In a ceremony at the Istana earlier this evening, 14 Singaporean artists were honoured for artistic excellence in their fields.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam awarded the prestigious Cultural Medallion to five individuals: artist and critic Ho Ho Ying, 77; artist and educator Milenko Prvacki, 61; writer Jamaludeen Mohamed Sali, 73; theatre practitioner Thirunalan Sasitharan, 55; and conductor Jennifer Tham, 50.

Singapore's highest cultural honours for 14 artists
Cultural Medallion recipients (front row from left): Thirunalan Sasitharan, Ho Ho Ying, Jennifer Tham, J.M. Sali and Milenko Prvacki. ST PHOTO: NURIA LING

At the same ceremony, nine Young Artist Awards were also handed out by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts. This is the most number of Young Artist Award recipients in a single year since the award’s inception.

These awards are given to those aged 35 or below, who have shown promise in artistic excellence.

This year’s recipients are: visual artist Genevieve Chua, 28; film-maker Liao Jiekai, 28; film-maker Looi Wan Ping, 35; sound artist and composer Darren Ng, 33; writer and editor O Thiam Chin, 35; film-maker and multimedia artist Brian Gothong Tan, 32; visual artist Tan Wee Lit, 34; dancer Zhuo Zihao, 31; and playwright and director Zizi Azah Abdul Majid, 32.

This year, the National Arts Council, which administers the awards, will also introduce the Cultural Medallion Speaker Series, where the public will get the chance to meet the Cultural Medallion recipients and hear their stories and discuss issues concerning Singapore art.

This will take place over two tea-time panel conversations at the National Library on October 28 and November 4. You can register at http://bit.ly/Ot3WXy. Admission is free.

This story was first published on Oct 17, 2012 on StraitsTimes.com. To read more: http://sph.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/singapores-highest-cultural-honours-14-artists-20121017