Bigwigs of arts and entertainment industry gather for shoot to feature in SG50 book

(From left, back row) Film-makers Eric Khoo and Jack Neo, dramatist Ivan Heng, (middle row) radio DJ Anna Lim, xinyao pioneer Liang Wern Fook, actress Fann Wong, producer-songwriter Billy Koh, actress Zoe Tay; (front row) Indian classical dance chore
(From left, back row) Film-makers Eric Khoo and Jack Neo, dramatist Ivan Heng, (middle row) radio DJ Anna Lim, xinyao pioneer Liang Wern Fook, actress Fann Wong, producer-songwriter Billy Koh, actress Zoe Tay; (front row) Indian classical dance choreographer Santha Bhaskar, dramatist Ong Keng Sen and actor Lim Kay Tong hammed it up for the camera at the Esplanade on Nov 2, 2014. -- PHOTO: ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - Household names such as Zoe Tay, Eric Khoo and Hossan Leong were among 29 stars who lit up the Esplanade Theatre's stage in a photoshoot on Sunday afternoon.

With the grand theatre as the backdrop, the movers and shakers of the arts and entertainment industry posed for an upcoming book meant to commemorate Singapore's golden jubilee.

The coffee table book, tentatively titled "Living the Singapore Story: 1965-2015", will profile Singaporeans from a diverse spectrum of society who have played a role in the country's development.

The stars themselves will feature in a gatefold photo in the 200-page book, which is expected to be launched in May.

Actor Gurmit Singh said he wanted to be part of the picture and the book in commemoration of an important milestone for the nation.

"No other country has done so much in 50 years. Credit goes to everyone - from the Government, to the cleaner and doorman," he said.

Actor Lim Kay Tong said he usually lies low but made the shoot an exception. "I'm flattered to be part of the photo after 30 over years in the industry. It is the 50th anniversary of the nation which I grew up watching, so why not be part of it?"

Many, including theatre practitioner and Cultural Medallion recipient Ivan Heng and comedians and television hosts Najip Ali and Hossan Leong, also mourned the loss of music composer and Cultural Medallion winner Iskandar Ismail who died on Nov 1 from lung and brain cancer.

The Straits Times Press, which had organised the shoot, said Mr Iskandar had committed to it right up till the last hour.

Research, writing and photography for the keepsake publication, commissioned by the National Library Board and produced by The Straits Times Press, is already under way.

The shoot's sponsors were the Esplanade, Makeup Forever, Makeup Entourage, Redken, Rasel and Second Charm.