SOTA: School of the Arts Singapore

Singapore International Film Festival 2016

Mao Shan Wang

Congratulations to the 2016 graduating Film students, whose graduation short film Mao Shan Wang premiered at the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF).

Directed by Khym Fong, written by Joanne Ho, with cinematography by Foong Xiu Ting and edited by Monika Lendermann, this was the first time our students' work has been selected to premiere at the SGIFF.

Mao Shan Wang was screened with other local short films under Singapore Panorama Shorts on 30 November at the National Museum of Singapore.

The Singapore Monologue Slam

Monologue Slam

Photo credit: The Singapore Monologue Slam

Year 5 Theatre student, Brian Nai, participated in The Singapore Monologue Slam held at *SCAPE and won the teens category!

The winning monologues were presented at The Singapore Writer’s Festival on 6 November at The Arts House and Brian performed 'A Warm Welcome' by Rowan Atkinson and 'Rocky Balboa' by Sylvester Stallone.


SOTA Tchoukball Teams Clinched 2nd Place!

Tchoukball (girls)

SOTA C Division Tchoukball Girls' Team

Tchoukball (boys)

SOTA C Division Tchoukball Boys' Team

The SOTA C Division Tchoukball Girls' Team clinched 2nd place in this year's Inter-school C Division Tchoukball Championships (Girls' category) and our C Division Tchoukball Boys' Team also clinched 2nd place in the Inter-school C Division Tchoukball Championships (Boys' category). Congratulations to both teams on their achievements!

Singapore Short Cuts


Top to bottom: Void Deck Love Story, The Sarkais, and Coney Island

Three short films by SOTA Film students were selected for this year's Singapore Short Cuts, a programme of the National Museum of Singapore Cinémathèque and supported by the Singapore Film Commission. This year marks the 13th season of Singapore Short Cuts. The programme features a diverse selection of local short films, ranging from documentaries to animation. Previously featured films include works by Victric Thng, Eva Tang, and Boo Junfeng.

The three films were:
Void Deck Love Story Directed by Matthew Foo (Year 6)
Void Deck Love Story strives to capture fleeting shared experiences of the void deck through a series of whimsical encounters.
(Screened on 15 October 2016)

The Sarkais Directed by Joshua Lau (Year 6)
Like its cryptic title, the heart of The Sarkais remains a delicate enigma not to be unravelled but savoured.
(Screened on 22 October 2016)

Coney Island Directed by Rashad Bin Faizal (Year 6)
A film about the shifting nature of friendship and the abandonment of youth on Coney island’s characteristically remote woodlands.
(Screened on 23 October 2016)

the drawing room liao jiekai

The Drawing Room & Episodes from Art Studio

Film faculty member Liao Jiekai's short film, The Drawing Room & Episodes from Art Studio, was also featured in this edition. Jiekai’s exploration of the tangible amid the intangible continues with a loose abstraction of Yeng Pway Ngon’s Art Studio in the form of a short film.
(Screened on 23 October 2016)

2016 Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) World Cup of Indoor Skydiving

kyra FAI 2016

Kyra Poh (right) with team mate Choo Yi Xuan and iFly's Lawrence Koh (Photo: iFly Singapore)

Congratulations to our Year 2 Visual Arts student, Kyra Poh, on clinching the gold in the 2016 Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) World Cup of Indoor Skydiving Junior Freestyle Category, held in Warsaw, Poland on 15 October 2016! 

Kyra suffered an early setback at the beginning of her final routine as her shoe fell off, making it slippery and difficult to perform one of her moves. However, she persevered and successfully completed her routine, and ultimately took home the gold.

Together with her teammate Choo Yi Xuan, Kyra also placed fourth in the Dynamic 2-way Open Category. While the duo could have taken part in the Junior Category as they are both under 17 years of age, they had to compete in the Open Category against 22 other adult teams from 17 countries as there were insufficient teams for the Junior Category. The pair did extremely well to emerge in the fourth placing.

