Arts Aloud – February 2018

Published on 28 January 2018

We’ve never missed Kalaa Utsavam, an annual festival in November showcasing Indian art and culture, organised by the Esplanade. The festival presents a variety of genres, including the most authentic classical art forms of India. It’s a boon for those bringing up their children outside India as they are able to expose them to Indian culture. The quality of the programmes is really commendable. We’re Singapore permanent residents and have been living here for the past 10 years. We attend Kalaa Utsavam as a family. Our kids are six- and nine-years-old and they loved last year’s shows including Garuda, a dance drama performance for children. We also attended Anjaneyam (Bharatanatyam dance drama), Manganiyar and Kalbeliya music (folk songs and dance) and Agam (music concert). Such events help to keep us rejuvenated!


“ I recently visited the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum because I wanted to bring my two-year-old son to see the dinosaur exhibits — his current obsession. There was so much to learn together with him! For example, we found out horseshoe crabs have blood that’s blue! We looked at images of trash that often roll up on our shores (it impacted my son a lot); exhibits of the whale, wildlife animals and, of course, the dinosaurs. I was reminded of Singapore’s rich biodiversity and this has inspired me to spend more time looking at the things around me. It was wonderful that a trip planned for my son turned out to be an educational experience for both of us. What I want to do next is to visit all the museums we have! It’s surely a better alternative to shopping malls.”


“ I recently attended the Esplanade’s Backstage Pass tour because I wanted to learn more about the institution, their vision, as well as how they operate on a daily basis. We were fortunate enough to have been led by Mr Benson Puah, chief executive officer of the Esplanade. This enabled me to gain insights into their decision-making, such as implementing what is beneficial over what is popular. I frequently visit the Esplanade for concerts but never really appreciated the acoustics of the Concert Hall. I realise they faced many trials while planning it, but the extraordinary hall surely does justice to their efforts! The tour was really eye-opening and has given me a new perspective of the arts. I’m now more inclined to support the arts and continue visiting the Esplanade for events.”


Credit: Goh Ming Siu

“ Last December, I attended the Singapore International Film Festival because the selection of films was really quite strong. I read the synopses and found many of them intriguing. In the end, the films I chose revolved around crime, violence, horror and trauma. My favourite films were: It Comes at Night (USA) — a psychological horror film that gripped me with its masterful control of tension — and Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (Indonesia), because the genre it was operating in was the Western, but it was set completely in rural Indonesia. I realise there are many strong and interesting voices in the Asian film world, and we should be proud of these unique stories that are firmly rooted in our region. It’s inspired me to work even harder on my first feature film.”


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