BUDGET DEBATE

Singapore Budget 2014: $20m to promote local art abroad

Local film director Anthony Chen with the Golden Horse awards he won for his highly-acclaimed movie Ilo Ilo. To build on successes such as Ilo Ilo, MCCY will work with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to promote local art abroad. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CHOO C
Local film director Anthony Chen with the Golden Horse awards he won for his highly-acclaimed movie Ilo Ilo. To build on successes such as Ilo Ilo, MCCY will work with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to promote local art abroad. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CHOO CHWEE HUA  

Artists hoping to make the leap to the global stage will get some help from the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), which is setting aside $20 million over the next five years to raise the profile of Singaporeans abroad.

To build on successes such as home-grown film-maker Anthony Chen's award-winning movie Ilo Ilo, MCCY will work with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to identify new opportunities for artists and arts groups to participate in programmes such as overseas festivals and arts residencies.

Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said: "When our artists perform overseas, they are also flying the Singapore flag. They represent an important part of our efforts in cultural diplomacy."

Multidisciplinary artist Sarah Choo, 23, who is currently completing a master's in Fine Arts in London, feels that showing her work at international events can be enriching, as she is exposed to different reactions and gets to meet renowned artists.

Ms Choo, who has exhibited her work in countries such as Germany and the United States, said it pushes her to think beyond just a direct representation of Singapore.

"It is a challenge to apply my experiences and draw relationships and parallels to situations overseas, and bring that out through my artwork."

CORRIE TAN