Thinking and Talking about Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia

Weekly Picks: Singapore (21 – 27 January 2019)

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The Utama Spaceship by Spacebar Theatre, UTown Dance Studio, 22 – 23 January

In the not-so-distant future, Singapore sends The Utama Spaceship to colonise a planet in the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. Two space explorers are given the greatest task aboard the spaceship: to not get lost. To pass the time the Explorers tell stories to each other, from old legends to new age ones. Halfway through, they get horribly and embarrassingly lost. Can they find their way forward or should they find their way back?

The Utama Spaceship is a devised theatre piece about humanity’s tendency to retell the same stories to themselves repeatedly over eras and aeons, in a fashion that is always changing on the surface but ultimately consistent in narrative.

Founded by Eugene Koh and Lee Shu Yu, students from NUS Theatre Studies, Spacebar Theatre is a new theatre node that explores everyday existence in an increasingly complicated world of technological advancement. Find out more here.

Fostering Diversity in the Art Ecosystem by SEA Focus, Block 7 Gillman Barracks, 26 January

An initiative by STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery, S.E.A. Focus is a platform to foster deeper appreciation and increase demand for Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art through dynamic collaboration between international and local galleries. #SEAspotlight is a specially curated talks programme featuring the most passionate art personalities, gallerists, curators and artists from Southeast Asia and beyond. This talk assembles individuals – Nathalie Johnston, Seelan Palay, and Chomwan Weeraworawit – who draw on alternative models in order to shape the way art is framed, shared, and disseminated to the public. The art ecosystem is a summation of various personalities and curatorial approaches that are driving innovative structures and models, which range from independent and self-run spaces to spectacular events such as biennales. The panellists will discuss the motivations behind different types of structures along with the challenges that accompany them. Furthermore, they will explore the different ways that the various models engage the public with contemporary art and how they cope with the evolving needs of a multifaceted and rapidly changing socio-political environment. More information here.

KAMI / 神 by Irfan Kasban, Singapore Art Museum (SAM at 8Q), 25 January, 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm

KAMI / 神 (Us/ Gods) delves into how tourism inevitably changes sacred spaces, holy sites, and the faces of the otherworldly beings that inhabit them. Gathering inspiration from the poetry of Farid ud-Din Attar’s Conference of the Birds and drawing from the themes and narratives explored in Pragmatic Prayers for the Kala at the Threshold, in this reinterpretation, the Simurgh, a wandering deity, finds that he has trouble constructing his own image. He is pulled through the ebb and flow of believers of varying faiths and non-believers alike. The performance involves Irfan inhabiting the spaces of the worlds between the hills, land and sea while seeking to find his image on reflective surfaces, including the audiences’ eyes. The piece has elements of Butoh, Viewpoints, physical theatre, performance art and is performed in Malay, with English and Japanese surtitles.

Find out more here.

Light to Night Festival 2019 @ ACM – Traces & Echoes by Asian Civilisations Museum, 25 – 26 January

Inspired by vestiges of the past in the area surrounding the Asian Civilisations Museum, the Light to Night Festival @ ACM – Traces & Echoes explores and makes connections through a series of interactive artworks. Come and immerse yourself in the history of the Civic District. Feel a sense of wonder and serendipity as you dive into four fascinating and engaging interactions with artworks designed for all ages. Walk into a giant time capsule by OH! Other Half, revisit old shipwrecks or nostalgic games with Mash Up Collective and Sebastian Chun, and enter a tunnel of dreams by students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. On 25 and 26 January, and 1 and 2 February, immerse yourself in the history of the Civic District through four mesmerising nights at the ACM with more programmes including films, performances, and workshops for all. More information here.

 

Note: All information is correct at the time of publication. Please confirm directly with the organisers/event websites. ArtsEquator is not responsible for any changes to the schedule of events. If you have an event you’d like us to highlight, please email events[at]artsequator.com.

 

 

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