Sunday October 22, 2017

Fifth World Press Photo exhibition in Singapore Museum

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Singapore: The World Press Photo (WPP) exhibition returns to Singapore Museum on Friday which focuses 145 poignant and powerful images from around the world.

It is the fifth year that the exhibition is being held in the city-state. This is the first time the exhibition, presented by the Straits Times, is held at National Museum of Singapore, Xinhua reported.

Baey Yam Keng, parliamentary secretary for the ministry of culture, community and youth, officiated the opening ceremony on Thursday. The exhibition opens to the public for free from Friday to February 21.

As the “Oscars” of photojournalism, the global travelling exhibition showcases prize-winning photographs that captured the most powerful, expressive, and on occasion provocative press images from around the world.

These photos were shortlisted from 97,912 entries submitted by 5,692 photographers from 131 countries for the annual WPPcontest. The 58th exhibition itself has travelled to around 100 cities in about 45 countries and regions in a year-long tour.

In conjunction with the opening ceremony, two award-winning photographers, Pete Muller, an American based in Kenya, Sarker Protick from Bangladesh, and Sim Chi Yin, a judge in the WPP competition for 2016, talked about photojournalism on Thursday.

Patrick Daniel, editor-in-chief of the English, Malay, Tamil Media Group of Singapore Press Holdings Limited, said the exhibition showcases the best work of many talented photojournalists.

He hopes the public can appreciate the impact these dedicated professionals make to the stories.

The Straits Times also pays tribute to the power of the visual image with an exhibition showcasing the newspaper’s best photojournalism work of 2015.

These photos depict various moments of an event-filled golden jubilee year, from historic events like the funeral of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, to intimate moments such as a baptism at East Coast Park.(IANS)(Image-worldpressphoto)

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Halimah Yacob is Singapore’s First Woman President, Elected Without a Vote

"I am a President for everyone," said the newly elected Halimah Yacob, whose post is more representative than executive

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Halimah Yacob
Halimah Yacob who was the only candidate to get eligibility certificate, is now set to be Singapore's next President Wikimedia

Singapore, September 13, 2017 : Halimah Yacob became on Wednesday the first woman President of Singapore, being the only candidate who met the requirements for the presidential elections.

However, Yacob’s selection was overshadowed by criticism that it was undemocratic to give her the top post without a vote. Halimah Yacob, a 63-year-old Muslim of Malay descent, will take her oath of office on Thursday in a ceremony due to be held in Istana, the presidential residence and office, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s office said.

Yacob was the only presidential hopeful among three potential candidates to qualify for the post. This year’s election was reserved for Malay candidates. Two other contenders, businessmen Mohamed Salleh Marican and Farid Khan, did not meet one of the minimum requirements to run, Channel NewsAsia reported.

Yacob, accompanied by her husband and greeted by about 750 supporters, spoke outside the People’s Association building and called for unity in a speech delivered in English and Malay.

“We need every Singaporean to stand together shoulder to shoulder … we have not reached the peak yet and the best is yet to come,” Yacob said, urging citizens to “focus on the similarities that we have and not on the differences.”

In 2016, Singapore’s Parliament approved a constitutional reform which stipulated that the presidential elections would be reserved for one of the ethnicities of the multicultural city-state if no candidate from this group has occupied the post in the previous 30 years.

“I am a President for everyone,” said Halimah Yacob, whose post is more representative than executive.

Yacob was born in 1954 to a Muslim Indian-origin father and a Malay mother.

The mother of five started her political career with the People’s Action Party (PAP), which has been governing the country since 1959, and entered the Parliament in 2001.

She secured her first portfolio in 2011, as State Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports, and became the Speaker of Parliament in 2013.

In August 2017, Halimah Yacob stepped down as Speaker and resigned from the PAP to be able to run for President. (IANS)

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JY Pillay: Indian Origin Civil Servant Appointed as the Acting President of Singapore

As CPA Chairman since 2005, Pillay has been acting President each time the President goes on an overseas trip

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Acting President of Singapore
JY Pillay. Youtube
  • JY Pillay has been appointed as the acting President of Singapore
  • Pillay, also the Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers, is a veteran civil servant of Indian Origin
  • The Singapore polls take place on 23rd September

September 2, 2017: Indian-origin veteran civil servant JY Pillay on Friday took over as Singapore’s acting President until a new head of the state is elected later this month.

