SINGAPORE - Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) today presented a panoramic artwork of the Singapore skyline drawn by autistic savant Stephen Wiltshire to President Tony Tan Keng Yam as a gift to the nation for Singapore's 50th birthday next year.
The artwork was commissioned by SPH as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations this year. It will be housed at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Singapore City Gallery from today.
President Tony Tan Keng Yam, SPH Chairman Dr Lee Boon Yang, and URA Chairman Mr Peter Ho were invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially "unveil" the Singapore skyline at URA's Singapore City Gallery. This was witnessed by Minister Lawrence Wong, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) who heads the SG50 office, and Ms Denise Phua, Mayor, Central Singapore CDC.
The 4m X 1m Singapore panorama was drawn by Mr Wiltshire from memory after a brief RSAF helicopter ride in July this year. The event, called See The Big Picture, saw the British artist draw the Singapore skyline in full view of the public at Paragon from 16 to 20 July. The event attracted more than 150,000 visitors over 5 days.
Also at the event was an exhibition showcasing Mr Wiltshire's past works of cities such as London, New York City, Rio de Janeiro and Toronto. A selection of the reprints of these artworks will be featured at the Singapore City Gallery from end September.
Admission to the Singapore City Gallery is free. It is open daily from 9am to 5pm (Monday to Saturday).
As part of SPH's active corporate citizenry, SPH has given merchandising rights of Mr Wiltshire's Singapore skyline artwork to Pathlight School. Pathlight, which is the first autism-focused school in Singapore that offers a unique blend of mainstream academic curriculum and life readiness skills, has produced exclusive prints and unique merchandise adapted from the artwork.
Some of these products, which include postcards, lacquerware and notebooks will be on sale at the school's Pathlight Mall from today. All net proceeds of the sales will go to Autism Resource Centre, in aid of people with autism. For enquiries, please email: email@example.com
In addition, President Tony Tan will sign on limited editions of the Singapore skyline reprints to raise funds for this year's President's Challenge. Mr Wiltshire's autographed tee shirts were also sold during his live drawing in Singapore to raise funds for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund. Limited stocks of the autographed tee shirts are still available at $150 each and members of the public can email firstname.lastname@example.org for purchases.
Dr Lee Boon Yang, Chairman of SPH, said: "SPH is pleased to have been able to commission Stephen Wiltshire to draw Singapore's skyline as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations and to bring the Big Picture to all Singaporeans. Having grown and prospered with the nation, it is our honour to be the first company to present Singapore with a 50th birthday gift. As an active corporate citizen, we are glad that we are able to take this opportunity to also raise funds for several charitable causes."
Mr Ng Lang, Chief Executive Officer of URA, said: "The URA is honoured to showcase Mr Wiltshire's sketch of Singapore's skyline at the Singapore City Gallery. We warmly welcome members of the public to visit the Gallery to take a closer look at this fascinating artwork, placed alongside the Central Area Model that shows the very view Mr Wiltshire has sketched."