Shine Youth Festival 2011

There’s an idiom that says “Children should be seen and not heard”. If that is true, then “Adults should be heard and not seen”? Those statements are of course preposterous. But if both propositions somehow stand correct for reasons too absurb to imagine, then there is one group who will benefit… the Youths. They are caught in the middle where they should be seen and should be heard!

But then, they could also be at the other end where they become the unheard and unseen. So how do we resolve a conflict like that to reinstate the legitimacy and preference for the preceding declaration to be upheld? That youthfulness is a period of boomzifying voice and visibility?

Please allow me to present to you the case of Youth as an Explosive Celebration of Expression! This post will show you, through my witness, Shine Youth Festival 2011, the evidences that the young in Singapore are definitely seen and heard! 🙂

Chingay meets Halloween. About 1,000 young people took part in a massive Cosmo Youth Parade that encouraged creativity and self-expression through costume play.

Officially launched on 2 Jul 2011 (Saturday) at *SCAPE, Shine Youth Festival is a month-long event organised by youths for youths with exciting programmes, workshops and masterclasses in photography, beatboxing, street dancing, deejaying, and many more.

A cosplay and mascot parade heralded by distinctly Chinese symbols of abundance - goldfish and carps! Such a festive atmosphere in the middle of the prime Orchard Road shopping district!

Started in 2005 by Singapore’s National Youth Council, the festival is a dynamic platform for youths between the age of 15 – 35 to indulge in their passion and shine with their creativity. I’m not sure about the cut-off age for youth being 35 coz I’m pass that and I still consider myself a ‘youth’! Haha… or pretend to be lah!

The theme for this year is ‘Enough Talk, Just Do!‘, for action speaks louder than words and doing causes observable results. There, proof that youths are both seen and heard through action! But I’m not done proving my case yet. The following are more visual evidences and witnesses that the youths of Singapore have it in them to sparkle!

Mangalicious characters that sizzled and dribbled! Here's how to decipher the world of Japanese comics... Manga = comics drawn on paper; Anime = animated comics on TV; Cosplay = comics characters brought to life. I used to think 'manga' referred to shonen comics (eg. Death Note, Dragon Ball) and 'anime' meant shoju comics like Pokemon and Doraemon. Now I learn.

Spidey gets ready to battle new loony villain... Crazy Chickadee! I think chop up and deep-fry would be very nice. Wrap up whole in a thin web foil and steam with Chinese herbs also not bad.

Iron Man turned Ignored Man as the girl is clearly more interested in playing with her phone than taking a photo with him. Are our youths too hooked to monitors and screens? Time to disconnect in order to connect liao!

*SCAPE was turned into a huge downtown playground with various activities like eating competitions, pillow fights, flea market and outdoor concert featuring veteran local performers and pop-stars!

Kit Kat Photo Booths and Chill Out Corner were a big hit by welcoming all to take a break with free-flow Nestle beverages - the deliciously chocolatey Milo and a very tasty mango juice drink I tried for the first time.

While hot Mei Mei heats up the photo backdrop with her rifle throttling pose, Ah Ma sits back, relaxes and says "Let's chill..." This just shows that one is never too old to be young!

So was Mr Yam Ah Mee! Everybody wants a pic with him. But he's ever so smiley and nice and obliged every photo request. Pursuant to Section 49 sub-section 7E of the Friendly Act, I declare this statesman, Super Cool!

Looks like Bumblebee prefers to be fuelled by Kit Kat than diesel. Let's have Kit Kat bars that transform into robots next and we can christen them 'Breakformers'!

The outdoor concert kick-started with a fanfare of drumbeats and breakdancing by Bloco Singapura. That was followed by a speech by Mr Martin Tan, Chairman of Shine 2011 Steering Committee, before the festival was officially ignited by Guest-of-Honour, Mr Teo Ser Luck. Sponsors for the event were also shown a token of appreciation.

An all-girl quartet who called themselves The Roses took to the stage with Destiny's Child's anthem of empowerment, Survivor. They are all so young! Their ages ranged from 13 - 16. They should call themselves The Rosebuds.

Smooth acapella grooves by Juz-B, a seasoned all-Malay group who sings in Mandarin too! The group has a Chinese band member now by the name of Brian (photo's extreme right). He must've been a DJ console in his previous life because his beatbox skills are amazing.

Formed in 1995, the group was one of the more popular contestants in Channel U's Superband Competition. The group had since won a number of acapella awards.

Got to hear Tay Kewei (郑可为) for the first time and she has a voice that is candy to the ears... Here's the MTV of her hit song...

Kewei was roped in to open concerts for biggie Mando-pop stars like David Tao, Wang Lee Hom, A-Mei and the likes before carving out a solo career. I was standing right in front of the stage so I can't fully appreciate the acoustic quality of the performers but I sure got a clear view of their shoes. check hers out!

Showcasing a wide range of Singapore's vocalists, the next performer, Erick Guansing took the audience places with his well-pitched tenor vibrato.

Erick runs vocal training classes from his home and collaborates with various events to showcase the talents of his pupils. During the concert, a group of them came on stage and performed Seasons of Love, the theme song from RENT.

Next up was the Jack and Rai (feat. EIC) rocking the house down with nifty electro-guitar work and great hits from Lenny Kravitz, and... and... and I can't remember the rest because I was bobbing my head along so much!

Formed in 2002, this one-half of a Singaporean Benetton ad that rocked has been a regular in the local pub scene performing to full-houses.

Are these girls screaming for me? Not unless they need a father figure. They were screaming their lungs out for their heartthrob idol...

... Derrick Hoh (何維健). Watch his MTV below and you'll see why he's such a scream magnet.

Derrick was the second runner-up in 2005's Project Superstar. After a hiatus to serve National Service, he returned with his first album and gained a large following in Taiwan. I think he's so cool! *Me : put hands to face and starts screaming*

The concert wrapped up with one of Singapore's most endearing national songs, Home. When I first heard it while working on the exhibition contents of the HDB Gallery, I didn't feel much for it. But when I started singing it, the magic sets in.

In many ways, the youths are very lucky to call Singapore home. Some places I've been to, the youths are just struggling with the basics of food and shelter, let alone having the time to explore and develop their talents. May the Shine Youth Festival be a reminder and hallmark to remind the young and all Singaporeans to keep alive the can-do spirit!

I know it’s a very long blog post. It’s a test of stamina because young people have the energy to write and read alot *hint hint* Hahaha… Well, I hope you’ve made it through this point and enjoyed the Shine Youth Festival 2011 through my perspective. There’s another idiom that states “Youth is wasted on the young”.

In the case of Singaporean youths, I think largely not. 🙂

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