Showcase to celebrate all 130 Cultural Medallion winners

Idea for exhibit sparked by artists' desire for more awareness, accessibility of their works

A new showcase at The Arts House puts the spotlight on the 130 recipients of the Cultural Medallion, Singapore's highest arts accolade.

Our Cultural Medallion Story, launched yesterday by Culture, Community and Youth Minister Edwin Tong, showcases videos, publications and newspaper articles about the visual artists, writers, musicians, theatre-makers, dancers and more who have received the award.

Visitors can interact with digital screens to view videos about the artists, old articles and write-ups, as well as images of artworks.

Also on display are books written by, or about, the recipients, as well as the Cultural Medallion coin, lapel pin and certificate. QR codes direct visitors to where more resources on the artists can be found.

The Cultural Medallion was established in 1979 by then Minister for Culture Ong Teng Cheong.

It is presented by the President, administered by the National Arts Council (NAC) and allows recipients to tap funds of up to $80,000.

The idea for the showcase emerged from NAC's conversations with Cultural Medallion recipients. Mr Low Eng Teong, deputy chief executive for sector development at NAC, said the artists had wanted greater public awareness, easier accessibility and more systematic archival of their works.

Some content from the showcase has been adapted for a digital platform, ourCMstory.sg, which will be updated with details of upcoming programmes and new works by the recipients.

It also features a 360-degree virtual gallery.

The NAC is also working with the National Library Board (NLB) to develop the Singapore Online Arts Repository documenting the work of Cultural Medallion recipients and other key artists.

Said Arts House Limited executive director Tan Boon Hui: "Our Cultural Medallion Story will be integrated with The Arts House's programming to provide a space where the public and Cultural Medallion recipients can gather and interact.

"The Arts House welcomes Cultural Medallion recipients to experiment, showcase and share their works at various other facilities in this historic building."

The showcase was produced by Arts House Limited with partners such as NLB, National Gallery Singapore and SPH Media.

Mr Tong said: "We are very proud of all 130 Cultural Medallion recipients... Your unwavering pursuit of excellence and your tireless perseverance have truly enriched and distinguished Singapore's arts and cultural landscape.

"Not only have you set the benchmark for future generations, many of you have also kindly, generously, shared your expertise and knowledge with aspiring and younger talents in the scene."

• Our Cultural Medallion Story is located on the ground floor of The Arts House and open to the public from today. Admission is free. For more information, visit ourCMstory.sg

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2021, with the headline Showcase to celebrate all 130 Cultural Medallion winners. Subscribe