Fine arts has been a constant in Ms Vidhya Nair’s life, even though she didn’t realise it from the start.
The MBA, business executive turned President of Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS) explained that it was largely thanks to the environment she was brought up in.
Ms Nair started attending Bharatanatyam classes at the age of five, and switched to learning Hindustani music, picking up the sitar when she was a teenager. “My father was very active in both the Indian music and theatre scene – so whether me and my siblings liked it or not, we were constantly engaged.”
It also allowed her to develop a deep understanding of how the Singapore arts scene has evolved from her father’s generation to the current times.
Having been a student at SIFAS when she was in her teens, when Ms Nair took up the role of SIFAS principal, she was disappointed with what she saw. “Having had the experience of SIFAS 20 years ago, it was very clear to me that the place had deteriorated – while it was still the school that produced musicians and dancers of the highest standards in Singapore, operationally it wasn’t keeping up with the times,” she explained.
She then took up the position of the president. Under her leadership, SIFAS not only focused on providing more performing opportunities to students, but also reimagined itself as a school of the 21st century.
Watch our interview with the very eloquent Ms Nair on her delightful stories of music and dance during her childhood, as well as her insightful bits on the Indian fine arts scene in Singapore.