As You Wish

Published on 26 December 2017

The Singapore arts scene is perched on the brink of new possibilities as we welcome 2018. What goals and dreams do our artists have for the New Year?

By Pamela Ho


Whether you believe in making New Year’s resolutions or not, there is a power in declaring your intentions and casting them to the winds. In the words of Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, in his best-selling novel The Alchemist, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

The dawn of a New Year always brings with it a freshness of purpose and intentions. We catch up with some artists and practitioners on the Singapore arts scene to get a sense of what we can, perhaps, look forward to in 2018 — through their personal New Year’s resolutions.

Photo: Sir Michael Culme Seymour

This year will mark a new milestone for me in my arts journey of over two decades. I have been given the immense privilege of taking on the role of festival director for the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) from 2018 to 2020. I hope to build on the accomplishments of festivals past by programming a season that is exciting and accessible, as well as one that encourages dialogue and discourse. I am fortunate to be working with immensely talented artists from Singapore and around the world, as well as a phenomenal team at Arts House Limited. My wish is for the arts to reach out to new and more diverse audiences in Singapore, including those who may not have experienced arts performances before.

GAURAV KRIPALANI Festival director, SIFA, and artistic director of the Singapore Repertory Theatre

Photo: Lovis Ostenr i

My artistic resolutions for 2018 are to be a better poet, become more adept at using my body to tell stories, learn how to paint, record and release an album of collaboration with Kiat from Syndicate (with whom I have been creating material since the beginning of 2017), and to make progress on my next collection of poetry, which I also hope to illustrate myself. On top of that, I would like to evolve with my meditation and yoga practice and become a more equanimous human being. I want to have deeper trust in the universe and other people. I also want to love more completely. This is going to be a beautiful year!

DEBORAH EMMANUEL Performance poet

Photo: Pamela Springsteen

Yet another year comes around, and I feel as if I’m caught yet again, unprepared. This upcoming year, I do want to release a new album, perform acoustic takes of new songs in and around Los Angeles, start a children’s choir, sing in the Latin Mass choir in Los Angeles, and get more proficient on the pipe organ. I think that should keep me pretty busy for the whole year! And yes, I’d love to visit Mont St Michel again and feel as if I’ve travelled back in time to the age of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings!

CORRINNE MAY Singer-songwriter

Photo: Khai Bahar

I want to brush up my Malay and learn Chinese so I can get out of the Anglo-Saxon language bubble that I live in. I also want to write some songs and at least get some way through writing one musical. To do this, I’m going to have to watch a lot of musicals and read a lot of books and practise. I’d also like to learn more about the process of creating theatre — like writing, producing and fundraising. But that’s all for my creative life. Performance wise, I want to really explore the more commercial side of the business — that is, doing more things like hosting or commercial work.

CHERYL TAN Actress, singer, host

Photo: Bonnie Yap

I want to continue my research on the distribution of Singapore independent films and create a community platform for Southeast Asian independent film-makers. I also want to commit more time to personal writing this year, and to finally get around to doing that pottery class with my kids. We’ve been talking about it for a year!

YUNI HADI Executive director of the Singapore International Film Festival, and Director of Objectifs — Centre for Photography and Film

Photo: Farizwan Fajari

I try not to make resolutions because they can be hard to keep sometimes. I already have some projects lined up, but I would love to be involved in more collaborations in 2018. I am also looking to create work outside of my usual medium. This could mean doing more 3D work or anything out of my comfort zone. And, of course, to keep drawing as much as I can, to keep my head down and to put in the work.

SPEAK CRYPTIC (Farizwan Fajari) Visual artist

Photo: Sandeep Photography

My dream for 2018 is to travel the world and tour my music! It would be amazing to share my compositions, which are hugely influenced by the rich diverse cultures of Singapore, at renowned music festivals or world-class venues around the globe. I also made a promise to challenge myself by taking on any new and exciting projects that come my way. That wish has already begun to become a reality as I will be kick-starting the year by performing my first-ever tabla concerto with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra! I’m going to be open to more opportunities and collaborations like this in the coming year.

NAWAZ MIRAJKAR Indian percussionist, tabla teacher, and Young Artist Award recipient

Photo: Joel Low

I have many resolutions for 2018! Most of them are really simple, yet so difficult for me to fulfil. I’d like to stop living my life as if I’m running out of time. I am guilty of always committing to too many people and projects, all at the same time, usually because I don’t know how to say no and I wind up not enjoying each project. I’d like to take on the passion projects, though! For one, I will be directing Michael Chiang’s Private Parts, which will open in November. I also want to spend time with the people who matter, take care of my health (stop drinking so much!), and have fun!

BEATRICE CHIA-RICHMOND Actress/director, creative director, and Young Artist Award recipient

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