The Foundation for the Arts and Social Enterprise is commissioning the launch of 8 Presidential Coins in silver (and gold subsequently) in early 2019, in partnership with the Singapore Precious Metals Exchange (SGPMX). The Foundation is working with 8 Singapore artists to sketch the Presidents’ portraits that will be minted into the coins. We have involved both established and emerging artists to give their unique take on the Presidents. There will be accompanying booklets featuring the bios of both the Presidents and artists.
At its heart, this project is a ground-up attempt to capture our own sense of the Presidency, without the filter of politics or propaganda, and driven by the non-profit arts sector, with the support of the private sector and our local artistes. We also believe that one day, because the President is elected by the popular vote, the Presidency will grow to be a stabilizing symbol and force in Singapore, whatever the political manifestations of the day.
The artists we have commissioned represent the best of Singapore artistic enterprise during the half century of our evolution as a society. Like our Presidents, our Singapore artists are carriers of our legacy and also, embody the impulse of our future.
This is a mature project for a maturing society, as we have been able to pool and pull the best of our artists to capture their sense of an institution that has been shaped and served by truly unique individuals devoted to the country.
How does the project benefits The Arts?
First, heritage and education. The project aims to raise public awareness of Singapore’s Presidents, their respective legacies as guardians of the Republic and their contributions in the context of their time. To ensure the greatest outreach, and also to limit the costs to the public, we are aiming (in the first instance) for a silver coin around the size of our 50 cents coin.
Second, the arts. Through this project, we will promote the local art and literary scene by commissioning local talents – artists, graphic designers, and writers, to contribute to the evolving narrative about the Presidency.
Third, charity. Part of the sales proceeds of the commemorative limited edition coins will be pledged to The Foundation for its arts projects and to related charities that use the arts to help the needy.