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Thread: Cultural Medallion to Amateur photographer on Today

  1. #41
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    his works, esp on the "Going to Ejina" are really splendid... the essence of the place is immortalised in his captures...

    PS: I'm not going to debate on whether or not he deserve the award, standalone, his works are inspiring

  2. #42
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    I smell sour grapes amongst those 'professionals' who screamed kelong.

    Jealous? Jealous of what? An 'ameuter photographer' who chose not to go the professional route, defeated them? His photo compositions are better?

    Super lame, and absoutely unprofessional in a sense.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by rueyloon
    hmm........ i think it is him, I can recognize him as he appeared on many documentaries got this stiff jaw line look on his face.

    And for your next question, of course NOT !

    ok, just for comparism, remember reading a few foreigners who were honorary Singaporean citizenship due to their contribution to Singapore ?

    They were awarded by Singapore for their contribution to Singapore. Would it make sense for their home country to give them an award for work that benefits another country ?

    It is almost the same case here, except the photos are photos of China. Ultimately the work adds on another layer to THEIR culture as it brings about all the benefits of photography to China. It helps in the appreciation of the places featured on the photo.

    I'm not belittling his work, but for an awards named "SINGAPORE CULTURAL MEDALLION" It should tgo someone who makes a bigger impact on SINGAPORE CULTURE.

    Art is many ways is about self examining, discovering more about ourself and our relationship with the environment. Culture is something that is intimate, something that is tied even closer to the people and the environment. When a cultural award is given to work that is not relevant to it's people, I feel it is wrong, but that does not mean he does not deserve any recognition.

    BUT !!!!!!!!!!! then again

    "The Cultural Medallion was instituted in March 1979 as an initiative of our late President, Mr Ong Teng Cheong. The award recognises individuals who have attained artistic excellence in the fields of dance, theatre, music, literature, photography, art and as from 1997, film. The Cultural Medallion is conferred by the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts and is administered by the National Arts Council, Singapore."

    http://www.nac.gov.sg/local_arts_sce...awards_01.html

    dunno why it is called the Cultural Medallion........... why not just the Singapore Art Award ?
    I think in order for you to grasp the whole idea behind this, you have to identify what "culture" means in this context. I would imagine "culture" here means a culture of arts nurturing. Now even though this could be tie up with "culture" in the sense of traditions and heritage, its not in this case. That's the difference.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by rueyloon
    hmm........ i think it is him, I can recognize him as he appeared on many documentaries got this stiff jaw line look on his face.

    And for your next question, of course NOT !

    ok, just for comparism, remember reading a few foreigners who were honorary Singaporean citizenship due to their contribution to Singapore ?

    They were awarded by Singapore for their contribution to Singapore. Would it make sense for their home country to give them an award for work that benefits another country ?

    It is almost the same case here, except the photos are photos of China. Ultimately the work adds on another layer to THEIR culture as it brings about all the benefits of photography to China. It helps in the appreciation of the places featured on the photo.

    I'm not belittling his work, but for an awards named "SINGAPORE CULTURAL MEDALLION" It should tgo someone who makes a bigger impact on SINGAPORE CULTURE.

    Art is many ways is about self examining, discovering more about ourself and our relationship with the environment. Culture is something that is intimate, something that is tied even closer to the people and the environment. When a cultural award is given to work that is not relevant to it's people, I feel it is wrong, but that does not mean he does not deserve any recognition.

    BUT !!!!!!!!!!! then again

    "The Cultural Medallion was instituted in March 1979 as an initiative of our late President, Mr Ong Teng Cheong. The award recognises individuals who have attained artistic excellence in the fields of dance, theatre, music, literature, photography, art and as from 1997, film. The Cultural Medallion is conferred by the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts and is administered by the National Arts Council, Singapore."

    http://www.nac.gov.sg/local_arts_sce...awards_01.html

    dunno why it is called the Cultural Medallion........... why not just the Singapore Art Award ?
    Arts transcends boundaries, that's a fact, as President Ong had recognised it.

