On 24 Sep 99, Minister Lee Yock Suan presented the 1999 Arts Awards —
Cultural Medallion and Young Artist Award — to seven talented artists.
1999 Cultural Medallion Recipients
Instituted in 1979, the Cultural Medallion is conferred on individuals who have attained artistic excellence and have made significant contribution to the artistic development of Singapore. This year, two outstanding artists, Mr Abdul Ghani bin Abdul Hamid and Mr Chua Ek Kay, join the ranks of 71 previous Cultural Medallion recipients.
Artist Chua Ek Kay, distinguished by his unique style of combining the richness of the Chinese artistic sensibility with elements of western aesthetics in his art works, became the first Chinese ink painter to win the UOB Painting of the Year in 1991. His works are also in the collection of various Ministries, hotels and banks.
Mr Abdul Ghani is a bilingual writer, critic and painter. The volume of his literary and artistic output makes him a much respected figure of Malay arts and letters. His contribution to the development of Malay literature has garnered him two other awards — the Tun Seri Lanang Award and the South-east Asia Write Award.
1999 Young Artist Award Recipients
The Young Artist Award recognises artists of 35 years old and below demonstrating promise of artistic excellence. Adding to the current list of 39 Young Artist Award recipients are theatre director Ang Gey Pin, musician Aravinth Kumarasamy, violinist Chua Lik Wuk, artist Chng Nai Wee and writer Henry Low Swee Kim.
Ang Gey Pin, founder of Theatre Ox, is the foremost director of the
Grotowski technique of acting in Singapore. She has built up a form of theatrical expression based on the discipline of the body and mind.
A doctor by profession, Chng Nai Wee has participated in more than 20 group exhibitions in Singapore and overseas, and has created a refreshing body of works that reflects the complexities of technology and science in his artistic expressions.
Chua Lik Wuk is a talented violinist and is currently the assistant leader of the
Singapore Symphony Orchestra. He has also helped set up Prism, a chamber music group.
An outstanding veena player and composer, Aravinth Kumarasamy has performed extensively in many overseas festivals and has written several compositions for dance dramas.
Henry Low, a poet, is noted for his daring experimentation with different techniques and his untraditional use of language and imagery.