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  • Kheng Hua Tan

Covid Proofing The Patron of the Arts Awards 2020

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

Many people don’t know that back home in Singapore, I produce almost as much as I act. I always try to make time to produce something in Singapore, so I am always in touch with my own country, and what is the vibe on the ground. 

So late last year, when I was asked by the National Arts Council to propose a concept for 2020’s Patron of the Arts Awards, I gave it good thought. Remember, this was pre-Covid, so our considerations were very different. The two main goals in my head though, pre and post-Covid, were the same: How do I democratise the awards ceremony so more people understand the importance of patronage; and really make the patrons feel appreciated for the important role they play in the arts. 

Funnily enough, I always felt I wanted to make something filmic in my concept. Well, by end January, the spectre of Covid reared its ugly head and before we knew it, something filmic was the ONLY  choice we had! Everything had to go online. 

How did this concept develop from there? I knew I wanted the audiences - patrons and public alike -  get to the heart of the artist, to understand the nuances of what makes an artist and artist, and why supporting this magical ability we have as humans create projects, objects, debate and dialogue to help everyone understand life  in all its simple beauty and complicated madness, better. 

In collaboration with the talented Beatrice Chia-Richmond who helped bring my vision to life as director, here is the film we produced:

https://youtu.be/Ar6yGxXqCnw

And here are some behind-the-scenes photographs to show you how we combatted covid, and a tight timeline, to achieve it:

Photos: Presplay Pte Ltd

Me and one of my best friends and the director of the video, Beatrice Chia-Richmond


Writer and calligrapher, Tan Chee Lay.


The man responsible for top class angles, lighting, framing of our video, DOP Deva Manikandan

Our beautiful director Beatrice Chia-Richmond hunched over, hard at work. Her company, Presplay, produced the online event.



Our elegant host for the online event, and the man who helped audiences transition from one segment to the other, actor and presenter, Brendon Fernandez.



Director Beatrice Chia-Richmond prepping Shaza Ishak, Company Director, Theatre Ekametra



HMU artist Danny Kong observing safe filming protocol while attending to Janek Schergen, Artistic Director, The Singapore Dance Theatre



Kuo Jian Hong, Artistic Director, The Theatre Practice, being interviewed.

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