A one-man “bridge linking literature and music” in Singapore
Dr Liang Wern Fook
National Institute of Education
Ph.D. (Chinese Literature)/ Class of 2000
For his outstanding contributions to the Xinyao (Singapore songs) music movement and in recognition of his achievements as a writer, composer, and educator in Chinese language and literature in Singapore, Nanyang Technological University is proud to present Dr Liang Wern Fook with the Nanyang Distinguished Alumni Award.
An acclaimed singer-songwriter with six albums and over 200 musical compositions and songs under his belt, Dr Liang is considered a pioneer of the Xinyao music movement. Dr Liang’s passion for music was fuelled by his music-loving parents. In 1984, he released his first commercial song “A song for you” which he wrote at the age of 16. He gradually set up his own distinctive style by a combination of various melodies, profound literature knowledge, and deep feelings towards the society and the country. His significant works include Eve of History Exam, The Sparrow Song, Friendship Forever, One Step at a Time, and Singapore Pie.
During his 1986 to 1992 Xinyao phase, he released five albums, one of which, The Door, was the first Singaporean Mandarin album to be fully composed and written by the same artiste. His other musical milestones include composing the song Love’s Refuge, which topped the charts for 29 weeks across 1986 and 1987. In 2003, He was voted the “Person Who Best Represents the Xinyao Spirit” in a 2003 poll conducted by the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore. Dr Liang’s enduring popularity was shown when 5,000 tickets to his first solo concert in April 2015 sold out within six hours.
Despite the decline of Xinyao’s popularity from the mid-90s, Dr Liang never stopped composing. His compositions have also been sung by Mandopop superstars including Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, and fellow Singaporeans Kit Chan and Stefanie Sun. Over the past 10 years, he has devoted himself to musical composition, bringing his career onto a new stage. He successfully launched the well-known musicals December Rains, the first Chinese musical produced by Singaporeans, and the critically acclaimed If There’re Seasons.
Musical talent aside, Dr Liang is also a published poet and essayist who has earned critical acclaim with his essay collection The Last Years of Kreta Ayer, poetry collection In Fact I am in Love with Time, and short-story collection The 21 Dreams of Liang Wern Fook. Dr Liang is currently a respected Adjunct Associate Professor with NTU’s Division of Chinese. He is also the Language Director of Xue Er You Language Centre.
Dr Liang has received numerous prestigious awards including the Cultural Medallion for Music by National Arts Council in 2010 for his contributions to Singapore’s music scene. Other accolades include winning the Best Local Lyrics Award on five separate occasions at the Singapore Hit Awards organised by MediaCorp Radio FM93.3 and Best Theme Song twice at the MediaCorp Star Awards. He has also been recognised for his work in literature – Dr Liang was the first-ever recipient of the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award (Literary Arts) in 1992 and The Singapore Book Prize in 1996. He has also received the Nanyang Alumni Achievement Award in 2008. Dr Liang is greatly respected by his peers too, with the late Singapore theatre great Kuo Pao Kun having once referred to his works as “a bridge linking literature and music”.
中文文学博士 / 2000年毕业班