                 Wong and his team are finally seeing their
Established in 1981, CTC has staged more than 2,000 performances in Singapore                         efforts bearing fruits.

Win and get published!
       o create the commercial sustainability    Borders vouchers, the top entries will also          and National Library Board also coming
       needed to develop writing as a            be published in the second volume of the             on board to support the contest. “NAC
       career, Renaissance Publishing has        Romance series.                                      applauds        Renaissance     Publishing’s
created an annual contest which promises                                                              initiative to discover and nurture our next
winners acceptance into its writers’ group,       “Publishing and selling the top entries in          generation of writers through this contest.
Renaissance Man, as well as opportunities        bookstores also gives our young talents a            Such platforms will certainly facilitate the
for commercial writing projects to hone          chance to be exposed and build up their              development and growth of our literary
their skills, such as its Romance series.        portfolios, instead of fading away after the         landscape,” says Khor Kok Wah, Director
                                                 contest is over,” says Lance Ng, Publisher           for Literary Arts and Deputy CEO, NAC.
Into their second edition this year, the         of Renaissance.
writing contest is open to applicants, aged                                                           The deadline for entry submission is 30
25 and below, who are currently residing         National Book Development Council of                 Aug 2008. For more details, visit www.
in Singapore. Contestants should submit          Singapore is collaborating with Renaissance
short stories centering on the theme of love     Publishing as the contest’s official partner,
and romance. On top of cash prizes and           with the National Arts Council (NAC)
04                                                      instep july-august 2008

                                                                                                 President S R
                                                                                                                  Nathan togeth
                                                                                              Dr Lee Boon Ya                    er with MICA Mi
                                                                                                                ng (right) and                    nister
                                                                                             Clug (left) at the                choreographer
                                                                                                                Singapore Arts                 Edward
                                                                                                                                Festival Gala ev

Lord of the Rings Symphony

Festival Engaged
Audiences with
New Creations,
                                                                                                                                        La Guardia Fla

New Partners                                                                                                                        Hydro Sapiens

      he 22nd edition of the Singapore Arts Festival closed with
      a big bang recently with The Lunatics’ Hydro Sapiens (The
      Netherlands) at Bedok Reservoir. The closing celebrations
alone over three days drew a crowd of 18,000. Indeed, four weeks of
world and Asian premieres, new commissions, outdoor spectaculars
and roving performances swept Singapore off her feet, going by the
600,000-strong Festival attendees. The refreshing Festival line-up
of 25 core productions and 580 outreach activities brought mind-
opening sights and sounds to Singapore’s stages and heartlands – a
symphony of crickets, gunshots fired at the Esplanade, dreamscapes
appearing on water bodies, life-size giraffes turning train stations
into safaris, and even a trip to Middle Earth!

Interest in the Festival’s showcase, which featured new names and        Dance Theatre’s Ginny Gan filled the shoes of an injured La La
new commissions, was also strong. Eighteen core performances             La Human Steps dancer in Amjad with remarkable ease. The
were sold out and the Festival achieved an overall house of 74.2%.       Singapore Festival Orchestra, established in 2007, also shone
The Festival’s quality programme was further attested to by the          with its moving performances in three productions The Lord of
critical acclaim it drew. Patrons, seasoned and new, as well as the      the Rings Symphony, The Architecture of Silence and Festival
media, artists and festival directors from Singapore and beyond,         Fantasia.
had predominantly upbeat reviews of the Festival and its hits like
The Architecture of Silence, Radio and Juliet, London Sinfonietta        On the Outreach front, the Festival went to places it had not
and Amjad, and new works like The King Lear Project: A Trilogy           gone before. Partnering with PUB and Singapore International
and awaking. Over 50 positive reviews were published in major            Water Week, the Water Wonders series saw the Festival open
dailies alone.                                                           at Boat Quay and close at Bedok Reservoir for the first time.
                                                                         Another partnership with the National Environment Agency
Particularly prominent this year were Singapore artists and works        allowed Arts Where We Eat to bring merriness and mayhem to
coming under the spotlight. Works by composers Ho Chee Kong              some of the island’s most popular hawker centres. Arts on the
and Tan Chan Boon were performed by the London Sinfonietta               Move also saw a couple of shows take place at various MRT
and Singapore Festival Orchestra respectively. The developmental         stations and one even on board a moving train!
platforms Full Frontal and Forward Moves both garnered strong
houses and reception to the creations by theatre director Zizi           Through the multitude of exciting developments, another
Azah, and choreographers Neo Hong Chin, Ebelle Chong and                 Festival makes its mark engaging the minds of the willing and
Joavien Ng. Stepping in just days before the show, Singapore             touching the hearts of many.
                                                           instep july-august 2008                                                         05

