Visual artist bags top prize at President’s Young Talents awards

30 November 2018
The Straits Times, Page A1 & B6

Weixin Quek Chong is a Fine Art adjunct lecturer at NAFA.

Taking a risk with unusual materials paid off for visual artist Weixin Quek Chong, who clinched the Grand Prize at the President's Young Talents awards yesterday. Chong, 30, was one of five finalists for the seventh edition of the prize, Singapore's only mentoring, commissioning and award programme for emerging Singaporean artists aged 35 and below. At yesterday's ceremony at the Singapore Art Museum at 8Q (SAM at 8Q), she received the $20,000 prize from President Halimah Yacob, who was the guest of honour. Chong's installation, titled sft crsh ctrl, in which materials such as silk twill, latex sheets and faux fur are draped over frames or billow from the ceiling, is meant to challenge viewers' attempts to rationalise the artwork.

The jury panel said in a statement that Chong's work "stood out for its command of space and material, and the fluidity with which she executed her concept". "We also recognise Weixin's work contains elements of risk integral to contemporary practice," the panel added, referring to the unconventional nature of the materials used. The panel comprised artist and art educator Vincent Leow; artist Kumari Nahappan; Standard Chartered Bank managing director Michelangelo Samson, who chairs SAM's acquisitions committee; Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore director Bala Starr; and Dr June Yap, director of curatorial, programmes and publications at SAM.

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Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited Reproduced with permission.