Join us for the final installation of this series of Roundtable@SAM on Art and the Big Ideas of a Small Nation as experts across diverse fields share how the value of Justice affects and influences their experience, expectations, and visions of the individual, communities, and the state.
This Roundtable is part of the Crescent Project: Art Embraces All for the exhibition, 5 Stars: Art Reflects on Peace, Justice, Equality, Democracy and Progress.
Moderator: Dr Gillian Koh
Speakers: Mr Kok Heng Leun · Samuel Seow · Melissa Kwee · Alecia Neo
5 Stars: Art Reflects on Peace, Justice, Equality, Democracy and Progress is SAM’s salute to Singapore’s Golden Jubilee and the five stars on the Singapore flag which represent universal humanist values. Engaging with these “big ideas” through contemporary art, 5 Stars is an exhibition of five specially commissioned works, curated to encourage contemplation of what these shared human ideals mean in the present day, and how they might continue to help us envision our futures.
Kok Heng Leun, Nominated Member of Parliament for the Arts and Artistic Director, Drama Box
Kok Heng Leun is the Artistic Director of theatre company Drama Box. A prominent figure in both the English- and Chinese-language theatre in Singapore, he has directed over 60 plays. Heng Leun strongly believes in engaging the community in his works to promote critical dialogues about the world we live in. He has also taken up teaching, curatorial and dramaturgical roles in many projects. Heng Leun is currently a Nominated Member of Parliament.
Melissa Kwee, Chief Executive, National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC)
Melissa Kwee is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre and founder of the volunteering platform Beautiful People. A passionate social activist and civic entrepreneur, Melissa believes that everyone can make a difference and has made it her life mission to empower the voiceless and the marginalised to be contributing and giving members of society. Her vision is for Singapore to become a City of Good that flourishes not just in material prosperity, but also in the generosity of our giving that builds a compassionate and cohesive society.
Samuel Seow, Managing Director, Samuel Seow Law Corporation
Samuel Seow is the founder and Managing Director of Samuel Seow Law Corporation and is also Foreign Legal Advisor to Seow & Associates, its associated legal practice founded in Malaysia. Samuel’s expertise is in the field of intellectual property law and general commercial and corporate law. He also has extensive experience in dealing with a wide range of transactions, with a special focus on the application of these laws to the entertainment, arts and media industries.
Alecia Neo, Visual Artist, Singapore
Alecia Neo is a practising artist and the director of Unseen Art Ltd. Since 2012, she has been developing projects centering on communities living with visual-impairment. Working together with project participants and collaborators, she invites them to collectively explore how meaning and narratives are translated in the absence of sight. She has been commissioned by various local institutions and art festivals, and has exhibited extensively in international festivals and galleries, and in local institutions. She is also co-founder and Artist Lead with Brack, a trans-border arts platform for socially engaged artists.
Dr Gillian Koh, Deputy Director (Research), Institute of Policy Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
Dr Gillian Koh is Deputy Director (Research) at the Institute of Policy Studies and Senior Research Fellow and Head of its Politics and Governance research cluster which focuses on analysis relating to party and electoral politics, the development of civil society, state-society relations and processes of citizen engagement for policy-making in Singapore. She has also conducted projects in scenario-planning on Singapore’s future.