Why they enjoyed the Festival....
”                                                                ”
 I had enough faith in the artistic judgment of your team
 to go out and buy tickets for some of the performances....            ......our experience with your organization,
 Each time I was open-minded enough to try out something               its venue, and its audiences was a privileged
 that was previously unfamiliar to me, I discovered true               one...... the Singapore audiences were warm,
 gems which truly broadened my artistic horizons...The
                                                                       supportive but also informed, with a point
 most heartening experience for me was seeing huge
 families from the heartlands coming out in full force to
                                                                       of view, and clearly at ease with the complex
                                                                       aesthetics proposed by Amjad. It was a pleasure

 check out the closing act, and to hear these heartlanders
 discuss very enthusiastically their interpretation of the             performing for them.
 arts performance. That just demonstrated to me how
 successful the Festival had been, above and beyond                                                              – Edouard Lock,

 what any statistic could have shown.
     ”                                                                                                ”
                                                                                           Choreographer, La La La Human Steps

                                             - Zhang Weijie                                                Art has to take risks. By
                                                                                                           pushing boundaries (physical,
           Courage and trust are essential elements in order to set new standards in culture.              social, cultural), art gives new
           Slovenia is so far and so close [at] the same time, to Singapore’s point of view                sights and engages people
           in culture....But little miracles happen, and one of them is certainly our presence             in a dialogue, we are made
           in the [22nd] edition of the Singapore Arts Festival. The miracle is even bigger                richer from this experience
           considering the scale of our production of Architecture of Silence, 156 artists....I            and it makes us to be really
           was overwhelmed [by] the reactions of the people [who] felt, thought and share their            human...This year’s Singapore

           emotions in an unspoken language which requires no translation.                                 Arts Festival in cooperation
                                                                                                           with the various organizations
”                                              ”                 – Edward Clug, Choreographer,
                                               The Architecture of Silence and Radio and Juliet
                                                                                                           is very successful to me,
                                                                                                           and I think that it is a seed
                                                                                                           that should be nurtured and
    Singapore’s emergence from
                                                                                                           carried on to grow. I would like
    being a Chinese Switzerland                                                                            to thank you and encourage
                                                     In the city where dance, theatre, and music
    to a regional hot spot for                                                                             all institutions and responsible
                                                     programs – both locals and imports – fill up
    cutting-edge contemporary                        the cultural calendar year-round, SAF still           people to continue this great

    art is perhaps best reflected                     stands dominant from the crowd, offering              initiative.
    in the month-long annual                         local audiences and visitors what they cannot

                             ”                                                ”
    Singapore Arts Festival.                         witness the rest of the year.                                      - Herbert Dreiseitl,
                                                                                                                       Atelier Dreseitl Asia

”                        - Panorama,
        The Canberra Times (Australia)
                                                                    ”       – The Nation (Thailand)

                                                                           I applaud NAC for its courage. The entire Festival was a work of
                                                                           art in itself. It was daring and it provoked. Art does that to people.
Personally, I would be far more upset and concerned                        The Festival itself was an art ensemble...I hope that NAC would
if the Singapore Arts Festival stuck to the same old                       again challenge our perceptive frontiers, force us to go where we
and safe formula, which it is well qualified to do                          have not been so we again are provoked and angry to be faced
after so many years of success, or brought in mainly                       with the unfamiliar, the new and the creative. Well done, NAC,

big names and blockbusters rather than more                                and thank you for leading the way.
experimental and less-known performances. While
I agree that engaging audiences is an essential                                                                     - Norma Sit Meng Lye,
consideration for organisers and performers, I feel it
is time that Singapore audiences become less kiasu
                                                         ”                               Founder-Red Art Art Jam and Kinderart Singapore!

