In Search of Singapore’s Early Opera History

Corey Koh began with a simple question about the early days of opera in Singapore. Trawling through newspaper archives and scholarly articles, Corey, a young classical tenor who has performed widely in Singapore and abroad, uncovers a fascinating story of Singapore’s place within a larger transcontinental touring circuit, and gives us a glimpse into early performance criticism in Singapore.

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(Bottom right) In a village in Bali, Jaap Zindler films two indigenous girls working with a loom, Indonesia (1947). (Top and bottom left) Staged filming on the site of the Government Film Company in the former Mr. Cornelis in Jakarta, Indonesia (1947).

Beyond the Imagination Trajectories of Former Colonies

Dwiki Aprinaldi critiques the influences of colonial history that still seep through the film industry in Southeast Asia. This article is published as part of the inaugural AE x Goethe-Institut Critical Writing Micro-Residency 2021/2022.

3.7 – Menagerie Race
Courtesy of NUS Press

Imperial Creatures: Singapore beyond ‘great men’ history

Singapore’s bicentennial year in 2019 sparked great discussion and debate about the legacies of imperialism and colonialism, which continues till today, in step with larger conversations happening globally around decolonisation, indigeneity and civil rights. With the third edition of The Arts House’ LumiNation festival focusing on migration, historian and academic Timothy P. Barnard delves into …

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Tan Pin Pin’s “In Time To Come”: On the Edge of a Snow-Globe Starburst

By Marcus Yee (872 words, 8-minute read) A time capsule of a film on time capsules, Tan Pin Pin’s latest film In Time To Come is underpinned by a confounding observation: Singapore’s national obsession with time capsules, despite the nation-state’s short post-independence history. The otherwise plotless film follows three time capsules, the sealing of two time capsules …

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“Ghosts and Spectres”: The Burden of History and Artistic Narration

By Elaine Chiew (1350 words, 10-minute read) The stitching together of alternative histor(ies) within artistic exploration as a kind of “false radical chic”, to borrow Singaporean artist Ho Tzu Nyen’s term[1], can cloud the tougher question of where lies the artist’s burden of truth when playing with history. The four artists showcased in Ghosts and …

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