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Thread: Disgrace Fu's National Arts Council withdraws grant for local novelist because ..

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    Thumbs down Disgrace Fu's National Arts Council withdraws grant for local novelist because ..

    Singapore author whose NAC grant was cut asks if politically linked funding is acceptable

    Nicholas Yong
    Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore
    August 3, 2017


    PHOTO: Epigram Books/Jeremy Tiang


    Singaporean author Jeremy Tiang, whose book grant from the National Arts Council (NAC) was withdrawn, said the question of whether it is acceptable that “political considerations” affect NAC’s funding for the arts is unanswered.

    Tiang had the remainder of his $12,000 grant — of which he had already received S$8,600 — withdrawn in 2011 when he submitted the first draft of his novel “State of Emergency”. The story follows a Singaporean family from the 1950s to the present-day, covering key events such as the Hock Lee bus riots, Operation Spectrum and the Malayan Emergency.

    The book, published by Epigram Books, was released in May. A spokesman for the publisher said that sales for the book have been “brisk”.

    Tiang’s comments come after Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu replied in a written response to a parliamentary question on Tuesday (1 August) about why funding for the book was withdrawn. Fu said, “The project did not meet the funding requirements mutually agreed upon as the content in the book deviated from the original proposal.

    “Members may want to note that the book has been published in Singapore, and is in circulation in bookstores..NAC may support an artist or arts group in other areas, even if it is unable to support a specific project.”

    In an email response to queries from Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore , Tiang noted, “Many novelists deviate from their original plans — because the act of novel writing is one of exploration and discovery — and presumably they don’t all lose their funding. So we’re back to the undiscussed question of whether it’s acceptable that NAC allows political considerations to affect its funding decisions.”

    Tiang, who is presently based in New York, added that it is a “question of how taxpayers’ money is being disbursed”.

    “If we agree that the arts are a public good that ought to be publicly supported –and I’m aware that not everyone believes that — then surely artists should be free to interrogate the status quo, which is an important function of art? If the only projects that get supported are ones which prop up the official narrative, then, well, there’s another word for that.”

    The NAC has borne the brunt of criticism in recent weeks, following comic artist Sonny Liew’s historic Eisners win last month, sparking a debate on whether political considerations should play a role in arts funding.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Disgrace Fu's National Arts Council withdraws grant for local novelist because ..

    the couple on the book cover look like japs. at first glance thought it's post-war kempeitai-related story of former jap agents holding out in sg to help with anti-commie spying. cannot lah. must change cover to show ah choo and ah yew to get funding.
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    Default Re: Disgrace Fu's National Arts Council withdraws grant for local novelist because ..

    Talking about former jap agents ... how about this?


    He was back a the park again, for his morning runs, though it had really not been a run for many years (if it ever was a run), more like a brisk walk. He had been coming to the park every morning since his retirement, as he liked to be outdoors, by the sea. Occasionally, passing joggers would wave at him, smile or ask for a photo, which he would readily oblige.

    It was another morning and he was walking briskly as usual. The park was quiet as it was quite early. He was coming up to the bench when he saw the mark on the trash bin next to it, so he slowed down, stopped, and then walked slowly to the bench and sat down, as if taking a break, being careful not to turn back to look at his bodyguard.

    He stretched out his arms on the thick chengal wooden back rest, and carefully felt for the rolled-up note stuck between the wood and the concrete frame.

    When he had it in his hand he took a bit more time, then stood up again and continued his walk.

    Of course, he had been helping them for a long time, since he was a teenager, when he acted a go-between between the military police and local retailers during the war, during which time he learnt to speak the language.

    Over the years, he had passed on substantial information to them, through his handler.

    There were other added incentives for this, besides mere friendship and loyalty. There was the substantial gratuity paid into his BVI account under Oakville Ventures.

    During his wake a few years later, the prime minister of the country he helped became the only head of government of a foreign country to personally attend his wake.

    The prime minister, with his wife beside him, bowed low and proclaimed:

    ‘On behalf of a grateful nation...’



    Last edited by yellowarse; 04-08-2017 at 12:22 AM.

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    Default Re: Disgrace Fu's National Arts Council withdraws grant for local novelist because ..