and intolerant to new experiences in the arts. If we           A winsome and ambitious work that was contemporary
don’t go to performances with an open mind and a
                                                               and accessible, The Architecture of Silence was a
sense of adventure or encourage the arts community
to take risks, we will end up with a very boring and
                                                               refreshing and delightful piece...
fossilised society. It’s far better to be cutting edge

and not get upset by a bit of blood.                           An exquisite masterpiece, Amjad furthers the dialogue
                                                               between modern ballet and its classical roots in a

                                        - Dr Geh Min,          ferocious, majestic display.
      in a letter published in The Straits Times Life!
                                                                                                                  - The Straits Times
06                                                                             instep july-august 2008

From Near
                            And Far
       he Singapore Arts Festival 2008 (SAF) not only saw
       active participation from international performers but also
       attracted an entourage of overseas guests. Some 30 foreign
media experienced this year’s Festival as part of NAC’s ongoing
efforts to cultivate strong relations with major international
media. Hailing from as far as the United Kingdom, Germany and
Canada and as near as Malaysia and Thailand, the foreign media
                                                                                                   Temple by Cake Th
had positive comments for the performances they caught such                                                         eatre
as awaking, Continuum and The King Lear Project, and were
captivated by developments in Singapore and its arts scene,                                  Festival” and brought home with them a deeper understanding of
during their stay here.                                                                      the vibrant arts scene in Singapore.

Other international visitors included the Chairman of Arts Council                           Collaborations with International Festivals
Korea (ARKO), Kim Jung Heun, and the Director of Grants
Programme Consulting Centre, Lee Sung Kyum, who were in                                      Coming on the heels of the 2007 strategic alliance signed between
Singapore for discussions in preparation for the signing of the                              SAF and Edinburgh International Festival (EIF), Jonathan Mills,
NAC-ARKO Memorandum of Understanding. As part of their                                       Director of the EIF, announced more upcoming joint projects and
experience of the Singapore arts scene, they attended the Festival                           appointed Ong Keng Sen as the Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence
performances, Edward Clug’s The Architecture of Silence and                                  at EIF next year. Says Mills, “I do not believe that festivals are
Lies Pauwels’ For all the wrong reasons. Lee commented that they                             about reinforcement of the status quo. I believe festivals are about
“deeply enjoyed the excellent performances at the Singapore Arts                             introducing new ideas and fresh air into any society.”

                                                                                             Another significant partnership is with the Napoli Teatro Festival
                                                                                             Italia, which co-commissioned Cake Theatre’s Temple. This
                                                                                             production was showcased in Naples after its debut at the Singapore
                                                                                             Arts Festival. The two festivals also formalised a strategic alliance
                                                                                             in June 2008. The third co-commission, Ho Tzu Nyen/Fran
                                                                                             Borgia’s The King Lear Project: A Trilogy, premiered to rave reviews
                                                                                             at kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels before it was performed
                                                                                             in Singapore. These international festivals share similar visions
                                                                                             with the Singapore Arts Festival in seeking to present emerging
                                                                                             artists and companies, whilst promoting greater synergies, sharing
                                                                                             and innovation in the European-Asian artistic exchange. These
                                                                                             partnerships also reflect the appeal of the Festival as a credible
                                                                                             and progressive partner in the festival circuit.

                                                               la at the Esplana
                                               Arts Festival Ga
                        s   at the Singapore
     Foreign journalist
                                                                  Noise Singapore
                                                                            Begins Transmission
                                                                          oise Singapore – a unique and                National Arts Council (NAC), the annual
                                                                          creative festival for young people           media-based festival allows young blood
                                                                          by young people – is back and                to showcase their original works through
                                                                  wants to hear from young talents out there.          the use of technology and across various
                                                                  From 16 August 2008, call for submissions            media platforms such as the internet, radio,
                                                                  for open categories and applications for             television, newsprint, and magazines.
                                                                  The Apprenticeship Programme (TAP) are
                                                                  open for youths aged 35 and below.                   Inaugurated in 2005, Noise has been
                                                                                                                       getting overwhelming responses from
                                                                  For the uninitiated, drop by Suntec City             emerging youth talents here and it aims to
                                                                  Mall Galleria Square on 16 and 17 August             continue to unearth more talents and create
                                                                  to find out more about the festival and enjoy         opportunities for aspiring talents to learn
                                                                  the exciting line-up of live performances,           from industry professionals and partners.
                                                                  street art and photography.
                                                                                                                       For more details, visit www.noisesingapore.
                                                                  A youth outreach event organised by the              com.
                                                                       instep july-august 2008                                                                         07

