Yeo Chee Kiong


The wind, her rain, and a cloud meets with a tree in the monsoon season

"The wind, her rain, and a cloud meets with a tree in the monsoon season", secured the top prize in the Open Category of the CDL Singapore Sculpture Award for 35-year-old Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts lecturer, Yeo Chee Kiong.

According to Yeo Chee Kiong, he would take 9 months to complete the construction of this work in bronze that will tower 6 metres. The sculpture is earmarked for the Marina Bay financial district.

Chua Ek Kay, Cultural Medallion recipient and Judge, remarked "This award winner has specific significance of characteristics and nature relate to the nature and the environment itself."

Apparently, the judges were looking out for a work that was original and stimulative, and Yeo Chee Kion's work was far more provocative compared to the other submissions which were deemed less interesting and too conventional and derivative.

The judges included architect Peter Pran, and sculptors Han Sai Por, Chua Ek Kay, Chng Nai Wee, and Beat Yeok Kuan, and officials from the Singapore Art Museum and URA, and Kwek Leng Joo of City Developments.

There is speculation that the results of this competition would send a strong signal to the local community that artists would have to push themselves hard at the edge of originality, boldness, provocation, and innovation, in securing public commissions, and that the formula of happy modernism is insufficiently persuasive per se.

13-year-old, Kok Zhou Dao, one of the youngest participants won a Merit Award in the Student Category for the creative use of materials of transplant shaped colored acrylic sheets juxtaposed. He mused: "It's movement of the wind and the clouds in disguise and the wave in the ocean and especially it is freedom energy and life."

The models of the submissions are now on show at the Singapore Art Museum. More students made up the 237 artistes competing for the 2nd CDL Singapore Sculpture Award. The award, launched in 2002, saw a 40 per cent increase in entries in 2005.