The Singapore Prize recognises writers and works of literary merit in the country’s four official languages – English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. This year, the award features a mix of historical and creative works in the shortlist.
The winning entries were chosen by a jury that included filmmakers Lav Diaz, Ritu Sarin and Kim Soyoung and New York Film Festival artistic director Dennis Lim. Makbul Mubarak’s “Autobiography of a Fallen Angel” won the best Asian feature, edging out competition from films by Korean director Kim Ki-duk and Thai director Tsui Hark. “This film is a vivid character study, a powerful allegory of national trauma and an urgent dissection of the fascist mindset,” said the jury.
The winners of the inaugural 2023 Singapore International Violin Competition were announced on December 14. Ukrainian violinist Dmytro Udovychenko won the top prize worth USD 50,000, Danish violinist Anna Agafia Egholm won second prize, worth USD 25,000, and Hong Kong/Chinese violinist Angela Sin Ying Chan took third place, worth USD 15,000.
In a statement, the judges praised all three finalists for their musical talent, but attributed the winner to his performance in the final round, which saw the trio perform concertos with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music orchestra conducted by Joshua Kangming Tan. The jury said it was impressed by his ability to express a range of emotions through the music and how he had adapted the pieces to fit his own personal style.
Winners will receive exclusive access to a four-week programme curated by Vogue Singapore, where they will be mentored by global experts hand-picked by the magazine’s editors from the areas of digital innovation, design, media, brand storytelling and more. The mentors will help the entrepreneurs hone their pitches and develop their business models, before guiding them through the steps of scaling their solutions and achieving their desired impact.
The Dr Alan HJ Chan Spirit of Singapore Book Prize is given by the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and was launched on April 18. It aims to promote writing that champions mindsets and values important in shaping Singapore, such as equality, diversity, religious harmony, meritocracy, pragmatism and resilience. The inaugural award is worth $30,000, the largest prize for a Singapore book award. The SUSS says it will be awarded annually to works of fiction and non-fiction. The prize is open to Singaporeans of all ages and ethnicities. Its main criteria is that the work is original and makes a significant contribution to understanding Singapore’s past, present and future. The book may be on any subject, including but not limited to history, cultural studies, sociology and urban planning. It also aims to encourage a wider engagement among Singaporeans with their own history. The NUS Singapore History Prize is one such initiative – it aims to stimulate engagement with Singapore’s history broadly understood, which could include pre-1819 history and work that focuses on the island state’s place in the world. This is in addition to a focus on Singapore’s contemporary life and society.