Engaging juniors in
Kids’ Biennale
         hen it comes to creativity, the young ones are on par with                Themed        Alice     in
         the adults, it seemed. A peek into Little Art Bug Workshop’s              Wonderland, the magical
         programme, started since January, presented a classroom                   journey of art lessons
full Piccaso juniors working on wall murals, large-scale paintings                 begins at the workshop
and individual drawings – some of which will be displayed at the                   as    children     grasp
Kids’ Biennale exhibition come September 2008.                                     fundamental skills and
                                                                                   technical concepts of
Kids’ Biennale is an education and outreach programme of the                       drawing and colouring.
upcoming Singapore Biennale 2008, designed to inspire, instill                     The students learn to think and work
and engage the creative minds of Singapore’s young talent.                         like artists as they gain insights into the motivations and
                                                                                   ideas behind the artists’ creations in the contemporary art world.
                                                                                   Besides, students even get to etch their sketches onto walls to
                                                                                   embark on their very own large-scale installations too. To date,
                                                                                   this programme has attracted the participation of 35 schools
                                                                                   and over 8,300 school children.

                                                                                   Indeed, there is no better way to feel like an artist with one’s own
                                                                                   artwork showcased among 500 other stunning pieces chosen
                                                                                   for the official Kids’ Biennale exhibition. Participating schools
                                                                                   can also opt to be satellite exhibition venues for the Biennale to
                                                                                   bring together original creations by their students and inspire
                                                                                   the neighbourhood with their own interpretations of Wonder.

                                                                                   For more details, visit
Students of Fairfield Methodist Primary holding their completed dolls

Singapore and Korea
Forge Closer Cultural Ties
  t’s a new chapter in artistic alliance between Singapore and
  South Korea with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding
  (MOU) between the National Arts Council (NAC) and the Arts
Council Korea (ARKO) on 3 July 2008 in Seoul, South Korea.

The Council-to-Council Memorandum which aims to encourage
artistic development, collaboration and exchange, was signed
by Chief Executive Officer of NAC, Lee Suan Hiang and Chief
Executive Officer and Chairman of ARKO, Kim Jung Heun.

The MOU strives to facilitate opportunities for artists to present
their work and identify ways to enhance the strategic value of
cultural exchange projects between Singapore and South Korea by
promoting such projects in complementary platforms. In addition,
both parties will encourage the provision of exchange in all arts
forms, as well as the development of joint programmes.
Says Koh Pek Hoon, Deputy Director of Corporate Communications
and International Relations, NAC, “Forging alliances with
                                                                                   (from left) Director of Cultural Exchange Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Kim
international partners from countries with a vibrant and progressive               Deuk Hwan; Chairman of ARKO Mr Kim Hung Heun; NAC CEO Mr Lee Suan Hiang;
arts and cultural scene is part of NAC’s efforts to connect Singapore              Deputy Chief of Mission, Singapore Embassy in Seoul, Mr Thaddaus Hoo
arts and artists with the global arts community.”
08                                                        instep july-august 2008

Making traditional                                                                                                          Good attendance at
                                                                                                                                                 the seminar

arts relevant in a
modern world
     o make traditional arts relevant in a rapidly-changing
     modern world, regular upgrading of skill sets and knowledge
     is crucial to artists and artist groups.

To this end, NAC will provide holistic support through the provision
of adequate training to arts groups by organising a series of
workshops for a year from July for traditional Chinese arts groups,
in fields such as marketing and sponsorship, production practices,
new media and intellectual property.

Arts practitioners from traditional Chinese arts groups can look
forward to upgrading their workforce skills through the first            active panel discussions. It will also serve as a good opportunity
seminar, Marketing Traditional Arts in a Modern World – A Seminar       for traditional Chinese arts groups to share with one another about
in Mandarin, on 26 July 2008.                                           the current marketing issues and problems that they face.

This inaugural seminar conducted in Mandarin, will focus on             The aim of these initiatives is to impart expert knowledge to
publicity and marketing techniques, soliciting sponsorships and         traditional Chinese arts groups and provide them with appropriate
managing media relations. Industry professionals and veteran arts       tools to be efficient in their respective roles within their organisations.
practitioners will be invited to share their experiences and offer      With such know-how, these arts groups can then better promote
practical tips to the participants through interactive lectures and     their art forms and develop their desired audience bases.

