The News: Issue 43

Published on 24 May 2016


On the Write Track

SOTA launches new programme to groom budding writers.

At its recent awards day on 16 May, the School of the Arts (SOTA) announced the launch of its Literary Arts programme. An addition to the five art forms — dance, music, film, theatre and visual arts — already offered at Singapore’s first national pre-tertiary specialised arts school, this latest programme helps students (aged 13 to 18) develop breadth and depth in the craft of writing. The range of literary genres covers both fiction and non-fiction, and includes poetry, prose, short stories, screenplays for film and stage, as well as journalistic writing.

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Treasure Island

Cultural mapping of Pulau Ubin reveals hidden gems.

The year-long Pulau Ubin Cultural Mapping Project, commissioned by the National Heritage Board (NHB), recently concluded with findings that challenge common misconceptions about one of Singapore’s last living kampongs. Helmed by anthropologist Dr Vivienne Wee, the study of Ubin’s unique heritage found that its kampong-centred social network is thriving, and has evolved to extend beyond residents living on the island. Its annual six-day Tua Pek Kong Festival, for example, attracted some 5,000 visitors last year.

“This is the first such project of its nature and scale to be conducted on Pulau Ubin. The findings will be useful to the Friends of Ubin Network, and will inform our deliberations on how best to retain and enhance Ubin’s heritage and charm for future generations,” says Alvin Tan, NHB’s assistant chief executive officer (Policy & Community). The findings are presented in a 25-minute documentary titled Life on Ubin, which can be viewed at NHB’s new heritage portal,

Designed to Draw

Singapore Design Week 2016 a big hit.

A record 79,000 visitors flocked to Singapore Design Week (SDW)’s more than 100 events this year — a 25 per cent jump from last year’s attendances. Organised by the DesignSingapore Council and held from 8 to 20 March, this third edition saw some key events drawing visitors: The President’s Design Award 2006-2015: A Decade of Design Excellence (a special 10th anniversary exhibition), Design and Make Fair, as well as the Fifty Years of Singapore Design exhibition.

“We’re encouraged by the response and will continue to inject vibrancy into our programming to make it more meaningful to visitors,” says DesignSingapore’s executive director Jeffrey Ho.

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