In her interview with The Straits Times, Kyra said,  "I think it's not about the win that matters. It was mostly to expose the sport of indoor skydiving to Singapore. After my performance in Poland, hopefully this sport will be more well known in Singapore and I'm also rooting for it to be an Olympic sport one day, so I can represent the nation on a larger stage."

Congratulations on your achievements, Kyra, we're so proud of you!

The articles about her win can be found HERE and HERE

Asian Grand Prix International Ballet Competition

Three dancers
Left to right: Teo Jun Ning, Timothy Ching, Han Xin Yi

Dance students Teo Jun Ning (Year 5), Han Xin Yi (Year 5), and Timothy Ching (Year 3) participated in the Asian Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in Hong Kong from 8-13 August 2016.

Though they did not make it into the finals, the trio performed beautifully on their individual stages. Faculty member and mentor Jacinta Walsh travelled with the students and their proud parents who took time off to fly to Hong Kong to support them.

The three dance students also attended classes at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 3.50.05 pm

Artwork Presentation at ASEAN-China Bilateral Meeting

Photo from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's Facebook (MCI photo by Chwee)

Year 4 Visual Arts student, Chin Ruisi, flew to Laos to present her artwork personally to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the ASEAN-China bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit. Her artwork was the winning entry of the ASEAN-China: 25 Years of Friendship and Cooperation youth art competition, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations.

On the inspiration behind her artwork, Ruisi said, "Friendship is something I personally value a lot and therefore I created this art piece titled "together as one" to represent the friendship between ASEAN and CHINA. Both friendship handshakes and the friendship bracelets on the hands highlight the strong relationship between the two. Friendship bracelets are usually made out of a number of strings tied together securely and often given to a friend. Furthermore, in order to wear the friendship bracelets, it requires a friend to help you to tie it together securely. Hence this could perhaps suggest that the friendship is not just between ASEAN but both ASEAN and China."

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also mentioned Ruisi in his Facebook post, which can be found HERE.

Odyssey of the Mind 2016

OM team photo 2016 World Finals

The SOTA OM team at the World Finals in Ames, Iowa.

SOTA participated in Odyssey of the Mind (OM) for the first time this year, taking on Problem #3 "Classics... Aesop Gone Viral" in Division III. Problem #3 was based on Classical Mythology and demanded a theatrical performance, including drama, singing, dancing, and set and costume design.

The team consisted of nine Year 4 students, with seven in the main team, Lee Zheng Justin, Marcus Chiau, Jerome Wang Jie Rui, Tan Ning Ci Caitlin, Jasmine Ong, Shanil Lee-Basnayake and Cheryl Soh, and two as understudies, Gail Gay and Phoebe Ka-Yan Leong. Though the registration for OM 2016 opened last October, SOTA only registered in end January this year and had limited preparation time before the National Finals in April. The team was placed second at the National Finals and subsequently competed in the World Finals at Iowa State University from 25 – 28 May 2016, emerging 13th out of 37 teams.

Read Caitlin Tan’s reflection on her experience at OM below:


Odyssey of the Mind – The SOTA Pioneer Team’s Journey
Written by Caitlin Tan, B7

Odyssey of the Mind, commonly known as OM, is an annual problem-solving competition aimed at fostering creativity and the spirit of discovery amongst students worldwide, and our experience with it has been both valuable and enriching. To us, the lessons lie not in the final performance, but in the process of getting there. Having only joined this programme and the nationals competition at the end of January as an untested team, we had to band together in order to get ourselves up to the competition standard. Being the pioneer team, there was no precedent to follow, and we learnt to adapt quickly to the demands of this programme. It was challenging, and the stress of preparing for the competition did get to us at times. However, we did pull through and advanced to the World Finals, which was held in June 2016 at Iowa State University, USA. Looking back on our early days as a team, and comparing it to today, we believe that the long days spent together and the shared experiences bonded us more closely as a team. Furthermore, learning to handle pressure and working so closely with each other has helped us mature as individuals.

