Industry Related (Music/Theatre/Arts)

A Devotion to the Arts and Heritage

Left: Dominic Low | Right: Kok Tse Wei

With the push towards greater recognition in the creative industries, more and more creative professionals are getting the recognition that they truly deserve. We meet two scholars who reveal more about the burgeoning arts and heritage sectors.

By Eliza Hamizah

“It’s a misconception that local talent equals to bad talent. I’ve seen many gifted local youth designers, artists, filmmakers, and musicians,” enthuses Kok Tse Wei.

The 30-year-old, who is a serious weekend trombonist with a local wind orchestra, is the Assistant Director for Youth Arts in the National Art Council. His role places him in the perfect position to make such a statement; he talks to fellow arts enthusiasts, organises festivals, meets youths in talent auditions, and shapes the arts landscape by influencing and formulating policies.

Another common myth that 21-year-old Dominic Low wants to dispel is that someone in the creative industries has to be ‘arty-farty’.


MICA: Grooming Creativity

Singapore has embraced art, design and music as viable economies, and has executed various incentives and programmes to develop local creative talent. For would-be artists, musicians and filmmakers, it means more money. And if that isn't enough, what’s cooler than telling your friends that you’re a creative?

By Edwin Tam

Jeremy Monteiro and Olivia Ong; Royston Tan and :phunk studios.

One’s a jazz pianist and another’s a singer; he’s a filmmaker and they’re a graphic design collective.

You might have seen, heard or experienced their works in movies, concerts, posters, or even on television. That’s not too surprising as they are part of Singapore’s creative industries – defined as “industries which are inspired by cultural and artistic creativity and have the potential to create economic value”.

It was these industries that helped countries such as China, the United Kingdom and United States to grow. As such, Singapore has recognised the need to groom these industries and our people. This is why Neo Jiet Shern, 27, and Chok Kerong, 25, received scholarships to pursue their creative passions.

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Dancing to Life's Beat

Many consider an arts education to be mere enrichment. For a few, however, their childhood arts lessons became the foundation for a lifelong career.

By Charlene Tan

Wearing pink ballet tights for the first time, four-year-old Veronica Shen tottered onto the wondrous world of dance. Unbeknownst to her then, her passion would continue unabated throughout her years of schooling.

“When I was in Poly, my friends and tutors would often catch me doodling ballet shoes on my worksheets and books,” she muses.

Today, the 22-year-old is a dedicated ballet teacher determined to pass on the love of dance to younger generations. She teaches most evenings a week, coaching both kids and adults in ballet and jazz dance, and without a doubt, cherishes every moment she spends on the job.

“There is so much satisfaction and it’s the little things that add up. At the end of class, the kids would sometimes come up to me with a hug, and the enthusiastic response I get from them during class shows they enjoy class. When the kids do well in exams, it’s an assurance that I’ve done a good job,” she says with a smile.

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Painting with Measured Strokes

A career in the visual arts has long been stigmatised as a job with low prospects and erratic pay. How then does one become a successful professional artist? Dr Chew Kim Liong, a contemporary Chinese painting artist, tells us how it can be done.

By Clara Chua

Singapore is becoming a city of possibilities. Once upon a time, artists were perceived to be “struggling street performers”, people who relied on the goodwill of others to make ends meet.


Arts, Media & Journalism overview: Making the cut

The past year has seen Singapore's emerging media thrive in a multi-platform industry of creative content and technological capabilities. This year, be prepared for another promising phase for Singapore, to once again break barriers and strengthen its vision of becoming a truly global media city.

By Pamela Almeda


The Price of Piracy

"Psst, want to buy DVDs?" You turn around and see an unkempt looking youth-bright blond hair, faded tee and jeans with cigarettes in mouth. "Latest one also got, boss, "he coaxes further. You move closer to his shop and find the latest movie DVDs and music CDs. Take your pick. They're dirt-cheap. "Buy five, I give you one for free, " he tempts more. What are you going to do? If you're thinking of getting your wallet out, think again. Piracy hidesa very sinister tale of theft, crime and immorality. Strong words, but it is a strong crime. One that sees you shortchanging yourself, the economy and the industry. Cheap prices? They're more expensive than you think!

By Joshua Rayan

Made-by-Singapore: Producing content for a global audience

The word has gone out- Singapore wants to be the media hub for the region. It's not hard to see why. Global spending on media entertainment amounted to US$1 trillion in 2001, and it's expected to hit US$1.7 trillion by 2008. The Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market for media entertainment over the next five years, where media spending amounted to US$215 million in 2000 alone. It's certainly a lucrative market that's hard to ignore.

By John Yip