By Akanksha Raja
Presented by The Arts House and co-commissioned by #BuySingLit, Textures – A Weekend With Words is an inaugural literary festival taking place from 9 – 11 March, chockablock with performances, workshops, book-themed exhibitions, and over 30 panel discussions, all in honour of homegrown literature, and the energetic, growing community that has contributed and shaped the literary scene here, for decades and through to the present day.
Textures finds its home in The Arts House at the former building of The Old Parliament House, where words exchanged by founding parliamentarians shaped Singapore’s society as we know it. The space has since changed from a somber seat of government to a dynamic hub of arts and culture. Despite the transformation, words and their power to mould a society still form the core what The Arts House stands for, as it establishes itself today as a literary arts centre.
The wonder of literature is the wonder of words and words don’t necessarily belong strictly to the printed page: they can embody rhythm, imagery, sound, feeling, and more qualities that greatly influence other art-forms. Textures invites you to fall in love with the power and beauty of words by offering a variety of events crossing genres: theatre, design, music, film, among others, crossing the various cultures and languages in Singapore, as well.
Here’s ArtsEquator’s top 5 event picks from the Textures programme.
Pledge, Plays, Prose The Literary Works of S. Rajaratnam
Saturday 10 Mar, 7.30pm–8.30pm at the Chamber
S. Rajaratnam is better known as one of Singapore’s founding fathers and its first Foreign Minister, as well as the writer of Singapore’s National Pledge. He’s less known for his prolific career outside of politics, as a literary writer of prose and plays. Pledge, Plays, Prose offers a glimpse into Rajaratnam’s rich imagination, idealism, and depth of intellect, through a series of readings of his work by Remesh Panicker, along with R Chandran, Amy Cheng and Gerald Chew, followed by a panel discussion with Dr Kirpal Singh and Ms Irene Ng.
Recitals of Yesteryear – Kata-kata Kita
Friday 9 Mar, 7pm–8pm at the Play Den
Performed in Malay and English
Old Malay children’s songs are revived in this performance-led forum. Apart from being an entertaining channel to transmit life lessons and values, these songs are filled with rich vocabulary, melodies and rhythms, which make them interesting mediums for analysis. This performance reimagines music written from 1950s to 1980s from the book Lagu-Lagu Kita and seeks to encourage the continual creation of children’s songs, highlighting their role in fostering creativity and imagination for generations to come. This recital is performed by Rila Melati and Cikgu Bahri Rajib with music accompaniment by Aqmal.
Note for Note
Featuring Theophilus Kwek, Charlene Shepherdson and Marc Nair
Friday 9 Mar, 8pm–9pm at the Chamber
Poetry and music meld together in Note for Note, through original works resulting from collaborations of form and content. The two different genres are like two different languages, but both, in essence, share an attention to rhythm, harmony, and emotion; to behold them in interplay promises to be a delectable treat. This edition is the first of three in 2018, and will feature poets Theophilus Kwek, Charlene Shepherdson and Marc Nair. They will be paired with musicians Joses Ho, Daniel Tan and Yvonne Teo. Ticketing information may be found here.
Building Bridges Culture and Language in Translation
Featuring Chan Maw Woh 陈妙华 and Wing Chong 温昌
Saturday 10 Mar, 11am–1pm at the Living Room
Moderated by Lee Chuan Low
There has been increasing discussion about the role of literature, particularly translated literature, in imagining Southeast Asia as a unified community, and the role of translation in bridging cultures. This dialogue session focuses on Malay-to-Chinese translation, with Singaporean translators Chan Maw Woh and Wing Chong discussing local and regional Malay literature, significant works, and developments in contemporary Malay literature. Both speakers will also discuss the intricacies, rewards and challenges of serving as a bridge between worlds, looking at how the act of translation goes beyond mere linguistic interpretation and to embody a culture’s spirit and essence.
I Want To Go Home Film Screening and Book Talk by Wesley Leon Aroozoo
Saturday 10 Mar, 3pm–4.30pm & Sunday 11 Mar, 3pm–4.30pm at the Screening Room
I Want To Go Home is a poignant film focused on Yasuo Takamatsu, a Japanese widower in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami, who has since been regularly diving into the sea, in search of his wife. Singaporean director Wesley Leon Aroozoo was inspired to tell his story, which has also published as a dual-language novel of the same name in both Japanese and English. After the screening, Wesley Leon Aroozoo will share on the process of capturing the same narrative across film and book.
For the complete list of programmes, visit The Arts House website here.
#BUYSINGLIT VOUCHER GIVEAWAYS!
We are giving away 5 sets of BuySingLit vouchers each worth $20!
For an extra entry to the giveaway, subscribe to our mailing list here!
For another extra entry to the giveaway, comment on this post on which event you’d like to catch the most!
This giveaway closes on 5 March 2018.
So hurry, and enter your name!
Good luck, and keep reading!
This post is sponsored by The Arts House Ltd. for TEXTURES – A Weekend With Words.