The eighth Tan Ean Kiam Arts Awards saw the University Cultural Centre dressed for a spring celebration honouring outstanding NUS Centre For the Arts (CFA) groups, students and alumni for their talent and excellence in the arts and arts management.

Held on 28 October, the evening was graced by Guest-of-Honour, Ms Janice Koh, esteemed actor, alumna of the NUS Theatre Studies Programme, and former Nominated Member of Parliament for the Arts.

In her address, Ms Koh urged the young student-artists to continue their pursuit of the arts. She said: "You and I know, we don't do it for awards...We do it because there is a worm of an idea sort of niggling at the back of our heads, and we feel like we really need to get it out there. We do it because we feel like we need to tell a story about ourselves, or our lives, or sometimes what is intolerable about our lives. We do it because we're good at it and…we feel that we can truly be who we are. We do it because we love the people we're doing it with, and we feel normal, and whole, and part of a family. And maybe we do it for all these reasons and for all these moments of connection." Her inspiring words were met with loud cheers and applause.

The Chairman of the Tan Ean Kiam Foundation, Mr Tan Keng Soon, was also in attendance. On top of the Foundation’s generous gift, Mr Tan engages with the students at each year’s ceremony to better understand how the gift enables their artistic pursuits and efforts to give back to the community. Also present to support the award nominees were Associate Provost, Associate Professor Peter Pang, Dean of Students, Associate Professor Tan Teck Koon, CFA staff, tutors, alumni and fellow students from the CFA groups.

All the award recipients expressed thanks to the Tan Ean Kiam Foundation for their support, and acknowledged their fellow student-artists and tutors.

Student of the Year recipient, Elaine Ng, credited her seniors and fellow dancers from whom she derived the strength to be a better dancer, student and leader. Receiving the Production of the Year Award on behalf of NUS Chinese Dance for space.time.mind, she also encouraged fellow CFA groups to take on the challenge of exploring new concepts and collaborations.

NUS Dance Synergy representative Jonathan Ng received the inaugural Outstanding Community Service award on behalf of the group’s Corporate Social Integration initiative. He shared the group’s belief that just as they use dance to empower themselves, the art can also empower the less privileged.

The ceremony ended on an appreciative note where guests, alumni and student-artists mingled and shared with each other.

Click here for more on the Tan Ean Kiam Arts Awards and the list of this year’s recipients.

Left: Group photo with invited guests and recipients. Right: NUS Dance Blast!, whose member How Sun received an Honorable Mention in the Student of the Year award category.