Samsui women and 19th-century spinning optical toys came together in an winning effort at N.E.mation! - a digital animation competition organised to mark Total Defence Day.
The video by a team from Beatty Secondary School, featuring 120 images drawn to show the nation's achievements such as Changi Airport, Newater and the Marina Bay skyline, yesterday earned top place.
These images were divided into strips of 10 and placed around the surfaces of 12 reflective cylinders. When spun, the mirrors of the device - a praxinoscope - produce what appears to be a single image in motion.
Using the idea of reflection, the team drew parallels between people then and now such as samsui women and construction workers. They said the common values were resourcefulness with the aim to carve out a better future.
The team members believe their unique concept bagged them the prize. Chua Hui Min, 16, said: "We focused on conveying values via the more emotional approach of getting people to reflect. Using a reflective medium like the praxinoscope was different and never before seen in the competition's history."
The winning entry was selected by a panel of professional animators and academics. The public also got to weigh in, with more than 48,900 votes recorded.
The winning team will get to go on a fully sponsored trip to renowned animation studios in the United States. Past winners have visited the Walt Disney or DreamWorks animation studios.
A total of 475 teams, comprising about 1,700 students, participated in the 10th instalment of the competition organised for the young to express their thoughts about Total Defence in one-minute animation clips. This year's theme was "Together We Keep Singapore Strong".
Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung, who officiated at yesterday's ceremony at the School of the Arts drama theatre, praised the students for their creativity and tenacity. "We've come so far in 50 years... Many generations, many older Singaporeans built what we have. The next 50 years depend on the young ones to score the winning goal," he said.