TRCL’s 8th Anniversary


The Future of Arts in Space

TRCL Marks 8th Anniversary with a Step into the Metaverse

BT BAF Alumni Hidayah playing the keyboard with her virtual avatar on screen behind herBT BAF Alumna Hidayah performing on the keyboard alongside her avatar at TRCL’s 8th anniversary celebration.
Photo credit: TRCL, Avatar background by HATTENX

28 March 2022 – Youths and practitioners in Singapore can look forward to more platforms in the creative sector as not-for-profit arts organisation TRCL announced new initiatives for the community as it marked its 8th anniversary on 26th March at 10 Square over the past weekend.

Founded in 2014 with the belief that an education in the arts can transform young lives, TRCL manages The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF) which to date has made arts education and performance platforms without cost and accessible to over 20,000 children and youths from financially disadvantaged through its training centres in Orchard and Yishun areas.

With the onset of the pandemic and its disruptions, TRCL has now further reinforced and expanded its role in serving the community through new initiatives on the digital platform.

With The Future of the Arts in Space as the theme for the anniversary, a key highlight is TRCL’s venture into the Metaverse, working with HATTENX, a new business venture of property and community developer Hatten Group.

Said Mr Phan Ming Yen, TRCL’s Chief Operating Officer, “The competition for opportunities and rising costs of venues in the physical realm have always posed challenges of arts practitioners—more so for young aspiring talents. The need for different avenues for performances or exhibitions have also become even more urgent during the recent pandemic.

“In this, metaverse presents an alternative space and even more opportunities for arts practitioners to pursue their artistic goals albeit on a digital and virtual platform which can either augment their existing work or which can serve as a launchpad for their careers. Here, we are glad for this opportunity to be able to work with HATTENX in its HATTENX Metaverse which would certainly be another key avenue for our beneficiaries and young talents to develop and showcase their art.”

A Metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds that completely remoulds the traditional manner of social interaction. It connects people globally in a phygital realm without real-world limitations vis-àvis the use of avatars. In the HATTENX Metaverse, in which development is still underway, a dedicated space for the arts is one of the features in the making. Entering its phygital realm, users worldwide can instantly interact with one another. Regardless of the space between communities in the real world, HATTENX Metaverse would have a shared space for richer user interactions.

Dato’ Colin Tan, Managing Director of Hatten Group, said, “HATTENX Metaverse is poised to be Singapore’s game-changer. We have often heard the challenges of lack of space and opportunities any small country faces. With the Metaverse, a new avenue has opened up for us to trade, play, make art, and build new networks and communities. In addition, it is our great pleasure to work with the not-for-profit organisation TRCL. They aim to provide for the underserved in creating new possibilities for its beneficiaries and talents within the creative industries.”

TRCL will begin its venture into the metaverse by identifying young and upcoming music talents for HATTENX Metaverse through a music platform called Rising Stars Series that is co-organised with Pianoland, an expansion of Steinway Gallery Singapore, and in partnership with Music and Movement. Pianoland and Music & Movement would serve on a panel that would identify potential talents for HATTENX Metaverse.

MOU Signing between representatives of TRCL, Pianoland, and Music & MovementSigning of the Memorandum of Co-operation between Pianoland, TRCL and Music & Movement.
L to R: Ms Celine Goh, General Manager, Steinway Gallery Singapore and Pianoland; Mr Phan Ming Yen, COO, TRCL; Mr Lim Sek, Executive Director, Music & Movement

Said Ms Celine Goh, General Manager of Steinway Gallery Singapore and Pianoland,
“It is exciting for s to work with TRCL to co-organise our conventional Rising Stars Series platform to a whole new space of the metaverse as well as for the platform to serve as a fundraiser for BT BAF that provides arts training and platform opportunities to young talents from underserved communities.”

Added Mr Lim Sek, Executive Director of Music & Movement, on how the potential impact of the metaverse on Singapore’s talent pool, “It was and still is a common phenomenon that there is a ‘talent drain’ in Singapore in that many gifted musicians tend to seek more opportunities outside of Singapore and we tend to ‘lose’ talents.

“With the Metaverse however, musicians have another space and a different opportunity for them to reach out to a wider audience without leaving Singapore. In this, we will still be able to have such talents amongst us while they can pursue a wider career on the Metaverse without having to leave Singapore.”


Ms Kim Chan
+65 98068066

About TRCL
TRCL (The RICE Company Ltd) is a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity with IPC (Institutions of a Public Character) status. TRCL seeks to harness the potential of the arts to benefit under-served children and youths in the community. TRCL manages The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, arts training centres (The Little Arts Academy and 10 Square Youth) and two wholly owned subsidiaries (Global Cultural Alliance Ltd and Millet Holdings Pte Ltd). For more information, visit

About The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF)
Initiated in 2004 and adopted by The Business Times in 2005, The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF) originated from a conviction that no child with a strong interest and potential in the arts should be denied the opportunity to develop his or her talents due to a lack of financial resources. Since 2005, BT BAF has reached out to more than 20,000 financially disadvantaged children and youths, between the ages of six and 19 years old, through a variety of programmes including a structured arts training programme, arts camps, workshops, and signature events. BT BAF supports two arts training centres, The Little Arts Academy and 10 Square Youth, and is managed by TRCL. For more information, visit