President Halimah Yacob awards Singapore’s top artistic honors to eight artists


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In total, eight artists received two cultural medallions and six young artist awards, for their contribution to the development of the artistic and cultural scenario of Singapore.

The Cultural Medallion and Young Artist Awards (CMYAA) exemplify Singapore’s importance to the arts and also inspire them to elevate their art to impact more lives and strengthen the country’s international reputation as a hotbed of the arts.

The recipients of the Cultural Medallion and the Young Artist Award 2021 with President Halimah Yacob (center left). Photo courtesy of the NAC

The awards were presented to the 2021 and 2020 winners at Istana by Singaporean President Halimah Yacob.

President Halimah Yacob said: “I congratulate the recipients for their indelible contributions and commitment to their profession. The Cultural Medallions and Young Artist Awards celebrate new heights of art and creativity that will inspire future possibilities in the art scene. This year’s recipients have explored new forms of artistic expression, and their work will leave a lasting impact on the community.

Established in 1979, the Cultural Medallion recognizes individuals whose artistic excellence, along with contributions and commitment to the arts, have enriched and shaped Singapore’s cultural landscape.

Those who have received Singapore’s highest artistic honor have made significant strides locally and internationally, demonstrated extraordinary leadership and inspired young artists. Now in its 42nd year, the Cultural Medallion has been awarded to a total of 130 artists in various disciplines.

Novelist Chia Joo Ming is widely recognized for her writings with a distinct Singaporean character, drawing on our historical developments, our unique multicultural background, colloquial language, and everyday themes that resonate with a wide range of people. range of readers. The 1993 Young Artist Award winner and three-time Singapore Literature Prize winner has published 12 books over his 40-year career that have been acclaimed locally and internationally.

Notably, her novel m40 was selected as one of the 20 best novels (2001 – 2015) featured in Taiwan literary magazine, Wen Hsun (æ–‡ 讯), in 2016. Exile or Pursuit (放逐 与 追逐) was also selected as the key. Ministry of Education text for Singapore-Cambridge General Education Certificate of Ordinary Level Literature (GCE O-Level) in Chinese Curriculum in 2018. The publication of a novel translated into English further strengthens its growing influence as a writer. Spearheading the literary section of Lianhe Zaobao (联合早报) twice during his career, Joo Ming has launched activities to bring the local literary scene to the fore, such as Zaobao Book Choice (早报 书 选) and Literary Phenomena: A Collection of Lianhe Zaobao Literary Writings (文字 现象).

Seasoned singer and performer Rahimah Rahim’s versatility to tackle a wide range of genres from pop to jazz, ballads and traditional music, coupled with her ability to sing in languages ​​such as English, Malay, Mandarin and Japanese, have made her recognizable as an icon of local Malay music. Rahimah’s journey to international recognition and reputation began when she won the first award from the prestigious Kimi Koso Star of Japan in 1974. Since then, she has released 12 solo albums and several Extended Plays (EPs) and has represented Singapore. on numerous regional and international platforms such as the Golden Bell Awards, Taiwan (1981) and ASEAN Song Festival, Singapore (1982), performing multilingual hits alongside renowned singers.

For her contribution to the local arts and entertainment scene, Rahimah was inducted into the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame 2017 by the Singapore Council of Women’s Organization. Rahimah inspires and shares her musical knowledge with the local community, offering voice coaching to the nonprofit organization WINGS and presenting for the nonprofit social enterprise Vintage Radio SG.

Established in 1992, the Young Artist Award aims to encourage young practitioners aged 35 and under at the time of nomination to continue their pursuit of artistic excellence, and recognizes their potential for greater leadership roles in Singapore and beyond. abroad.

The recipients of the Cultural Medallion and the Young Artist Award 2020 with President Halimah Yacob (center left) and Minister of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and Second Minister of Law, Edwin Tong ( center right).  Pallippakkam Sivaraman Somasekharan receiving the award on behalf of Sushma Soma, and Imelda Said receiving the award on behalf of the late Sarkasi Said.  Photo courtesy: CNA

The recipients of the Cultural Medallion and the Young Artist Award 2020 with President Halimah Yacob (center left) and Minister of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and Second Minister of Law, Edwin Tong ( center right). Pallippakkam Sivaraman Somasekharan receiving the award on behalf of Sushma Soma, and Imelda Said receiving the award on behalf of the late Sarkasi Said. Photo courtesy: CNA

Six artists are recognized this year for their continued excellence in their respective fields of theater, film, dance, visual arts and music, adding to a total of 169 recipients in 2021. Beyond their works who push the boundaries recognized at home and abroad, this year’s Young Artist Award recipients exemplify a passion for sharing their art with other aspiring practitioners and artists, taking on active mentoring roles to nurture and inspire interest in their artistic genres in schools and the community.

Minister of Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister of Law Edwin Tong said: “The arts are an integral part of our society and have played an important role in building Singapore’s multicultural identity. over the past decades. Establishing the National Arts Council this year, we’re celebrating our artists who have contributed to our vibrant arts ecosystem that we enjoy today.

Beyond the pursuit of excellence in their craft, Cultural Medallion and Young Artist Award recipients also give back to the community by sharing their expertise and knowledge with emerging young talents. This is a testament to the dedication of our local artists to further developing the sector, showcased through the diverse artistic and cultural milieu that we have today. We celebrate their accomplishments as they take Singapore’s cultural identity to new heights. “

In addition, to recognize the contributions of artists, the NAC works with government agencies and cultural institutions to document, profile and support the ongoing efforts of our artists to commemorate the legacy of past and present recipients of the Cultural Medallion. These efforts include the new showcase on our Cultural Medallion recipients at the Maison des Arts, which will launch on November 26.

Complementing the efforts on the showcase, Singapore Online Arts Repository (SOAR), a national digital repository with the National Library Board that supports documentation of artistic content, including the works of Cultural Medallion recipients, will be released to the public by phases.

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