A*Star scientist stops accepting applicants after giving out 'No Star Arts Grant' to 5 recipients

SINGAPORE - Dr Eng Kai Er, 30, wrote in her blog three weeks ago that she has received a large number of good proposals, and is closing applications so that she does not have to reject more of them.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Here are the recipients of the grant, according to her Tumblr post:


February 2015

February's No Star Arts Grant goes to Some Reassembly Required, a documentary about transgender men in Singapore. Congratulations Christopher Khor, Geraldine Lee and the rest of the team!

Christopher's journey of transition will be documented in this film. I think he is really brave and what he is doing is important and will be helpful for creating greater acceptance for transgender persons.

No Star Arts Grant strongly believes that who people are and what they do / how they live should be aligned as much as possible. Even though as a cisgender woman I have no personal experience of the issues that transgender persons face, I understand from my own struggles what it feels like when career identity and a foreclosed "wrong" career track, don't match. Of course the problems are not the same, but there are similarities. We don't need to be transgender to empathise with the struggles of the transgender community, we just need to be human and understand the need for freedom and acceptance.

No Star Arts Grant is immensely proud to support Some Reassembly Required.

January 2015

January's No Star Arts Grant is special because I wanted badly to support more than one project. In the end I decided to give out two grants ($1000 each). :) So, the grants go to Loo Zihan for With/Out and Joel Tan for Mosaic. Both are featured in this year's M1 Singapore Fringe Festival.

Congratulations, Zihan and Joel!

With/Out is Zihan's re-construction of Paddy Chew's 1999 autobiographical monologue, Completely With/Out Character. Paddy Chew was the first person in Singapore to come out publicly with his HIV-positive status and his legacy definitely deserves re-visiting. For me, Zihan's interests in re-enactments/re-constructions not only address issues of archival or ephemerality in performance, they also at their core, simply jolt me back to moments in history that are too important to forget.

Joel Tan's Mosaic, produced by Take Off Productions, is like a little love song to stuff that you cannot hold on to, but hold on to anyway. To me, it is about trying to remember what is important, but forgetting all the time - a constant struggle. Joel writes beautifully.

December 2014

The December No Star Arts Grant goes to choreographer Wiing Liu, for a performance of Flight of the Kaleidoscopic Mind II this month. The funds will be used to pay the dancers.

This piece has already been through multiple rounds of rehearsal and performance since August, each time with the dancers unpaid (unpaid for both rehearsal and performance), and most times with the audience buying tickets for the performances.

No Star Arts Grant is supporting the most recent performance of this piece, which was at an event earlier this month, where again audience bought tickets, but dancers were not paid.

Even though it's true that doing these unpaid projects gives choreographers and dancers some exposure and experience, working long-term under unpaid conditions destroys morale, as Wiing compellingly described in her application for No Star Arts Grant. For this month's performance of Flight of the Kaleidoscopic Mind II, I wanted to give Wiing and the dancers a boost to their confidence - even if it's only $1000 divided amongst 8 people. It's definitely not enough for the amount of work they've put in, but it's better than nothing. Congratulations, Wiing and dancers!

November 2014

The inaugural No Star Arts Grant, awarded in November 2014, goes to Andrew Chan, for his project The Wedding Banquet. Congratulations, Andrew!

No Star Arts Grant supports Andrew in his belief that everyone has the right to experience a wedding, a special occasion that marks the romantic union of two people. As a single gay man, Andrew decided that he would get married on his 40th birthday, which occurs in December this year. If he manages to find a groom before the wedding date, he will marry the groom! Otherwise, he will walk down the aisle alone, getting married to his future husband. All this, in the presence of his family and friends who support and love him.

No Star Arts Grant is proud of the spirit behind your project, Andrew!