Seelan Palay

Visual artist Seelan Palay was arrested outside Parliament House on 1 October 2017 for his performance art piece “32 Years: The Interrogation of a Mirror”. The performance, which ran from 2 – 4.15pm,  was a tribute to former Elected Member of Parliament, Chia Thye Poh, who was detained for 32 years without trial. Seelan Palay turned […]

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National Youth Council

National Youth Council’s public engagement program, in September, “For Your Consideration” misappropriated the techniques and methodology from theatre group Drama Box’s The Lesson (which took place across three weeks in July). This was not the first time authorities recycled or re-appropriated artworks or artists’ concepts without permission or acknowledgement. At the Singapore SEA Games in 2015, the Organising

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Sonny Liew

Graphic novelist Sonny Liew made history as the first Singaporean to win at the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the “Oscars for comics”, held in July 2017 at Comic-Con International, San Diego, USA. The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, which retells the life of a comic artist growing up in pre-independence Singapore, won not just one

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Shrey Bhargava

In May, actor Shrey Bhargava, 21, shared on Facebook his experience auditioning for the latest Ah Boys To Men, where he was told to exaggerate an Indian accent and “make it funny”. His post pointed to the proliferation of racial stereotyping and caricaturing in Singaporean cultural media and the need for more nuanced representation of minority

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Stamford Arts Centre

The previously defunct Stamford Arts Centre, located in the vibrant Arts Heritage District, is undergoing a $7 million redevelopment process under Arts House Limited, which manages other cultural venues such as Aliwal Arts Centre. It is set to be a new hub for the traditional arts, with studio spaces, residency spaces, and a multi-purpose hall.

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SIFA Changing of Guard

In March, it was announced that Gaurav Kripalani, the Artistic Director of the Singapore Repertory Theatre, would succeed Theatreworks Artistic Director Ong Keng Sen as Festival Director of Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA). This changing of guard foretells a significant shift in approach to programming and presentation choices: Ong is known to favour presenting

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The Golden Staircase

In March, a LASALLE College of the Arts student, Priyageetha Dia, gilded a grey cement staircase on the 20th floor of her HDB block. The golden staircase divided the internet (of course). Some saw an inconsiderate act of vandalism, others, an insightful and resonant artwork. The Town Council declared the work not permissable, but were

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Syonan Gallery

In Feb, an WWII exhibition, titled Syonan Gallery: War and its Legacies was to open at the former Ford Factory. Previewing the show, The Straits Times noted that the title “Syonan Gallery” was a contentious choice. Members of the public too expressed their discomfort with the use of the name “Syonan”, invoking as it did,

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Kirsten Tan’s debut feature film POP AYE, became the first Singaporean film to win the prestigious Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Screenwriting in January. The film is a road trip tale about the bond between an aging architect and an elephant, set in Thailand. Her victory was lauded by Prime

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Undressing Room

In late 2016, anonymous attacks on the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2017 program surfaced online. The IMDA subsequently refused to issue ratings to M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2017’s performance-lecture Naked Ladies by Thea Fitz-James and Ming Poon’s Undressing Room, unless elements of the works be modified. The Fringe organisers pulled these shows out of the

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