Tag Archives: Singapore

NAC Singapore unveils Creation Grant Recipients 2013

The National Arts Council (NAC), Singapore, has unveiled the names of Creation Grant recipients for 2013.

Formerly known as the Arts Creation Fund, the Creation grant supports the creation, adaptation and re-development of distinctive artistic content. The grants “seeks to expand the canon of Singapore-made works that engage audiences at home and abroad”.

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Woon Tai Ho: My words are my paints

Woon Tai HoThe 54-year-old Singapore media veteran Woon Tai Ho developed a connection with art at an early age. While growing up as a kid in Geylang, he and his twin brother Daniel Yun – former CEO of Raintree Pictures and founder of recently closed film company Homerun Asia – used to hold magic lantern shows for the neighbourhood, charging 20 cents each. He sold his first painting when he was hardly 16.

Later on, Tai Ho joined art clubs in TelokKurau Secondary School and HwaChong Junior College, which he attended on scholarships. When he was in secondary school, his father, a chef, passed away. His widowed mother raised her two sons and two daughters with great difficulty, including running a food stall.

A bright student, Woon Tai Ho did well in life and rose up to become the CEO of MediaCorp News, Singapore’s regional news channel.

While still serving at MediaCorp, Tai Ho published his first book in 2008, To Paint A Smile—a non-fiction account of the life and work of Cultural Medallion recipient Tan Swie Hian.

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Tash Aw: Now there seems to be a much stronger idea of Singaporeanness

Tash Aw“Now there seems to be a much stronger idea of…Singaporeanness, compared to 30 years ago,” says Malaysian novelist Tash Aw in this interview with Samuel Caleb in The Epiphany. The Booker Prize-longlisted author discusses the rivalry between Singapore and Malaysia, about the post-colonial literary fetishes, and his own writing career and the choices he has made in his life.

You’re currently living on campus as a writer-in-residence—how familiar are you with Singapore?

Quite—my sister used to study here back in the 80s, and I’ve visited from time to time. I’ve noticed since I arrived, though, that now there seems to be a much stronger idea of…Singaporeanness, compared to 30 years ago.

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Hollywood picks up Singaporean writer’s debut novel

CrazyRichAsiansNothing succeeds like success. While this year, three Asian writers published three well-publicised novels on the Asia’s new rich (Tash Aw’s Five Star Billionaire, Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, and Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians), one has been picked by Hollywood.

Hollywood has picked up the film rights to “Crazy Rich Asians,”  author Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel about three prominent Chinese families preparing for a lavish wedding in Singapore.

Color Force, the production company behind last year’s hit “The Hunger Games,” acquired the rights for an undisclosed amount. The film will be produced outside of the studio system, it said in a statement.

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Sony organises its fifth book donation drive in Singapore

Mobile LibraryIn continuation of its long-term commitment to support children’s education, the Sony Group of Companies in Singapore said it will be conducting its annual book donation drive from Saturday, 11 August 2012 to Wednesday, 22 August 2012. The company invites members of the public to donate new or second-hand English-language children’s books for the South Africa Mobile Library Project, now in its fifth consecutive year.

In a bid to improve literacy levels by making books readily available, a fleet of 43 colourful mobile library vehicles makes regular journeys to 600 different schools in remote areas of South Africa, said Sony in a press release. The project enables children to improve reading skills and gain more knowledge about the world around them, while teachers have access to teaching materials.

Read More at Sony Corp’s website

Singaporean writer Joyce Chng on Chinese Werewolves

When Catherine Lundoff asked me to write about the Chinese werewolves in my urban fantasy series set in Singapore, I actually rummaged through my head for things to write. Many people are curious about the Langand desire to know more about them. I often reply that they were Chinese wolves, not the typical werewolves-doomed-to-change-during-full-moon, but wolves in human bodies. Some readers have said that they are more like spirit wolves. These wolves walk side by side their human counterparts, by all means Singaporean Chinese and indistinguishable. But like wolves, leery of strangers, of the crowd and of cramped spaces.  So, as I rummaged through my head, what should I write about the Chinese werewolves?

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Singapore Writers Fest 2013: First batch of writers unveiled

Northern GirlsThe organizers of the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF), an annual literary festival held in Singapore, have unveiled the names of over 20 writers who are participating in this year’s festival.

Some of the leading names include A C Grayling, Stephen Leather and Tom Plate, among others.

One of the young writers to participate from China is Sheng Keyi, the author of Northern Girls. In her book, she tells a dazzling story of young migrant girls from Hunan, China, seeking a better life from their rural upbringing.

“’Northern Girls’ will have you rooting for its naïve but ambitious protagonist. Be the first to meet the author this November at SWF 2013!” SWF organizers announced. (More updates to follow)

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Borders bookstore to re-open in Singapore: report

Book retailer Popular Holdings is bringing Borders back to Singapore.

Popular CEO Chou Cheng Ngok announced Wednesday morning the company acquired the Borders brand for Singapore last year.

The new Borders store would open in Jurong by the end of the year.

Mr Chou also confirmed that the company will be closing its lifestyle concept bookstore Prologue in ION Orchard on 25 August.

Borders closed its flagship store in Wheelock Place in August 2011, and its Singapore outlet in Parkway Parade shut its doors the following month.

Read More at CNA

Singapore playwright Alfian Sa’at tackles the immigration debate

“Cook A Pot Of Curry” references an intriguing incident reported in the media some two years ago, in which a mainland Chinese family quarreled with a neighbouring Singaporean Indian family, because they could not bear the smell of the curry the latter cooked at home.

The incident went on to spark a lively discussion in Singapore about immigration and the Singaporean way of life.

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Constance Singam’s memoir: Making the personal political

Constance Singam

Constance Singam

The feminist rallying cry – “the personal is political” – rings on every page of this memoir by a distinguished citizen whose ideas and ideals galvanised the women’s movement in Singapore.

The word “margins” in the title refers to the multiple ways in which Constance Singam found herself marginalised: as a woman, an ethnic Indian, a widow and a civil society activist.

Her answer to each kind of marginality was to rewrite the prevailing terms of discourse so that her femininity, her Malayalee-Indian culture, and her political disquiet became sources of self-empowerment, not of self-denial.

“I am who I think I am,” she declares defiantly. “I am what I believe. I am what I do.” The personal could not be more political.

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