    Quote Originally Posted by yellowarse View Post
    Talking about former jap agents ... how about this?


    He was back a the park again, for his morning runs, though it had really not been a run for many years (if it ever was a run), more like a brisk walk. He had been coming to the park every morning since his retirement, as he liked to be outdoors, by the sea. Occasionally, passing joggers would wave at him, smile or ask for a photo, which he would readily oblige.

    It was another morning and he was walking briskly as usual. The park was quiet as it was quite early. He was coming up to the bench when he saw the mark on the trash bin next to it, so he slowed down, stopped, and then walked slowly to the bench and sat down, as if taking a break, being careful not to turn back to look at his bodyguard.

    He stretched out his arms on the thick chengal wooden back rest, and carefully felt for the rolled-up note stuck between the wood and the concrete frame.

    When he had it in his hand he took a bit more time, then stood up again and continued his walk.

    Of course, he had been helping them for a long time, since he was a teenager, when he acted a go-between between the military police and local retailers during the war, during which time he learnt to speak the language.

    Over the years, he had passed on substantial information to them, through his handler.

    There were other added incentives for this, besides mere friendship and loyalty. There was the substantial gratuity paid into his BVI account under Oakville Ventures.

    During his wake a few years later, the prime minister of the country he helped became the only head of government of a foreign country to personally attend his wake.

    The prime minister, with his wife beside him, bowed low and proclaimed:

    ‘On behalf of a grateful nation...’



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    Default Re: Disgrace Fu's National Arts Council withdraws grant for local novelist because ..

    Quote Originally Posted by yellowarse View Post
    ...

    ‘On behalf of a grateful nation...’
    Funding approved!

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    Default Re: Disgrace Fu's National Arts Council withdraws grant for local novelist because ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Trader View Post
    Funding approved!

    ・ — /・ — ・ /・ ・/ — — ・ /・ — /—/ — — —
    — — ・/ — — — / — — ・ ・ /・ — /・ ・/ — — /・ —/ ・ ・ ・/ ・ ・ —

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    Default Re: Disgrace Fu's National Arts Council withdraws grant for local novelist because ..

    I heard that this guy is a former Malaysian who did his schooling here. Can someone clarify. Also he is well known in the industry for seeking grants all over the place. He has obtained grants in the US , UK etc and very coy about his origins. He has also put his foot in the door as an Asian American. I remember someone sent me an western press article where he wrote an article about rojak and language as an FL but cheap enough not to pay for stock photo and instead provided a photo of Malaysian version of Fried bee hoon instead of rojak. Sometime ethics and literature are 2 different things.

    Anyway NAC and Grace Fu really need to separate the politics from literature. His book in indeed good.

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    Default Re: Disgrace Fu's National Arts Council withdraws grant for local novelist because ..

    Quote Originally Posted by scroobal View Post
    I heard that this guy is a former Malaysian who did his schooling here. Can someone clarify. Also he is well known in the industry for seeking grants all over the place. He has obtained grants in the US , UK etc and very coy about his origins. He has also put his foot in the door as an Asian American.
    Born in Singapore, schooled here. Mother was Perak-born, but migrated to Singapore. Markets himself as a Brit-Chinese, believed to be holding 2 passports.

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    Default Re: Disgrace Fu's National Arts Council withdraws grant for local novelist because ..

    Ok, thanks. He is now marketing himself as Asian- American, bigger market, the Indians control the Asian angle in the UK. I have received at least 2 queries about this guy. Apparently he did not broach the subject of the grant cancellation but someone else did. He did not want to create the wrong profile.

    ps. write very well. handles critiques on difficult subjects.

    Quote Originally Posted by yellowarse View Post
    Born in Singapore, schooled here. Mother was Perak-born, but migrated to Singapore. Markets himself as a Brit-Chinese, believed to be holding 2 passports.

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    Default Re: Disgrace Fu's National Arts Council withdraws grant for local novelist because ..

    I am sure disgraceful will become unbashful when he wins the putlizer prize.

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    Default Re: Disgrace Fu's National Arts Council withdraws grant for local novelist because ..

    Grace Fu can sponsor some foreigner to up her.

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