NAFA Convocation 2021: Celebrating Resilience and Renewal

27 August 2021

10 September 2021, Friday, 4.00pm to 7.00pm

Celebrating the resilience of its graduands in our new normal, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) proudly presents NAFA Convocation 2021, its annual convocation ceremony that will be held on 10 September 2021 (Friday), from 4pm to 7pm. The live online event will see the academy confer 962 certificates to its graduates from 18 Diploma and 9 Degree courses – its largest graduating cohort to date. Hallmark awards such as the Embassy of Peru Award, The Ngee Ann Kongsi Gold Medal and the Wu Tsung Kan Book Prize will also be presented to outstanding graduands.

NAFA Convocation 2021 will kick off with a congratulatory speech by Guest of Honour, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, and Second Minister for Law, Mr Edwin Tong. This will be followed by celebratory remarks from the President of NAFA; words of encouragement from the Deans of NAFA’s School of Art & Design, School of Arts Management, Dance & Theatre and School of Music; as well as speeches by valedictorians from each Academic School. In recognition of his achievements in Design and for giving back to NAFA, alumnus Yeo Yeok Chuan will also be presented the NAFA Distinguished Alumni Medal.

With the global COVID-19 climate, the annual ceremony will be held virtually for the second time, affording graduates’ families and friends the opportunity to celebrate this momentous milestone together. Underscoring the strength shown in the face of the pandemic, this effort also earmarks a chapter of renewal and rejuvenation as NAFA graduates look to charter new paths and make their mark as changemakers of tomorrow.

Mr Jerry Soo, Vice President (Academic) said, “Our world has rapidly evolved in the past two years. Now, change is no longer the only constant, displays of resilience and ingenuity are continually demanded. Graduation serves as a reminder for all our students to put their best foot forward, adapt quickly, and apply their skills and personalities in their careers. With the NAFA experience, we are confident that our students have been fully equipped with proficient technical skills and a global outlook. While we celebrate their achievements, we also look forward to their future successes in making a positive impact on society.”

The virtual ceremony is evident of NAFA’s future-readiness as a premier, progressive, and leading arts institution. To date, over 16,000 individuals have graduated from NAFA. Many have gone on to contribute to the arts and creative landscape both at home and abroad, garnering numerous accolades and awards as the academy moves towards a brighter future.

Outstanding Students

At the ceremony, outstanding students will be recognised for their achievements during their time at the academy. School of Art & Design graduand Sheryka Umaya will be receiving honours with two awards - The Ngee Ann Kongsi Gold Medal and Best Graduate Award (Diploma in Design, Interior and Exhibition). As a NAFA Talent Development Programme student, Sheryka benefitted from a customised development plan which afforded her opportunities outside the curriculum. Her talent has been recognised by industry leaders in the collaborations and projects undertaken in her diploma years. Sheryka has also been placed on the Dean’s List multiple times, and received awards such as the 2nd Prize for AkzoNobel Colour Award, Youth Design Award (2020); the Silver Award for being Best in F&B Design at the Interior Design Confederation Singapore’s Spatial Design Awards (2020); and led the winning team for the Resorts World Sentosa’s Halloween Horror Nights Design Challenge (2020).

Another notable student is musician Lakanasirorat Thantakorn. Lakanasirorat will be receiving both the Wu Tsung Kan Book Prize and Best Graduate Award (Diploma in Music). Aside from receiving the NAFA Talent Scholarship for three years in a row and being placed on the Dean’s List, Lakanasirorat received international recognition with his Gold Prize at the Sugree Charoensook International Music Competition (2021). While pursing his craft, he was also actively involved in giving back to the community as a viola tutor at the 3rd Kota Kinabalu Music Festival and another outreach project organised by Jesselton Philharmonic Orchestra in 2019.

From NAFA’s Degree programmes, exceptional students include Grace Angel from BA (Hons) Fine Art Practice, who has participated in various exhibitions such as What Does Reality Look Like (2021) and Flagship Genius featuring Ayutthaya II (2021) while receiving both the Dean’s List Award and NAFA Bursary (Degree); as well as Ow Ze Fei from BA (Hons) Fashion, who landed an internship with Club 21 which gave her the opportunity to be part of the launch event for the first Singapore store of globally renowned designer, Thom Browne.

BA (Hons) Arts Management graduand Kang Joo Soon will be conferred the Embassy of Peru Award for his achievements, including clinching the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Scholarship (Degree) and having worked as a stage manager with prominent brands Universal Studios Singapore and Resorts World Sentosa, to ensure quality deliverance of their shows. Joo Soon credits NAFA for providing him with growth opportunities that prepared him for the industry; in particular, planning a community children arts festival for his academic project, crafting his thesis paper on the topic of the sustainability of traditional religious arts in Singapore, as well as sharing his experiences through panel discussions with his peers.

ANNEX 1 – NAFA Convocation 2021 Key Visual
ANNEX 2 – NAFA Convocation 2021 Official Schedule
ANNEX 3 – Profiles of Top Award Recipients
ANNEX 4 – NAFA Distinguished Alumni Medal 2021
ANNEX 5 – About Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts