Singapore, 24 May 2019 – Culture came alive at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, as the highly anticipated Cultural Extravaganza kicked off its third edition this evening. An annual highlight of the local arts and cultural calendar, the Festival features an immersive and vibrant line-up of programmes to celebrate the cultural influences in everyday life. Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Grace Fu officiated the launch by honouring cultural stalwarts, local historian Mr Kua Bak Lim and Ding Yi Music Company with the presentation of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Contribution Award (SCCCA), for their significant contributions to the Singapore Chinese cultural landscape.
Cultural Extravaganza 2019 raised the curtain with the premiere of Memoirs of Nanyang, a specially commissioned production by the Cultural Centre, presented by the inaugural SCCCA (Organisation) recipient Siong Leng Musical Association. The cross-cultural musical performance which featured a bold fusion of traditional Nanyin, Malay cultural music and Mandarin pop tunes, took the audience on a compelling journey into the life of an early immigrant in Singapore and how familial ties comforted his longing for home. Members of the public can look forward to an exciting line-up of programmes presented by local talents across different fields, including a concert led by choral maestro Mr Lee Yuk Chuan and a poetry soiree by the Singapore Association of Writers, both recipients of the SCCCA last year. Other local partners have also been roped in to present our living culture anew with programmes such as ISland TaleS – a multi-lingual street-wayang performance by GroundZ-0, Circus by the People – a performance by community circus Bonfire, and Kossip – an interactive showcase of Singapore’s rich Nanyang coffee culture by Rickshaw Coffee and more.
“As a centre of excellence in the nurturing and promoting of our unique Chinese culture, the Cultural Centre has an integral role to play in passing down this ever-evolving cultural legacy to our future generations. Through the Cultural Extravaganza 2019, we pay tribute to our cultural champions and present a platform for local talents, including our past SCCCA recipients, to bring our dynamic culture to life through refreshing and fun programmes for a multi-generational audience to enjoy and experience together,” said Mr Chua Thian Poh, Chairman of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre.
Honouring the cultural trailblazers
The annual Singapore Chinese Cultural Contribution Award (SCCCA) recognises individuals and organisations who have made outstanding efforts in the promotion and development of the Singapore Chinese culture. This year, the recipients of the individual and organisation category are local historian, Mr Kua Bak Lim, and Ding Yi Music Company respectively.
The two Award recipients emerged from over 30 nominations received this year. Each received a specially commissioned trophy designed by local contemporary sculptor, Mr Yeo Chee Kiong, and a prize of S$20,000 each, comprising S$10,000 in cash and up to S$10,000 in project funding.
A noted historian in both Singapore and Malaysia, Mr Kua Bak Lim was recognised for his deep research into the history of the Chinese pioneers in Singapore and his devotion to the promotion of the cultural values and heritage of the Singapore Chinese community. As a renowned author with over 18 publications to his name, he is the editor of the highly acclaimed book A General History of the Chinese in Singapore.
Ding Yi Music Company was recognised for its outstanding achievements in the field of Chinese chamber music. With a distinctive approach to music-making and dedication to showcasing a vast repertoire, ranging from traditional Chinese music to contemporary interpretations and cross-genre works, the ensemble has captivated audiences in Singapore and abroad. It is also a dedicated collaborator with international chamber musicians to champion the field of Chinese chamber music, such as the biennial Ding Yi Chinese Chamber Music Festival.
Mr Liu Thai Ker, Chairman of the SCCCA Judging Committee shared, “In the last three years, it is indeed very heartening to see that Chinese culture is very much alive in Singapore through the nominations received. It is evolving as it is actively nurtured by a growing number of individuals and organisations. While these individuals and organisations take great pains to uphold the high standard of traditional Chinese culture, they spare no effort to keep pace with the changing times and to embrace our own distinct multi-ethnic culture at the same time. I wish that Singaporean Chinese, in addition to knowing our own country well, will also develop a deeper understanding of our Singapore Chinese history and culture. This will greatly help us find a firm footing in this vast global community and pursue our work with greater convictions and dignity.”
Cultural Extravaganza 2019 will be held from 24 May to 15 June at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore 018906) and will conclude with Sing.Lang Concert 2019 taking place at the National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub. For more information on ticketing and programme details, visit https://www.singaporeccc.org.sg.