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Different Talents Needed

Different Talents Needed

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Published by kairin

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Published by: kairin on May 20, 2009
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Page 1Different talents needed20/05/2009 3:52:21 PMhttp://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_373476.html
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Home>Breaking News>Singapore> Story
May 7, 2009
By Yang Hui Wen
Singapore needs peoplewith a sense of theaesthetics and not justpeople who get
straight Asin school, said MinisterMentor Lee Kuan Yew. --ST PHOTO
SINGAPORE needs people with a sense of the aesthetics and not justpeople who get straight As in school, said Minister Mentor Lee KuanYew.He made the point to illustrate that different jobs require differenttalents,
citing landscape architecture as one job that requires anaesthetic sense.Recalling Singapore's early years, he said he was struck by what he sawin Japan, where every little plot of land was beautifully manicured.In Singapore then, 'we had lots of traffic circles and triangles that couldnot be used because all we had was wild grass', he said last night atSingapore Botanic Gardens' 150th anniversary celebration.So he asked Japan for two landscape architects to help 'make everycorner where there is a piece of land, unused, make it a Japanese-stylegarden with tropical plants'.After two years, the duo returned home and the gardens becameunkempt and unsightly. They were called back and asked why it
happened. The architects explained that training alone was not enough,the Singaporeans also needed an aesthetic sense.'In Japan, to say you are a landscape architect, you have to have anaesthetic sense.' The aesthetic sense is identified from a young age inJapan, he said. 'From the first day in school, you set out to discover
what is your talent.'They see how good you are with drawing, sculpture, playing with clay.If you're very good, when you grow up, you become an artist, sculptor,
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Page 2Different talents needed20/05/2009 3:52:21 PMhttp://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_373476.html
painter...If you're not so good you become an interior decorator, youdress up windows.'So for Japanese garden experts, 'it's not that you plant a tree here andthere, he has a conception and a vision of what will make the placebeautiful'.In comparison, 'we hired people on the basis of their O- and A-levelresults', Mr Lee said to loud laughter
. 'So you've got symmetrical minds,and the same thing happened with HDB
flats, I looked at them, all thesame shape and size.'But Mr Lee takes heart from what he saw during a recent visit toNanyang Polytechnic. A design student's drawing caught his eye. Hergraphics, he said, stood out from the other students' 'because she had
an artistic sense of shape, form, colours'.
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