    Thus based on that, President Ong probably chose a Nationally neutral name for the Medallion.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by nemesis32
    More imptly, i think he's only a handful of people in this world (not just Singapore) to have 2 FRPS (i believe in Travel and another category). This itself i think is worthy of the CUltural Medallion. It's similar to winning the Olympics of Photography isn't it?
    My question is still the same: What if there is a Singaporean who have more than 2FRPS (say in Travel, etc) but only specialises in Western countries (like European or American), is he worthy of a Singapore Cultural Medallion award?
    Is this award is all about Singaporean culture, or culture as in culture, or "artistic excellence in the fields of dance, theatre, music, literature, photography, ". Don't forget, even our ministers are always saying that Singaporean are more and more westernised, i.e. in short, western culture is also part of our young Singaporean today. On the other hand, if Singapore culture is defined as being Chinese, Indian, Malay and Eurasian, then if that photographer specialises in India, Malaysia/indonesia, etc. is he also entitled to the award?
    To me, the subjects or style of any potential CM award is immaterial, as long as he is a Singapore who EXCELS in any art (including photography) that brings pride and joy to all Singaporean alike is the real winner. Wheather he is a pro or not is also immaterial, rich or poor, educated or not, able or handicapped, yandao or ugly looking ... all these are not important.
    Quote Originally Posted by nemesis32
    But just take a sec and think about it. Isn't it great if he can take better pic of China than thousands in fact millions of Chinese Photographer.
    this i totally diagreed: 1) "better" is subjective. 2) probably like most Singaporean who tend to believe, but we are all living in a coconut shell..... surf the net in Chinese and see what many other ordinary chinese photographers can take before you claim that SBY is better than the millions of others.
    Personally I think he deserves to win, like many other good Singapore photogrphers, but his works are nothing to shout for on a global standard. It's just like achieving a national swim record. Nothing more, nothing less.
    always the Light, .... always.

  6. #46
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    A little extreme, but here goes...

    Assuming Singapore has a National Mountaineering Award. If a Citizen of Singapore climbs Mount Everest, will he be entitled to the award? Maybe he should climb Bukit Timah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canonised
    My question is still the same: What if there is a Singaporean who have more than 2FRPS (say in Travel, etc) but only specialises in Western countries (like European or American), is he worthy of a Singapore Cultural Medallion award?
    Is this award is all about Singaporean culture, or culture as in culture, or "artistic excellence in the fields of dance, theatre, music, literature, photography, ". Don't forget, even our ministers are always saying that Singaporean are more and more westernised, i.e. in short, western culture is also part of our young Singaporean today. On the other hand, if Singapore culture is defined as being Chinese, Indian, Malay and Eurasian, then if that photographer specialises in India, Malaysia/indonesia, etc. is he also entitled to the award?
    To me, the subjects or style of any potential CM award is immaterial, as long as he is a Singapore who EXCELS in any art (including photography) that brings pride and joy to all Singaporean alike is the real winner. Wheather he is a pro or not is also immaterial, rich or poor, educated or not, able or handicapped, yandao or ugly looking ... all these are not important.

    this i totally diagreed: 1) "better" is subjective. 2) probably like most Singaporean who tend to believe, but we are all living in a coconut shell..... surf the net in Chinese and see what many other ordinary chinese photographers can take before you claim that SBY is better than the millions of others.
    Personally I think he deserves to win, like many other good Singapore photogrphers, but his works are nothing to shout for on a global standard. It's just like achieving a national swim record. Nothing more, nothing less.
    To answer your qn on if anyone has 2 FRPS but specialise in Western Countries, he would probably qualifies to the CM award for his achievement in Photography but it will depends on the NAC council of photography. FRPS is just a form of recognition that is recognised worldwide, you can call it ISO even. It just set aparts those people who actively pursue for such awards/distinctions. It means that TBY is the FRPS amongst those who tries for the awards. But it does not mean that the rest who don't join are not good enough.

    The key is the achievement in his field of art and not what he shoots etc. For example, i can argue that photographers like Leslie Kee etc be awarded CM as they are world famous (sort of) in fashion photographer. As a photographer, their achievement is not that how many celebs they shoot but how they have developed a distinct style.

    For example, assume you have a photography award on fashion photography, will you give it to someone with FRPS in photography (maybe there's a fashion category, for discussion purpose, assume there is) or someone like Richard Avedon?

    Also,when it comes to award, sometimes criteria is utmost impt. Some awards rewards lifetime achievements, whereas some are for that particular period. eg. Singapore Idol is only for the competition, it does not mean they are the best in Singapore, all time.

