Inspiring artist , Chong Fah Cheong , who creates intriguing and iconic sculptures was in town to receive the Cultural Medallion Award for visual arts , spared some time for Lumen to interview him on what led him to pursue sculpturing and his upcoming collaborative project with SJI students .
Having been awarded the Cultural Medallion for visual arts for 2014 , Mr Chong Fah Cheong is still sculpting and at the height of his career too . You may not recognise his name but you are bound to recognise his works . One of his most famous being “ First Generation ”, which depicts a group of boys jumping into the Singapore River , a favourite photo subject of both Singaporeans and foreigners alike . Lumen was thrilled to be able to have a chat with Mr Chong about his beginnings as an artist , how he got to where he is today , and the sculpture he will be doing for the SJI Malcolm Road campus .
We began our conversation on the Cultural Medallion , an accolade awarded to Mr Chong earlier this year . “ Its aim was to recognise and give honour to those who have pursued
excellence in their disciplines . Societies and nations need role models and heroes . People need to witness the everyday activities of common people who are accomplished in their own fields , who push past their boundaries and excel in their own areas of interests .” Though delighted with the award , he iterated it is not a priority . “ I cannot deny that it is gratifying when I hear the words ‘ The highest accolade is awarded to Mr Chong ’. But at the end of the day , recognition and awards are secondary . I would still pursue what I am doing despite all this acclaim .”
All artists start somewhere . For Mr Chong , it started with a fascination , “ It was not a conscious moment or particular experience that spiked my interest in Art but I remembered liking to draw and copy from pictures in books . I remember this