Shabbir Hussain Mustafa (Arts & Social Sciences ’07 & ’12), Benjamin Ang (Law ’93) & Eunice Olsen (Arts & Social Sciences ’01) found in the university environment a confluence of productive factors – uncertainty, liminality, juxtaposed with dynamism, creativity, and the potential for artistic growth and development. In this talk, these accomplished alumni of CFA share how their time in the university were formative and transformative, and how that continues to contribute to how they think and interact with the arts & the community.
About Critical Conversations
As part of the Centre For the Arts’ vision to nurture creative minds and inquiring spirits, the NUS Arts Festival presents Critical Conversations – a series of talks and panel discussions aimed at deepening the discourse and engagement with the themes raised during the festival.
Shabbir Hussain Mustafa is presently Curator at National Gallery Singapore. He was previously Curator
at NUS Museum, and graduated from the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences with a BA in Political Science
and an MA in History and South Asian Studies.
Benjamin Ang never left the NUS Electronic Music Lab - he enjoyed his time performing, composing
and recording as a student member so much that he stayed on as alumni, then became a tutor, and
was eventually appointed Principal Tutor. Through the years he has fed his passion for learning
electronic music through lessons at Boston University's School for the Arts, and filming the
International Computer Music Conference proceedings in Singapore. Today, he trains EML members
in producing, performing and promoting original electronic music.
Benjamin plays keyboards and is the producer/remixer of local electronic pop duo COSMIC
ARMCHAIR, which is signed to the European record label Alfa Matrix. The duo has released four EPs
internationally, and produces remixes for other European artists. COSMIC ARMCHAIR and NUS EML
have performed at venues as varied as Substation, The Arts House, The Esplanade Waterfront, The
Esplanade Concourse, and Zouk Club.
Benjamin's latest project was the Digital Dondang Sayang series of concerts, part of the NUS Arts
Festival 2016, which incorporated his ancestral Peranakan poetry with improvised electronic music.
Eunice Olsen (40) is the founder and Executive Producer of the
International Emmy Nominated series WomenTalk TV, and is no
stranger to Singapore, regional audiences and media channels.
After winning Miss Singapore Universe 2000, she began a
career in television as the co-host of “Wheel of Fortune” in 2002,
and went on to host numerous talk shows and acted in various
television dramas. In 2005, Eunice was appointed a Nominated
Member of Parliament in Singapore, making her the youngest
ever at age 27. In March 2006, she received an Honoree for The Outstanding Young Persons
of Singapore Award. In the same year, she was conferred the Singapore Youth Award. Olsen
was also the proud recipient of the ASEAN Youth Award in 2008 and was nominated as a
Young Global Leader in 2009 to represent Singapore in the World Economic Forum.
Olsen was recently appointed as a strategic advisor to Space for Humanity, a US based non-
profit with a stated mission to send 10,000 diverse humans to space within the next ten years.
She has over the course of her career worked been a brand ambassador for Motorola,
Blackberry, Shell, GSK, Omega, SKII, Redken, and Lancome.
Eunice has acted in various feature films, most recently, 3.50 – the first ever co-production
between Singapore and Cambodia of which she acted and produced. Her belief in the power
of good media and social impact storytelling led her to start Eunice Olsen Media with the aim
of creating impactful and mindful content that advocates for global issues, and influences
behavior, with a strong focus on the empowerment of women and girls.
Eunice Olsen Media’s flagship program WomenTalk TV, is an online video interview series
dedicated to women’s empowerment and was nominated for an International Emmy Award in
2014. In 2016, Womentalk won 7 awards from U.S. based independent film festivals including
an Official Selection at the Raindance Film Festival, UK’s largest film festival. She also
recently received an award of Excellence for the Humanitarian Award in the Best Shorts Film
Festival. Olsen also founded Tripvid, a short form online travel program that features local
authentic experiences within destinations, and empowers smaller businesses at the same
time by creating awareness of their services.
In November 2017, she launched Nuskora.com, a purposeful e-commerce site that curates
quality and value for money products for women and aims to have most of the products from
women-run businesses. It also aspires to build an entire eco-system where it works with a
panel of experts and help to inform customers on how to take care of themselves through
informative videos, to being a platform for independent brands run by women.
Her wide reach over the hearts and minds of her fans extends beyond the scope of
entertainment, to social activism. Eunice is actively involved with non-profit and philanthropic
causes, namely, the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Singapore. Olsen has multiple
ongoing humanitarian projects in Cambodia ranging from Project Precious, a menstrual
hygiene management education program, to building sanitation for schools and evicted
communities. She has a passion for the unsung ‘sheroines’ of the world.
In 2018, Eunice published her first children’s book ‘I’m a Girl. See what I can be!’, a series of
poems inspired by the lives of women she’s interviewed on WomenTalk. The production of
the book was made possible through a successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and
exceeded expectations by raising 125% of the targeted amount. The book brings together
women’s empowerment and special needs, two causes that are really close to her heart.
Eunice has been playing the piano since the age of three and enjoys playing for her family
and friends whenever she can. She believes it’s the little things we do together that make the
Pamela is a freelance writer, published author and former Editor of The AList SG, an arts & culture magazine initiated by the National Arts Council Singapore. A versatile journalist, Pam has worked in the areas of print, radio and television. Her experience includes being a Deputy Editor with Mediacorp Publishing, Senior Producer with Channel NewsAsia, and Senior Producer-Presenter with 938LIVE, co-hosting The Living Room, Singapore’s longest running English chat show on radio. She is also a regular moderator for the Singapore Writers Festival and other literary arts panels.