    "artistic excellence in the fields of dance, theatre, music, literature, photography" is what CM is all about. Forgets abt the moniker of CM, it's more like the Singapore Arts Award or Medallion if you might call.

    I do not think that anyone who won the award has enough influence on Singapore Culture at all. In Singapore, prob only *** has that kind of influence, not any individual.

    As for whether TBY is better than millions of chinese photographers, i may have exaggerate a little. However, i am sure there are tons of photographers from china and HK that applys for FRPS and fails. Hence, at least from the perspective or criteria of FRPS, TBY is better than them. Maybe not all his pics but at least the set that was submitted to FRPS.

    Sure, there are many photogs that takes awesome pics that you can view on line. However, do not forget that many all they have is 1 good shot. It can be timing, it can be luck etc also. I am sure some of you may takes 1 or 2 better pics than TBY or your instructors, so does that qualifies you as better? I am sure the answer is NOT. Consistency in quality is what set aparts those with class and those who gets lucky.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by yowch
    A little extreme, but here goes...

    Assuming Singapore has a National Mountaineering Award. If a Citizen of Singapore climbs Mount Everest, will he be entitled to the award? Maybe he should climb Bukit Timah.
    Precisely. If you are awarding for achievement, definitely you will award to someone that climbs everest more than some one who climbs BT. But if you are awarding to someone who encourage climbing, you may award to an avid instructors that brings tons of people to climb everest.

    As for where everest is, it is not a concern. Like what most people will agree, Singapore is too small. You don't see singapore gives out sports excellence award to people who won Singapore Open or S-League? We have to compete with the WORLD.

    Everyone now more or less have the opportunity to take any photos that they wish (of course, provided got time and money). Just like americans and british photogs going to Nepal/China etc. Hence, i can even says TBY kicks the a** of these photogs!

  9. #49

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  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by yowch
    A little extreme, but here goes...

    Assuming Singapore has a National Mountaineering Award. If a Citizen of Singapore climbs Mount Everest, will he be entitled to the award? Maybe he should climb Bukit Timah.
    That's actually a very good argument. Reductio ad absurdum.

    Here are some questions to ask about any recipient of Singapore Cultural Medallion award, which help me to resolve the issue:

    1. Are the works EXCELLENT? (ie composition, exposure, quality, etc in the case of photographs)

    2. Do they HAVE to be made by a professional?

    3. Do they HAVE to be of Singaporean subjects?

    My answers:

    1. Yes, even though landscape is not my cup of tea, I can appreciate that these are pretty pictures, and definitely better than what I am capable of.

    2. Of course not. In "The 7 Levels of Photography", we learn that the best works are usually made by rich amateurs.

    3. No. Singapore being so small, this is unnecessarily limiting. The world's our oyster. As yowch pointed out, there's no Everest in Singapore.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by StreetShooter
    That's actually a very good argument. Reductio ad absurdum.

    Here are some questions to ask about any recipient of Singapore Cultural Medallion award, which help me to resolve the issue:

    1. Are the works EXCELLENT? (ie composition, exposure, quality, etc in the case of photographs)

    2. Do they HAVE to be made by a professional?

    3. Do they HAVE to be of Singaporean subjects?

    My answers:

    1. Yes, even though landscape is not my cup of tea, I can appreciate that these are pretty pictures, and definitely better than what I am capable of.

    2. Of course not. In "The 7 Levels of Photography", we learn that the best works are usually made by rich amateurs.

    3. No. Singapore being so small, this is unnecessarily limiting. The world's our oyster. As yowch pointed out, there's no Everest in Singapore.
    Agreed with your answer for 1&3. For 3, i think it;s more like now is a time where the world is available to anyone (provided you have the means and time of course). As for 2, i don't think the best works are usually made by rich amateurs. In fact, i have seen some of the best works in photography being shoot with Pinhole cameras and dummy camera! It's the creative eye. I have to admit that even with the best gear, i will probably not reach TBY's level of achievement as it takes a lot of dedication and hardwork.

    Sometimes, i admire amateurs more as they usually have to sacrifice even more to achieve what pros achieved.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pro-New
    The same thing happened more than 10yrs ago, when the last CM award went to Wu Peng Seng. At that time, many ppl do not know who he was. In fact, he retired from photography many yrs before he got the CM.

    Now, NAC "found" someone who is worthy of the award.

    Its not about pro or amateur status. I think anyone who have certain achievements deserve the award.

