SIGGRAPH comes to Asia

Interactive digital media conference and exhibition, the Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques show will be held in Singapore--the first Asian venue.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

To be held in Asia for the first time, the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) will bring its digital media conference, the Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) exhibition to Singapore next week.

The show, which has had a 34-year run in North America, will bring a similar nine-program format to its Asian leg. These include digital media showcases, courses and technical discussions, technology demonstrations, a trade exhibition and a job fair.

The job fair, in particular, promises spots with some of the biggest production houses tapping the region for talent. These include Ubisoft, LucasFilm and Pixar.

Ray Schnell, chief marketing officer of CreativeHeads.net, which is the producer of the job fair at SIGGRAPH, told ZDNet Asia in a phone interview, he is expecting "at least every single" employer to fill one or two spots from the show, citing prior SIGGRAPH shows as anecdotal basis.

"I do know that every studio in the job fair is actively recruiting. And 3,000 to 5,000 candidates are expected to come through," said Schnell.

The growth of the interactive digital media industry globally is contributing to a shortage of suitable talent, he noted. Coupled with Asia's "nascent but fast-growing market", this is creating a growing need for talent, from artists to coders. Bollywood, for example, will produce a hundred or so animated features over the next years, with schools currently mushrooming to supply new production houses with talent, said Schnell.

Y. T. Lee, conference chair for the show, said in an e-mail: "SIGGRAPH is coming to Asia after 34 years because [organizers] realize there has been an exponential increase in the number of works submitted from Asia to SIGGRAPH in North America, but not much increase in Asian attendance at the conference.

"This indicates that there are limited opportunities for professionals in Asia to meet and interact...the quality of Asia’s work is rising," Lee said.

Additionally, governments in the region have been actively developing the interactive and digital media industry, he said. "Notably in Singapore, there has been a rapid growth in the industry, with international powerhouses such as LucasFilm Animation and New Yorks’ Tisch School of Arts setting up a local presence." SIGGRAPH Asia 2008 will be held at Suntec City from Dec. 10 to 13.

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