[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Sunday, November 02, 2008

[Berlin Wall Winning Design]
Youth Empire organised a nice media event to announce the winning design for the Berlin Wall last Friday at Hort Park. Steve Lau chaired it like a pro.

It was an elegant setting. The donor of the Wall, Robert Hefner, gave an account of how he got a piece it when it was being torn down and had it shipped to Oklahoma City. Liu Thai Ker, the Chief Judge, explained the judges' consideration. Albert Hong of RSP Architects donated the prizes for the concept and design competitions, altogether amounting to $100,000. I spoke too, expressing the hope that the Wall at Bedok Reservoir will attract visitors and inspire them to think and act.

In an expansive moment, I compared the Wall to the arrival of the grey slab in Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey. Each time it did, the world around changed, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. From the time the idea was first mooted till now, the Berlin Wall project has been a wonderful learning experience for all of us who have been involved in it.

The symbolism is deep. For years, people risked their lives to climb over the Berlin Wall, many dying in the attempt. The Kings of Freedom were more than just words and graffiti.

The winning entry came from a group of architecture students from NUS. It is a simple but strong architectural design, drawing from the winning concept in an earlier competition. The prize money was $40,000.

We need to raise $2-3 million for the installation of the Wall at Bedok Reservoir Park. As part of the fund raising, Youth Empire will be organising a party after the Wall arrives in Singapore, probably in a warehouse, sometime in June next year.

On 9 Nov 2009, the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we will unveil the sculpture at Bedok Reservoir. The event will be held in collaboration with the German Embassy and the Goethe Institute. It will be a big celebration.

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