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Thinking and Talking about Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia

The top ArtsEquator articles of 2019

Here’s a list of the top 10 ArtsEquator articles in 2019:

 

Enter Stage Right: Tay Tong by ArtsEquator

“It is amazing how one’s identity is so associated with one’s job. Especially for me – after 30 years, all of a sudden I am no longer the MD of TheatreWorks, I’m no longer the producer for Keng Sen. I was completely stripped of any kind of identity, and it’s crazy, it’s ridiculous.”

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“A Land Imagined” and The Ghosts We Forget” by Alfonse Chiu

“media framing of the story has a tendency to focus on the contrasts it posed in relation to Crazy Rich Asians, which was released around the same time. Departing from the glittery super-rich for whom the world is their playground and Singapore just a home base into the gritty reality of a labourer’s hard knock life, the discourse swivels between two extremes, those who have everything and those who have nothing.”

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Unravelling the History of Nudity in Singapore Theatre by Akanksha Raja

“The naked body on stage (even if only imagined) has a potent social power: taboos surrounding the body can shock and offend some Singaporeans. But when did this start?”

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Does Singapore Theatre Have a Directing Problem? by Adam Marple

“Where can a young director cut their teeth without spending a fortune on venue hire, actors and designers? A platform where their failures aren’t instantly up for the whole world (i.e. the Industry) to see.”

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Pretty Displaced: Staging Sexual Assault in the Age of #MeToo by Nabilah Said

“Do we face brutality in the eye? Or do we soften its edges, to protect, so we don’t open old wounds? And if we do pick at a wound, whose responsibility is it to close it back up?”

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What is the music of my country? Race, harmony and diversity in Singapore by Bani Haykal

“Harmony is an evolving, shape-shifting, polyphonic spirit. If we are hoping to have a serious discussion about racial harmony, we should see it as an ongoing cultural / political project where constant negotiations are being made in the interest of sustaining a composition of diverse ideas. The key point here being constant negotiation.”

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Siapa Nama Kamu? – Questions to Answer a Friend by Syed Muhammad Hafiz

“Curating in many ways is about representation. Messengers, middlemen, storytellers – these are just some of the terms used to describe us. A curator can be like a chameleon, balancing his or her allegiance according to the context of the working environment, i.e. museums or whoever is their paymaster. In the context of a public art museum in Singapore, it is a heavy responsibility.”

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The Traditional Body, The Contemporary Mind and The (Dancing) Mother by January Low

“This realisation was a huge wake-up call for me. It reaffirmed that there was a problem with my approach to my dance and this was keeping me from moving forward. The dance was no longer representing my life. In fact, the tradition was distancing me from my family.”

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5 Singapore poems not to quote out of context by Nabilah Said

“The National Library Board says that more Singaporeans are reading, but in the era of misinformation and deepfakes, how we are reading becomes an equally important part of the conversation. Are we working harder to discern truth and meaning from perception and opinion?”

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This is what succession looks like: The Finger Players by Corrie Tan

“Closer to home, there’s an unavoidable whiff of the familial in our political leadership and grouses about “dynastic” succession. It makes me wonder if this is the best term to use when it comes to the arts, and if our ideas of artistic leadership are entangled with this sticky metaphor that sets long-time artistic directors as heads of families”

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