VivoCity Announces Four Finalists for Mentorship Programme in Tokyo


16 January 2006, Singapore - Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd and Design Singapore Council have announced the selection of four finalists for the VivoCity Student Design Contest - a worldwide competition that aims to nurture the artistic talent of students and promote design excellence.

Jeffrey Wongso from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Kenneth Koh from the National University of Singapore won the honours for Singapore, along with Rony Chan from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Jan Sappert from Germany's Design und Median Hannover. All four students will attend a mentorship programme in Tokyo with VivoCity's architect, Toyo Ito from 18 to 20 January 2006.

The eventual gold prize winner will receive $10,000 and another $10,000 for the school; the silver prize winner will receive $5,000 and $5,000 for the school; and the bronze prize winner will receive $3,000 and $3,000 for the school. To top it off, the top (or gold prize winner) will have his or her work produced and displayed at VivoCity, alongside works of acclaimed international artists, as part of the VivoCity Art and Design Programme.

Speaking at the judging ceremony, Mapletree chairman and contest judge Mr Edmund Cheng, said, "The VivoCity Student Design Contest reflects our commitment to encourage local design skills and also contribute to putting Singapore on the world map for design excellence. In pairing young designers with esteemed, established designers, we have created a unique forum that will encourage and develop student creativity and innovation."

Other distinguished names in the judges' panel include Mr Toyo Ito, architect of VivoCity; Mrs Koh-Lim Wen Gin, Chief Planner and Deputy CEO, Urban Redevelopment Authority; Mr Fumio Nanjo, Artistic Director of Singapore Biennale 2006; Dr Milton Tan, Director of DesignSingapore Council, and Mr Syddal Wee, General Manager of SPACE Furniture.

The inaugural VivoCity Student Design adopted the theme of "fluidity," in line with Vivocity's unique architectural concept. Although contestants were free to interpret the theme, entries had to be weather-proof (in order to be displayed outdoors), as well as interactive. Interactivity can take the form of functionality (i.e. it can be sat on, climbed on), or the form of connection (i.e. it can respond to the viewer in some manner).

Part of the Singapore Design Festival 2005, the contest saw the four finalists chosen from 20 entries which were displayed at HarbourFront Centre from 10 to 20 November 2005. In all, over 370 entries were submitted from Singapore and around the world.

For more information, please contact:

Craig Mapleston
141 Worldwide Pte Ltd
Tel: (65) 6389 3396

Shae Hung Yee
Mapletree Investments
Tel: (65) 6377 6115

About the VivoCity Art and Design Programme
Organised by VivoCity, the VivoCity Art and Design Programme brings together some of the world's most talented professional artists and student designers. The programme will produce a number of works of art for permanent public display, to be unveiled at the Grand Opening of VivoCity in the fourth quarter of 2006. It will comprise two categories - the VivoCity International Art Collection which will consist of a curated collection of commissioned pieces by high-profile international artists, and the VivoCity Student Design Contest, open to all local and international design students. It is anticipated that the programme will attract a diverse range of outdoor monumental art, art furniture and multi-media design pieces.

About VivoCity
With over 1 million square feet of lettable floor space attracting a diverse mix of over 350 retailers, large event space, including a 1000-seat amphitheatre and a 300m harbour front boardwalk, VivoCity is set to become Singapore's largest and most diverse retail and lifestyle destination when it opens to the public in the fourth quarter of 2006. Designed by world-renowned architect, Toyo Ito, VivoCity will be the centre-piece of Singapore's newest lifestyle hub at the HarbourFront, which also includes Sentosa, Mt Faber, the Singapore Cruise Centre and the St James Power Station.

About Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd
Mapletree, the developer of VivoCity, is a leading real estate company with an asset base of approximately S.6 billion, comprising office, retail/lifestyle logistics/industrial, and high-tech industrial properties. It is committed to shaping new ways to deliver value to its stakeholders from multiple real estate investments and services. With its significant expertise, diverse skill sets and intimate knowledge of the property industry in Singapore and Asia, Mapletree is well-positioned to be an ideal strategic real estate partner in providing innovative real estate solutions and investment products. Mapletree is focused on delivering quality real estate-related services, while at the same time, developing its capital management business in Singapore and the region. It continually seeks new avenues to deliver optimal returns on investments in real estate, providing a source of shared value for its business partners and stakeholders.

VivoCity Student Design Contest Finalists


Name: Jeffrey Wongso
Age: 18
School: Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore

"Floop" is a powder-coated stainless steel outdoor sculpture that features a low-seating structure. It is constructed with two tubular pipes, one of which is bolted to the ground and the other bolted and hidden within an artificial lake. The design is meant to create a sense of tension and imaginary aerial division between the water and the ground. A Chinese Indonesian, Jeffrey has been studying and living in Singapore since he was in Secondary One. He has been an avid artist from young and picked up an interest in interior design from his father, who is a contractor. He is currently pursuing a diploma in Interior Design. Jeffrey counts playing the guitar, soccer and other sports and watching movies among his many interests.

Name: Kenneth Koh Qibao
Age: 22
School: National University of Singapore, Singapore

"Island" is a sculpture that changes over time, and introduces the idea of the public adding to and being part of the artwork. Its designer, Kenneth Koh, suggests that artificial plants can be fastened on to the main body of "Island", and be changed over time to more matured versions, so as to simulate growth. The types of plants can also be dependent on the time of the year. For example, desert-like plants could sprout from January to March, and Christmassy plants could be introduced in December. Kenneth has always been intrigued by toys that come in modular pieces and allow the user to construct something from them by a simple reconfiguration of these pieces. What also fascinate him is the Japanese phenomenon of the "kawaii" (cute) obsession and the idea of a mascot that promotes a product. If people take to human or anthropomorphic characters, why not have a bulbous plant as a mascot instead, he often muses, hence the birth of "Island". An architecture undergraduate, Kenneth plays the clarinet and keyboard, as well as sings in a cappella group, during his free time.

Name: Chan Hoi Nap, Rony
Age: 21
School: Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Rony Chan is a nature-lover, and is inspired by one of nature's most beautiful creations - rain. She believes that the form of a raindrop gives one the feeling of fluidity. Her design, "Raindrop" is testimony to that. When installed in a shopping mall, the structure will help passers-by relax and let them shop in a more natural environment. The sculpture's stainless steel surface distorts one's reflection when they walk pass it or when they climb through it. By distorting their reflections, it makes them feel as though they are part of the "fluid" environment too. Besides architecture, Rony is passionate about music and plays the piano to relax. She loves traveling and shopping in different destinations. If she wins the gold prize of S$ 10,000, she will spend some of it on her final year design project and the rest on shopping. After completing the course, Rony hopes to establish herself as a professional architect in a reputed firm.

Name: Jan Sappert
Age: 23
School: Design und Median Hannover, Germany

"ComeFused" was designed to interact with people. The stark contrast between the exterior of the graphic cube and the illuminated organic forms inside commands attention and the constantly changing colour of the core helps to break the monotony. The viscous surface of "ComeFused" 'pulls' one towards it and makes them feel as if they are fusing with the sculpture itself. The public can also walk through the sculpture, take funny photos in it or just relax by it. A nature lover, Jan enjoys photography and bird watching. Many of his works are inspired by nature, where he believes one can find the most beautiful forms and colours. His hobbies include golfing and car racing with his friends. He hopes to found his own architectural agency in future.

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