Saturday, 15 December 2012

TRIBUTE SG / A Photographic Tribute to Artists of Singapore


If you happen to be in the vicinity of Esplanade, do check out TRIBUTE SG, a black-and-white photographic tribute to people who have left their mark in the Singapore arts scene. It is as complete and inclusive a survey as one can get, covering Singaporean personalities in music, visual arts, theatre, literature and dance. It appears that only those aged 60 and above have been included, and none of the younger arts practitioners no matter how great their contribution get a look in. Foreign born and naturalised Singaporeans have also been omitted. That might explain the absence of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra's Music Director of 15 years Lan Shui, for example.  
How many of these people can you name?

No list can be all exhaustive, but going through this list is an enjoyable walk down memory lane. Many of the great Singaporean artists are still with us, while a few like Goh Soon Tioe, Paul Abisheganaden, Leong Yoon Pin and Pan Shou have transcended to a higher plane of artistic expression. This list is probably drawn from Singapore's Cultural Medallion laureates, but also features long-serving administrators (some bureaucrats, functionaries and people who sit on committees included) in our arts scene. What, no music critics?  

My selections here are clearly music-biased and I have included some of my friends and colleagues from the various arts committees that I have sat in.

Two of Singapore's most iconic composers: Leong Yoon Pin and Zubir Said, the composer of Majulah Singapura.
Maestro Lim Yau is the man to whom I owe my involvement in music. He was my choirmaster, mentor on musicophiliac activities and remains an inspiration for his musical programming. More importantly, it was  he who got me started on writing about music.

Maestro Yeh Tsung has revolutionised how people view Chinese classical music.
Father and daugher in music: Goh Soon Tioe and Vivien Goh.

"Mr Opera" Leow Siak Fah was the founding Chairman of the Singapore Lyric Opera. He sang the lead tenor roles in many of SLO's early productions, but he also bankrolled them. Without him, Western opera does not exist in Singapore.

Tribute SG may be viewed at the undergound passage way that leads between Citylink Mall and the Esplanade, as well as Esplanade's Jendela Arts Space. The exhibition runs until 1 January 2013.

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