SINGAPORE - A new conference series, headlined by leading international figures in fields from science, politics, culture to fashion, will make its home in Singapore.
The UnThinkTank series of talks by home-grown advertising agency 10AM Communications will debut on Sunday featuring prominent Chinese artist-writer Chen Danqing.
Chen, 61, an influential social commentator in China, known for his unconventional views and outspoken criticism, is scheduled to speak on the subject Mother Tongue And Motherland.
He chose the topic in part because of his personal interest in it. His grandfather lived in Taiwan, many of his relatives reside in Hong Kong and he was a denizen of New York for 18 years until 2000. He also believes the topic will resonate with Singaporeans who speak Mandarin and refer to it as their mother tongue.
The talk, conducted in Mandarin, will be followed by a question-and-answer segment moderated by Mr Tan Dan Feng, director of Select Books, a Singapore book retailer, distributor and publisher.
Mr Walter Lim, 42, general manager of 10AM Communications, says the creative agency was inspired to start the conference in the hope that "exposing Singaporeans to thought leaders in different disciplines... will inspire them to think beyond their accustomed realm".
He adds that the idea for the conference has been in gestation for some time but plans to realise it began only last August. He declines to say how much it costs to fund the conference series, except that it is a non-profit project.
The inaugural session is jointly presented by the advertising agency and the Chou Sing Chu Foundation, a non-profit organisation named after the late founder of book retail, publishing and distribution company Popular Group, which promotes Chinese culture, education and language in South-east Asia.