Arts News Singapore

NAFA Convocation 2022 celebrates courageous changemakers

For the first time in two years, 663 (623 Diploma, 2 Specialist Diploma, 38 Degree) graduands from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) will accept their diplomas and degrees in person at the academy’s annual convocation ceremony. NAFA Convocation 2022 sees the classes of 2020 and 2021 join 2022’s graduating batch to celebrate this momentous milestone across four days, from 28 Sep to 1 Oct 2022 (Wed to Sat). In recognition of his achievements across Fashion and other creative disciplines, alumnus Max Tan will also be presented the NAFA Distinguished Alumni Medal.

This year’s Convocation will kick off with an opening address by NAFA President, Mrs Tan Soh-Wai Lan, followed by a congratulatory speech from Guest of Honour Mr Jeff Cheong, Chief Executive Officer from DDB Group Singapore. 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 who have displayed NAFA’s values of creativity, exploration and resilience. To date, over 16,000 artists and creatives have graduated from the academy.

Mr Jerry Soo, Vice President (Academic), encouraged graduands to embrace their learnings, experience and values from their time at the academy that will keep them grounded as they journey forward, “Graduation is an landmark occasion to celebrate growth and a fresh chapter. As NAFA graduates, you have been well-trained to tackle the demands of our industries, so go forth with courage and make a difference. Remember to apply the lessons learnt from your time at the academy, synergise and collaborate with your peers and lecturers – and I look forward to your remarkable achievements in the years to come.”

At the ceremony, exemplary students will be recognised for their achievements. Tan Yun Qu from Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Music will be receiving the Embassy of Peru Award, recognising her all-round achievements in the music scene as a saxophonist. A student with excellent academic standing, Tan was awarded the OCBC Local Undergraduate Scholarship during her time at NAFA. Additionally, she represented Singapore on the global stage, achieving first place at the Sugree Charoensook International Music Competition (2021) and King’s Peak International Music Competition (2020), as well as 2 nd Prize at the Hong Kong Music Talent Award Woodwinds Open Class (2021). A passionate advocate for classical saxophone music and music education, Tan is currently co-leading a Global Saxophone Consortium with the New Meta Saxophone Quartet, for a work by one of Singapore’s most accoladed composers, Dr. Zechariah Goh.

Another outstanding graduand is Ng Ho Wei Vareck from Diploma in Music Teaching. Ng has shown strong leadership and promise throughout his studies, and has been a member of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra (SNYO) for five years, playing alongside experienced musicians and conductors. Besides performing in various events such the annual Light to Night Festivals, and several NAFA Concert Series, Ng is also actively seeking to improve communities around him. A regular bike user, Ng launched a YouTube channel to educate and offer infrastructure improvements for cycling paths around his town. Pioneering ideas to drive transformation, he was recently featured in The Straits Times alongside other Singaporean youths. Ng is a true testament of NAFA’s core values of passion, care and excellence.

School of Art & Design graduand, Kenenza Michiko Hasan, will be receiving two awards – Best Graduate Award and The Ngee Ann Kongsi Gold Medal that comes with a Degree Scholarship to further her studies in NAFA’s Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Fine Art course, conferred in partnership with the University of the Arts London. Hasan has adopted multiple roles throughout her time in the academy, particularly as the Arts and Culture Director for LASKAR, NAFA’s Indonesian Students’ Association. Additionally, she was afforded opportunities in the NAFA Talent Development Programme (NTDP), placed multiple times on the Dean’s list, and also received the Lim Ai Fang Art Prize (Second Prize) for her final year project exhibited at The Grad Expectations (2022). Her talent has been recognised by industry leaders in exhibitions such as NAFA x White Jacket Project (2021), CATALYST: Fostering Intersection of Disciplines (2021), and NAFA’s Flagship Genius featuring Ayutthaya Exhibition (2022).

From NAFA’s Design & Media programme, Screen Media graduand Rane Aleesha Abhijeet will be conferred the NAFA Chairman Award for her achievements, including her work as Director and Videographer for the National Heritage Board’s Through Nature Mini-Documentary, which takes Page 4 of 23 viewers on a journey through the beating heart of Singapore’s Bras Basah Bugis precint. Other films include Calling Ashleigh, which Abhijeet worked as an Editor and Sound Designer for the video entertainment platform, Viddsee. Her specialisations go beyond filmmaking, as she is also an avid photographer – exhibiting her work for Singapore Night Festival 2021 at The Ngee Ann Kongsi Galleries. Abhijeet is an exceptional student, filmmaker and photographer with heart and courage; traits that will propel her forward as she ventures into the world of content creation.

Alumnus and award-winning designer Max Tan will also be presented the NAFA Distinguished Alumni Medal. After graduating in 2006 as Best Graduate in Diploma in Fashion Design, Tan worked on building his label, MAX.TAN into the commercial success as it stands today. The internationally-acclaimed designer continues to take his brand to greater heights. More recently, Tan was commissioned by Singapore International Festival of Arts to present a conceptual fashion show as a theatre piece, on top of conceiving the costumes for the entire theatre production.

NAFA Convocation takes place from 28th September to 1st October 2022 at Lee Foundation Theatre, NAFA Campus 3 (151 Bencoolen St, Singapore 189655). More information available on the NAFA Convocation 2022 Microsite

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