    But the qn is what is the selection based on? On someone in NAC nominating him and pushit throu'? That is what many who are in this circle long enough have been questioning.

    Why there are no recipiants for the past 10 yrs? I am sure there are many more established photographers who deserve the award. These are the one that are selfless in teaching, promoting, and cultivating the new/young ppl interested in photography. Why are they not given the award? Aren't they not nominated? The clubs and societies/associations they belonged to should have done the nomiation.

    Pls take note, ALL past award recepiants are former or present PSS members! And as far as I know, there is only one rep in photography sitting on the NAC panel. So, the reason is obvious....

    It is time NAC should take note of this and made the award selection more transparent.

    What have the last and this recepiant did or contributed to the promotion of photographic arts here? Besides what they achieved for themselves.
    It is true that most of these photogs are/were PSS members. It is the case because PSS is around for more than 50 years and is still very active as compared with other societies that closed down or focused very primarily on saloon pictures.

    Although i am not inclined to critise saloon type of pics, it was well-known that saloon pics are more about technical aspect than creativity, esp for the China/HK circuit. In fact most of the Singaporean participate and did well in these circuits but did not fare as well in the Eurpoean Circuit whereby creativity is highly valued.

    Like i have stressed before, how many artists/photogs etc who has won CM actually contribute to the Arts here? Almost none. At least not in the mass public sense. Perhaps they have influenced those surrounding them. CM is more abt their achievement rather than about Contribution to the Arts. This is why i think the term Cultural Medallion is misleading.

  13. #53

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    About the issue of Pro vs Amatuer, I think it was just a chance by the newspaper to get a catchy head line, I read from the article only Wee Kheng Li meantioned that pro vs amatuer issue. (Unless there are other reports that I may have missed)

    (again, remember what ever I say here is invalid if I missed out articles where other pros commented about the issue too)

    So........... that brings me to this pro bashing issue I see here. I think there is a mob mentality here in CS and I've seen it many times, many people would not hessitate to jump on the band wagon and attack a person or issue without really checking it out.

    I think many just see is as "someone of our own kind", that is an amatuer winning the award and took the chance to take a jibe at the pro.

    The pro vs amatuer issue is a non issue here.

    Even is the award was won by a professional photographer, his work can still be criticized as "soulless" by another person. This is the art world, guess anyone can have an opinion, just because a person is an amatuer, it does not mean he should be protected from comments.

    And lastly.......... for such stuff, it is not the realm of "professional photographers", it is the ARTS, anyone can be a part of it.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by rueyloon
    About the issue of Pro vs Amatuer, I think it was just a chance by the newspaper to get a catchy head line, I read from the article only Wee Kheng Li meantioned that pro vs amatuer issue. (Unless there are other reports that I may have missed)

    (again, remember what ever I say here is invalid if I missed out articles where other pros commented about the issue too)

    So........... that brings me to this pro bashing issue I see here. I think there is a mob mentality here in CS and I've seen it many times, many people would not hessitate to jump on the band wagon and attack a person or issue without really checking it out.

    I think many just see is as "someone of our own kind", that is an amatuer winning the award and took the chance to take a jibe at the pro.

    The pro vs amatuer issue is a non issue here.

    Even is the award was won by a professional photographer, his work can still be criticized as "soulless" by another person. This is the art world, guess anyone can have an opinion, just because a person is an amatuer, it does not mean he should be protected from comments.

    And lastly.......... for such stuff, it is not the realm of "professional photographers", it is the ARTS, anyone can be a part of it.
    Couldn't agree with you more. Like i have mentioned previously, this is not a pro vs amatuer issue, nor is it a photography vs other arts issue.

    How one views another person's work as soulless is quite one's own opinion and no one can really changes that.

    I not into "bashing" anyone as well. Just wanted to let the general public knows how i feel and some background information on these photographers.

  15. #55

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    The Art award can be given to pro and amateur, the photographer himself has to establish a certain level or locui standi in the circle and gain respect/recognition from fellowship. It is not purely based on the skills level itself, you have to contribute to the photographic scene and promote Singapore.
    AMPA * WPPI * J team

  16. #56
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    this is really stupid!
    did any of you personally hear from a pro/ pros criticising?
    did any of you know WHICH pro criticise him?
    the newspaper love to sensationalise issue, unless you are sure of the source, you are beating a dead rat.

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