The OM program encourages innovation and exploration, and we believe that it has expanded our artistic horizons. Being SOTA students, we tend to strive towards a very refined style of ‘art’, and sometimes forget that art can be about amusement too. Though Odyssey of the Mind’s artistic conventions may seem silly at times, in reality, it demands skill, creativity and wit to execute. We strive for unexpected, unique, and humorous performances and sets, and are constantly tested creatively and artistically.

At the end of the day, OM is not only a chance to have fun, but also a learning experience. To quote our coach Ms. Sandy Leow, “OM aims to give back to its students as well”. Once you put your heart to it, you will find yourself stretched in all sorts of ways, and growing as a person. This philosophy is at the heart of Odyssey of the Mind, and we hope it can serve as a guiding value for future SOTA OMers. 


Main Team:
Lee Zheng Justin (B7)
Marcus Chiau (B8)
Jerome Wang Jie Rui (B7)
Tan Ning Ci Caitlin (B7)
Jasmine Ong (B7)
Shanil Lee-Basnayake (B3)
Cheryl Soh (B7)

Gail Gay (B2)
Phoebe Ka-Yan Leong (B6)

Project FOReSIGHT (FPSP IC - CmPS 2016)

project foresight 2016


Project FOReSIGHT, consisting of five Year 4 students, has done SOTA and Singapore proud in the Middle Division category of the Future Problem Solving Programme International Conference (FPSP IC) – Community Problem Solving (CmPS) Competition!

Allison Tan, Chua Zixin, Koon Tian Hui, Tang Hanyu, and Janice Yap were up against 27 teams from all around the world, and emerged as overall Grand Champion amidst the stiff competition.

The five students embarked on an 18-month project since January 2015 with the aim to address the problem of the increasing rate of childhood myopia in Singapore, and to combat the lack of knowledge and understanding of eye care among parents and children. Their project met the CmPS Qualifying Round criteria in August 2015, and the team progressed to the CmPS National Finals in October 2015. Project FOReSIGHT came in first in the Middle Division category in the National Finals, which qualified them for the international competition this June where they emerged champion.

The team was motivated to start Project FOReSIGHT as four out of five members have myopia due to poor eye care when they were younger. To tackle the problem, they decided to reach out to children aged 4-12 and their parents on strategies to delay the early onset of childhood myopia.

By capitalising on their artistic talents, life skills, and critical and creative thinking problem-solving skills, the team conducted surveys, did in-depth research and held interviews with experts from the field. The students went a step further to produce their own educational materials, hold public booths at external educational institutions, give awareness talks and presentations at kindergarten and primary schools, and conduct storytelling sessions on eye-care strategies and habits at the National Library. Project FOReSIGHT has since successfully reached out to approximately 3000 people locally and 400 people overseas.


Team Project FOReSIGHT reaching out to students at Chongzheng Primary School

The team strives to continue Project FOReSIGHT in their last two years at SOTA despite the rigorous curriculum, and they also hope to recruit their juniors to join them in the project. 

Congratulations, team Project FOReSIGHT, and special thanks to their CmPS mentor, Ms Kum Meng Dee, and advisors Ms Lee-Lim Chyn and Ms Mariette Ong!

Project FOReSIGHT team members:

Allison Tan (B7)
Chua Zixin (B7)
Koon Tian Hui (B7)
Tang Hanyu (B2)
Yap En Ning Janice (B7)

3rd Thailand International Harp Festival

Bianca Beng 1

Year 6 Music student Bianca Beng was awarded third placing in the youth category of this year’s 3rd Thailand International Harp Festival. Hosted in Bangkok from 5-11 August, the competition was held in two stages. Bianca emerged as the final six after the first stage, and eventually came in third overall.

This is Bianca’s second international competition, and the first time she has won an award internationally. She was introduced to this competition by her Instrumental Studies teacher and performed five pieces at the competition.