The Singapore Prize is a biennial award that recognizes outstanding published works in any of the island nation’s four official languages: Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil. It was created in partnership with DBS and offers 12 top prizes of up to $10,000 each for fiction, non-fiction and poetry in each language.
The winner of the inaugural Singapore History Prize was archaeologist John Miksic for his book “Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800.” He said that he’d spent five years on research for the book and was honoured to receive the prize. The award was founded by a donation from an anonymous donor and administered by the Department of History at NUS. A panel of judges selected the winning work from a shortlist of 11 books. It was chaired by NUS Asia Research Institute distinguished fellow Kishore Mahbubani and included novelist Meira Chand, historian Peter Coclanis, economist Lam San Ling and archaeologist Miksic.
“The winners of the Singapore Prize are catalysts in accelerating innovation, driving optimism and opening up opportunities for the future,” the awards organizers said in a press release. The prizes are aimed at propelling winners to further develop their ideas and implement them on a larger scale, as well as giving them global exposure. The award also honours organisations that are leading in the field of green growth, with a new category named Greenest City in Asia Pacific. Singapore was voted the Greenest City in Asia Pacific for its innovative projects and investments, as well as commitment by government and communities to lead green growth.
A total of 16 awards were presented during the event, which was held in conjunction with the World Architecture Festival and drew over 4,000 participants from across the globe. The Vogue Singapore x BMW Innovation Prize 2023 awarded a monetary prize of $15,000 and media coverage on Vogue Singapore, plus first-hand feedback from global industry leaders, and introductions to potential investors for funding.
Architects and engineers from across the region competed for the best designs, including those for schools, healthcare, community facilities and masterplanning. The competition was based on the criteria of sustainability and social impact, as well as technical excellence, aesthetics, economy and feasibility. The winning design, “The Park”, by local architect Ang Peng Hwee and a team from BYRD, won the award for Most Innovative Designed Building 2022, as well as the overall award.
The Singapore Film Award’s best director prize was won by Laha Mebow for her film “Gaga.” It’s a drama of great warmth and sensitivity that beautifully guides an ensemble cast of non-professional actors, according to the jury citation. The film is a reimagination of an old love story set in contemporary Singapore. The other winning films were “Miracle” by Wong Wei Yin and “Brother’s Shadow” by Ang Zhuoyun. They each received a production services package worth SGD15,000 from Shooting Gallery Asia and online, audio final mix and DCP feature worth SGD10,000 from Mocha Chai Laboratories.