NDP2016: From painting to mass display, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

NDP2016: From painting to mass display

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Special-needs artist thrilled her artwork is featured

Her painting was inspired by friends and neighbours of different races and backgrounds.

And it was a thrilling experience for artist Tan Hui Min, 34, to see it exhibited at the National Day Parade last night in the most innovative of ways - on the costumes of performers.

Miss Tan, who has low IQ and mild mutism, was one of the Touch Community Services special-needs artists whose hand-painted artworks were adapted for the NDP performance.

She is also a craft assistant with the organisation.

Miss Tan told The New Paper in an e-mail interview: "My inspiration is from racial harmony. I have a lot of friends and neighbours of different races in Singapore.

"In my painting, I drew children from the four races holding hands to show them living in harmony in Singapore."

The performance, orchestrated by the Singapore Soka Association, saw 420 participants flip their large skirts to create an impressive mass display of the artworks.


But Miss Tan was unable to witness the transformation of her painting because she was also a performer for the segment.

In tune with the parade's message of inclusivity, Miss Tan and about 150 special-needs participants from seven voluntary welfare organisations led the crowd in hand-signing two popular National Day songs: Home and Count On Me, Singapore.

The audience was also invited to sing and sign along.

Miss Tan said she didn't know her painting would be exhibited on such a large scale and learnt about it being used for such a massive visual display only when her teacher showed her a photo of it.

"I felt happy and thrilled when my teacher took pictures (of the adapted painting during the rehearsals) and showed them to me," said Miss Tan.

"I feel excited and delighted that my artwork was being featured during National Day."

Miss Tan did the artwork, which took about four hours to complete, a few years ago.

The painting was selected by the NDP committee earlier this year for the performance.


The performances had really good special effects, very different from the traditional items that we normally see at the NDP. You can see that a lot of work and effort has been put into the costumes, the effects and special structures like the Badang stone and unicorn. - Madam Perlin Loo, (above, left) a Christian worker, 50, who attended the parade with her mother Madam Tan Lay Yian, 74, retiree



1 The crowd roared its approval of the retelling of folk hero Badang's story. The highlight was when he burst through a "rock" to emerge victorious.

2 A unicorn was suspended above the stadium - against a sea of rainbow-coloured lights from LED wristbands worn by members of the audience - symbolising the hopes and dreams of the younger generation.

3 A floating island, made up of multiple iconic buildings up to six- storeys high, was lifted above the stage. The Sky City prop was meant to inspire the audience to look towards the future and to celebrate that the Singapore of tomorrow is here today.

4 For the first time in NDP's history, over 150 special needs participants signed to familiar NDP songs like Count On Me, Singapore and Home. The audience was invited to join in, a gesture aimed at creating a more caring and inclusive Singapore.

5 The enclosed venue meant indoor fireworks - which wowed the audience. Those who did not have a chance to attend the NDP at the stadium were treated to a separate segment of outdoor fireworks.

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