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A celebration of local talent – the 5th CDL Singapore Sculpture Award reveals young budding sculptors

  • 30-year-old clinches CDL Singapore Sculpture Award 2013 title prize
  • ITE College Central (Ang Mo Kio) sweeps Student Category, winning three of four Awards
  • Youngest student winner is 16 years old
  • Winning works will be exhibited at The Arts House from 2 to 6 October 2013

Winners of the 5th CDL Singapore Sculpture Award with Guest-of-Honour, Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information (2nd row, fourth from left), Mr Kwek Leng Joo, Managing Director of CDL (left of Minister), Mr William Phuan, Director of The Arts House (right of Minister), and members of the Award's Advisory Panel.

Singapore, 2 October 2013 – The first and only nation-wide sculpture competition, the 5th CDL Singapore Sculpture Award has witnessed tremendous growth since it was first held over a decade ago in 2003. Over the years, this biennial Award has discovered and celebrated the creative endeavours of many young and aspiring local artists.

With cash prizes totalling $25,000, participants of this site-specific sculpture competition also vie for the opportunity to have his or her work commissioned and installed for public display at the designated sculpture site for each Award.

In conjunction with City Developments Limited (CDL)’s 50th Anniversary and 50 Years of Greening Singapore this year, participants were invited to create works around the theme, “Celebrate!” which pays homage to Singapore’s reputation as a City in a Garden, marked by decades of planning and cultivation. The designated sculpture site for this year’s Award is within a recreational area at East Coast Park that is slated for redevelopment. If suitable, the winning work will be commissioned for installation within Singapore’s most popular park.

Apart from organising the 5th CDL Singapore Sculpture Award as part of its 50th Anniversary celebration, CDL also completed the installation of a gleaming new public artwork at Raffles Place Park. The winning artwork from the 3rd CDL Singapore Sculpture Award in 2007, "All the Essentially Essential" by artist / educator Mr Tan Wee Lit reflects the vibe of the buzzing Central Business District.

Open Category winner, 30-year-old Kenneth Koh Qibao, an architectural designer with FARM, impressed the judges with his winning work, “A Hundred Lines”. Comprising a total of 100 lines, his work commemorates 50 years of creative urban architecture and 50 years of Singapore’s greening campaign. It depicts a gleaming cityscape of crystalline forms rendered by 50 vertical lines of metal. The metal is built atop a landscape of paths, waterways and landforms weaving around the city; formed by yet another 50 meandering lines of tropical wood, each engraved with text lines of 50 local plant species. The work is emblematic of the dramatic transformation of Singapore’s skyline and greenery; a vision best achieved together. Kenneth was incidentally the top prize winner in the Student Category during the last Award in 2009. His success at this year’s competition validates his creative journey as an artist since his graduation.

In the Student Category, three out of four of the winning entries were by ITE College Central (Ang Mo Kio) students in the first year of the space design (architecture) course. The winner of the CDL Youth Sculpture Award 2013 title is 16-year-old Kenneth Chua Wei Feng, whose work “Tunes and Muse – A Playing Sculpture” was lauded by the judges for its unique interactive element and structurally impressive design concept. Inspired by the xylophone, the piece encourages the audience to participate by creating a dialogue between two different art forms; sculpture and music. The musical sounds created will be amplified through an underground sound box.

“As a homegrown developer, beyond just shaping our cityscape with architectural icons, we are honoured to have helped contribute to our social landscape and enriching our cultural legacy. Through this sustained arts initiative, we have unearthed talented young artists who have since gone on to make their mark in the arts arena locally and globally. To date, we have commissioned and installed a total of five public sculptures, with another iconic piece at the heart of the city at Raffles Place Park, to be unveiled later this year. Together with our partners, we hope to nurture a thriving community of local sculptural artists that will form one of the pillars of the arts and cultural identity in Singapore,” said Mr Kwek Leng Joo, Managing Director of CDL.

25 of the most creative solutions, including the award-winning works will be on display at the 5th CDL Singapore Sculpture Award Exhibition from 2 to 6 October 2013. The Exhibition is presented by CDL in partnership with The Arts House.

Gracing the Official Opening of the Exhibition at The Arts House this evening, Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information, presented the prizes and plaques to the eight winners of the competition.

A total of 305 submissions were received for the 5th CDL Singapore Sculpture Award, the second highest number of entries over the last four competitions. Of these, some 20 were first-time participants in the Open Category. The Student Category continued to receive strong support from 23 secondary schools and tertiary institutions, with Temasek Polytechnic submitting 50 entries.

Click here to watch the video on how CDL has been shaping the landscape, beyond buildings, through initiatives like the CDL Singapore Sculpture Award.