New leadership at
Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO)
                                                     s the newly-appointed General                affairs, education management, resource
                                                     Manager, Terence Ho has taken over           services, orchestra affairs and concert
                                                     from Executive Director of Singapore         production.
                                               Chinese Orchestra (SCO), Ken Chang, to
                                               be the new head for the arts group. Chang          Apart from Ho, SCO Assistant Conductor,
                                               has gone into early retirement and is              Quek Ling Kiong, was also promoted to
                                               currently pursuing his Doctorate Studies.          Associate Conductor, with effect from 1
                                                                                                  September 2008.
                                               A part of the SCO management team
                                               since 1998, Ho has served as Manager               Ho says, “It was a unique and rewarding
                                               (Marketing), Senior Manager (Marketing             experience for me working with the SCO for
                                               & Sponsorship) and Deputy General                  the past ten years. I must say that SCO has
                                               Manager.                                           made significant advancements in the past
                                                                                                  decade and has, in many ways, exceeded
                                               He will now assume direct operational              its own targets and expectations. I believe
                                               responsibilities for functions including           that we must stride forward in whatever
                                               marketing and sponsorship, venue                   we do, in line with the pace of the society
                                Terrence Ho    management, finance, administration                 and reflecting the lives of its people. I am
                                               and procurement, as well as work with              confident that with the dedicated team
                                               Music Director, Mr Tsung Yeh, on artistic          of staff at SCO, we can strive further and
                                               administration matters such as artistic            bring SCO to a greater height.”
                                                                   instep july-august 2008                                                        09

                                                                                                               Deanne Lye

   Awards Won
   ■ Raffles Chorale won the 1st prize with Gold Award at the Felix             ■ Recipient of the
   Nowowiejski Choir Music Festival Barczewo held from 29-30 June              2006 National Arts
   2008 in Poland. The choir also clinched the Best Contemporary               Council’s Gifted Young
   Work Prize, Best Nowowiejski’s Work Prize by Foreign Choirs and             Musician        Bursary
   the Best Foreign Choir Prize.                                               award, Deanne Lye,
                                                                               15, won the 3rd prize
   ■ The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) won the                           in the European Piano
   prestigious ULI Awards for Excellence 2008 (Asia Pacific) for                Teachers Association (UK)
   the transformation of the Bras Bash.Bugis area into Singapore’s             Composers Competition for her age group.
   Arts, Culture Learning and Entertainment District. The 95-ha
   district is home to a synergistic cluster of facilities - three national    ■ At the 36th Festival of Songs Olomouc, Czech Republic on
   museums, seven arts housing facilities, three arts schools, 105             7 June 2008, Raffles Chorale, made up of Raffles Junior College
   private commercial schools, a city university, student hostels and          students, bagged four gold awards while the Meridian Junior
   a new National Library.                                                     College choir garnered two.

   Artists/Groups Overseas
   ■ Artist Ming Wong held an exhibition, Vertraut oder Verdaut
   at ZKM Center for Art & Media, Karlsruhe, from 26 June to 20
   July 2008 in conjunction with the exhibition Vertrautes Terrain -
   Contemporary Art in/about Germany, along with 70 German and
   international artists. Prior to this, his re-working of Rainer Werner
   Fassbinder’s film Angst Essen Seele Auf (Ali: Fear Eats the
   Soul) was showcased at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin from
   early June 2008. Titled Angst Essen / Eat Fear, Ming explored
   theatrical manifestations of language and identity by playing
   and reciting up to five characters. Ming is currently on a one-
   year Kunstlerhaus Bethanien’s International Studio Programme
   which is supported by the National Arts Council (NAC).