The temporary appointment of Pillay, Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA), follows the completion of President Tony Tan Keng Yam’s six-year term on Thursday, the Strait Times reported.

The nomination day for the Presidential election is September 13, followed by polling day on September 23.

According to the report, when the office of President is vacant, the first in line to exercise its powers is the CPA Chairman, followed by the Speaker of Parliament. This is the first time the office has fallen vacant since the elected presidency was introduced in 1991.

Pillay is no stranger to exercising the powers of the President. As CPA Chairman since 2005, he has been acting President each time the President goes on an overseas trip. He acted as President in May, when Tan made state visits to Europe.

He has served more than 60 such “stints”– the longest of which was 16 days in April and May of 2007 when then President SR Nathan visited Africa. (IANS)


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Exclusive: “Memesis” Depicts my Inner Feelings during the time of Pregnancy : Artist Rajni Sahni

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Rajni with her Paper Pulp Cast work made in 2003. NewsGram

– by Tusheeta Kaushik

July 31, 2017: Curated by Jitendra Padam Jain, an exhibition titled “Memesis” was a solo show of Prints and Painting by artist Rajni Sahni and was conducted at Shridharani Art Gallery at Triveni Kala Sangam from July 11th- 21st in New Delhi. “Memesis”, she says, is a representation of herself and the visual perceptions she had in her mind during the time of pregnancy.

Reporter Tusheeta Kaushik of NewsGram spoke to Rajni Sahni on how different forms of visual arts helped her in expressing her mind s visual perceptions in reality, on how art is such a potent form of creative expression which helps in soothing her mind whenever she s going through different emotions and phases in life and on how her mother found the spark and talent in her when she was a little girl.

Tusheeta: When did you realize your passion for art? When was the first time you expressed yourself through art?

Rajni: I realized my passion for art when I passed my diploma in painting from South Delhi Polytechnic College. There, an art critic appreciated it and then there was no turning back after Santiniketan. I started expressing myself through art when I found an artist in myself and that was during my Santiniketan days.

Tusheeta: Anyone or anything that inspired you to take this art form?

Rajni: As a little girl, I was inspired by my mother since she used to appreciate my work and pushed me to never stop myself from expressing through drawings and sketches. Later, as a student at South Delhi Polytechnic College for Women, Professor Jain Gajera inspired me through his works and teachings.

“Metamorphosis” | Etching on paper | 2011

Tusheeta: How did painting help you or relax you at the time of conceiving?

Rajni: Painting had a huge calming effect on me during my 9-month pregnancy! I had some critical conditions. I was there in a room for 6 months and had difficulty in moving from the bed. So, it was my husband who insisted me a lot on unleashing my pain and emotions through art. I agreed and the depiction of my imagination through the usage of different colours made me calm and composed. That s when I thought of starting a series named “Memesis” which depicts my inner feelings during the time of pregnancy. Etching, Painting, Print Making, Lithography, Paper Pulp Casting and Sculpture making are different forms of visual arts that I have worked on.   

“Saviour” | Etching on Paper | 2012

Tusheeta: You’ve mentioned about the magical relation with your daughter. How and why is it so unique and special to you?

Rajni: (Laughing) My daughter is a big critic of my art work. Her appreciation, criticism, guidance and support matters to me. She herself is great at craft making. She s in class 6th and I m glad that I m close to her and the fact that she likes sharing about her daily routine with me.

“Untitled”| Paper Pulp| 2002

 

“I ll weave my life myself ” | Viscosity on Paper | 2011

Tusheeta: You’ve talked about the complex, yet compassionate and a lovable relationship between a mother and her daughter. How this powerful relationship is depicted in your work?

Rajni: I have made a few art works showcasing my relationship with my daughter. I also have had a powerful relationship with my mother, she s been my pillar and I love my daughter immensely, that s the reason I love to showcase the beauty of a mother and daughter relationship through my art work.

Woman from the lap of woman | Paper pulp and thread on paper| 2002

 

“In the lap of nature”| Etching on Paper | 2011

Tusheeta: So, when do you usually paint and what kind of impact does painting have on you?

Rajni: See, it s not just about me as an artist. Any artist out there doesn’t t really have a regular time schedule for painting. Whenever I feel like painting, I paint. I might work on my art piece for a week then I might work on some other piece after a month. It all depends on my mood and whenever I feel like expressing something. I love painting, it has made me what I m today.

 

– reported by Tusheeta Kaushik of NewsGram. Twitter  @TusheetaKaushik