Counting our blessings
In this season of celebration and thanksgiving, we ask six people in the arts and culture scene what they were grateful for in the year past. Read on for their heartfelt sharing.
Charlie Lim, singer-songwriter
It’s been a crazy year, but I’m glad to be working with a really good team – both my management and band have got my back and I’m so thankful for them. My fiancée has really been there for me. In many ways she’s my role model and she has supported me throughout some pretty rough times. I can’t imagine doing this without her.
Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti
This year I’ve felt especially grateful for the time, care and support of my closest friends and family. My debut novel came out and it’s been a real learning curve, both incredible and flummoxing as an experience. I would have felt totally destabilised without the important people in my life. Besides that, I’m very thankful for sleep pillow sprays, wireless headphones, meditation apps and tiny handheld portable USB fans.
Farihan Bahron, co-founder of the publishing outfit Unggun Creative
For me and our team at Unggun Creative, 2018 has been a year of firsts. The first time we organised a book launch, and then we did it three more times. Also, it was the first time our books were shortlisted for two categories for the Singapore Literature Prize, and yes, it was our first time winning the Malay poetry category and receiving commendation prize for the Malay fiction category. This year was also the first time I was involved in a sold-out Singapore Writers Festival ticketed event. Lastly, it was my first time being invited as a featured poet at the World Poets Convention in Kelantan, Malaysia. I am blissfully blessed to experience all these firsts and secretly hope that they last.
Angelita Teo, director of the National Museum of Singapore
I am heartened to see that more people, both locals and tourists alike, are visiting the National Museum. It’s a great achievement for Singapore’s very own National Museum to be among the top 10 most popular international museums visited by China travellers during the Golden Week, according to a recent finding by China’s largest travel services portal, Ctrip. This certainly encourages my team and I to continue presenting meaningful and accessible exhibitions and programmes, to create an inclusive social space for visitors to engage across generations, and with Singapore’s rich history and heritage.
Personally, I am grateful for good health and the opportunities for growth that my family and I enjoyed this year, from living in new environments to experiencing life differently. I particularly cherish the special moments shared with family and friends.
Nhawfal Juma’at, artist
In 2018, every day went by with thanksgiving. I was especially grateful for opportunities such as curating an art exhibition for Club Heal, a mental wellness centre, and realising my first public art installation at the Woodlands Waterfront as part of the National Arts Council’s Art in Your Neighbourhood initiative. These opportunities allowed me to elevate my craft to a higher level and have a lasting impact on the lives of many.
Preetipls, online personality
I’ve been so grateful to have been a part of so many iconic events, such as Happy Ever Laughter, Neon Lights and Singapore Writers Festival. This year also marks my first step into the music industry with my debut single, Thicc, out in October, and a second single with my brother, Subhas, out right before the year ends.