    ■ Renowned Singapore violinist Foo Say Ming led the Hwa Chong
    Institute String Ensemble (HCSE) in a concert tour in Bangkok                                                            The Heartbeat Percussion
    on 2 June 2008 and Chiang Mai on 3 June 2008. HCSE’s 37
    youth members collaborated with 10 young musicians from the                participate in the Asian Youth Orchestra from 12 to 31 July 2008.
    Harrow International School Bangkok, Thai Youth Orchestra (TYO)            A rehearsal camp was arranged in Hong Kong, followed by a
    and Bangkok Symphony Music School (BSS) for the show. The                  concert tour to China, Japan and Taiwan.
    programme included two master pieces of romantic composers
                                           including Tchaikovsky’s             ■ Grace Lee, a NAC-Shell scholar in 2002, was invited to perform
                                            Serenade,         Grieg’s          a 40-minute recital at the International Holland Music Festival in
Seow Yibin                                  Holberg as well as Thai            the Netherlands from 27 July to 3 August 2008. She will also
                                             traditional music Kab             attend master classes at the Festival.
                                             Mai, specially arranged
                                              for the orchestra by             ■ The Heartbeat Percussion performed at three prestigious
                                               German      renowned            festivals in Ireland, namely the Big Bang Festival of Rhythm, Feile
                                               conductor        Hans           Iorras - The International Folk Arts Festival and Sligo Percussion
                                               Gunther Mommer.                 & Dance Festival from 24 to 28 July 2008.

                                                   ■ After      rounds         ■ As National Director of World Championship of Performing
                                                   of       competitive        Arts (WCOPA) Singapore, Kuo Po will be on the panel of judges
                                                   auditions,     three        to select hopefuls to represent Singapore and to lead the team
                                                   Singaporeans,               to the US for the competition. Modelled after the Olympics,
                                                    Gabriel Lee, Seow          WCOPA is touted as the only global event for aspiring performers
                                                    Yibin and Tan              and entertainers. The competition which will run from 19 to 27
                                                     Yao Cong have             July, will conclude with a televised awards show. Performance
                                                     been selected to          categories include acting, singing, modelling and dancing.
10                                                                instep july-august 2008

Arts Around You

■ NAC-ExxonMobil Concert in the Park                                                                    ■ Singapore General Hospital
WORLD OF VOICES                                                                                         Arts for Health – in partnership with NAC
24 August, 4pm to 6.30pm                                                                                25 July – 12 Dec
Singapore Botanic Gardens
                                                                                                        It’s a lively arts calendar for patients and
Come dressed in a stunning red-and-white outfit to celebrate National Day in the Park                    visitors at SGH. They can view the artworks of
and you will be treated to goodie bags, souvenirs and prizes. Held amidst the lush                      patients and local artists at visual arts space
greenery of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Anderson Junior College choir, a cappella                    ArtsExpressions (Block 2 Level 1). On top of
sextet VoCollision, renowned local beatboxer Zul Mystroe and our very first Singapore                    performances such as ArtsConcert, Puppets
Idol – Taufik Batisah will come together for an afternoon of melodious singing for                       Alive2!, Asian Pop Nite, there will also be an
this much-anticipated concert. Other activities include a bean craft workshop, face                     interesting exhibition, Size Free, exploring the
painting, balloon sculpting, beatbox workshop, and a photography competition.                           theme of body image through paintings and T-
                                                                                                        shirts designed by patients with eating disorders
For more details, visit, or call (65)                      during art therapy sessions.
6288 8478 (concert hotline).
                                                                                                        More information at or call
■ South-West District Arts Festival 2008 – a NAC-PA MOU initiative                                      (65) 6326 5158
28 June - 27 July

The inaugural South-West CDC - The Singapore Colours Photographic Society
ART-tastic Photography Competition is on the search for images of friendship from
the public – snap away with your cameras and mobile phones! Weekend creative
workshops and performances by local and international groups will also liven up the
heartlands and shopping malls for the month.

For more details, visit or call (65) 6551 9299.

     Get Listed!
     Arts Beat is a fortnightly guide to the arts with a comprehensive listing of free and ticketed events in Singapore.

     To list an arts event/activity in Arts Beat, please email or fax +65 6291 2068 (Attention: Arts Beat)
     at least 5 weeks ahead of the event. Please include a short event write-up (about 100 words), event title, date, time, venue,
     price, ticketing details, contact numbers, photographs, and press releases (if any). You may email high resolution digital
     photos or send non-returnable photographs by post to Arts Beat, Song Lin Building #06-01, No. 1 Syed Alwi Road,
     S (207628).

National Arts Council 140 Hill Street, #03-01 MICA Building, Singapore 179369 Tel: (65) 6746 4622 Fax: (65) 6837 3017

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