The Arts are integral to the economic and social well-being of a society. In the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an increase in the number of people engaging themselves in the arts to express themselves emotionally and physically.

What is the relationship of economics and the arts in Singapore’s society today? The editorial team seeks to examine this question in this issue of Economics & Society.

As a young nation, the Singapore’s government plays a particularly important role in developing arts and culture in Singapore. We are honoured to have Minister Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minster for Law to write the foreword for this issue.

In an exclusive interview, we examine Singapore’s ability to maintain harmony between economic development and cultural preservation with Ms Chang Hwee Nee, Chief Executive of National Heritage Board.

The essays in this issue are written by young scholars, Mr Gabriel Yap and Ms Chong Yong Qi. In these essays, they share their views on the dynamic relationship between economics and the arts, and their vision for the future. Mr Yap discusses the economics of concerts, carnivals and conventions, while Ms Chong sheds light on the role of architecture.

As the adage goes “a picture is worth a thousand words”, we present an infographic by local artist Mr Tan Eng Khoon. In this infographic, Mr Tan presents his vision of how an input-light model can increase the vitality of Singapore’s economy.

In perspective, we had a conversation with Mr Anthony Chen, award winning Singaporean film director, screenwriter and film producer. In this conversation, we discuss about Mr Chen’s views of the future of film-making in Singapore.

The winning entry of the MAS-ESS Essay Competition 2021 bookends this issue. Titled “From Singapore Private Limited, to Singapore Virtually Unlimited”, the authors share their views of economic drivers in a post-COVID world.

It is our hope that the readers would find the articles in this issue useful and intriguing.