Arts Aloud Feb 17

Published on 26 January 2017

Discover how the arts have made a change in the lives of some of our fellow everyday Singaporeans.

“A performance that stands out for me was a comedy act I attended with my girlfriend at The Esplanade some years back. It was by Gamarjobat, a Japanese comedy duo who performs without speaking. I had chanced upon their YouTube video earlier, found them hilarious, and decided I just had to watch them live! That night was a rare occasion we were late for a performance. As we made our way to our seats, the duo took out a skeleton hand and showed us the middle finger. The audience burst into laughter!

Art is a big part of my life. I channel my creativity through drawing and creating videos. I actually started making videos to keep my family informed while I was backpacking solo through Thailand and Cambodia; but recently, the thought of losing my loved ones has inspired me to start filming and documenting the old folks at home.”

Lester Lee 28, Art Director

PHOTO: Ki’ern Tan

Singing in the Rain was the first live musical performance I ever watched. I was in primary school then, and remember being in awe of how the performers and musicians worked together; and how the overall effect would be different without any one of them in the equation. But the concert that probably left the deepest impression on me was George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, performed in its entirety by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra at a gala concert. Music really transcends understanding and lifts you to an entirely different realm of experience. I also watched Yo-Yo Ma live in concert when I was 12 and was very inspired to learn the cello. I finally bought a cello at the ripe old age of 27 and started learning to play it. I’m now a music teacher, and very thankful I get to be surrounded by music all day.”

Anabel Chew 29, Flute & Piano Teacher

“I’ve been attending the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) religiously since 2011. Last year, I was glad to see more panels focusing on Singapore literature. It’s relevant and insightful for aspiring writers like me. Attending the panels and workshops always leaves me feeling inspired to have my little voice heard, as well as to contribute to society in the way I know best — through words. I’m currently working on a book of poetry; hopefully, a novel in the future. I’ve also volunteered with SWF, and enjoyed meeting fellow bookworms and authors too!

Recently, I became interested in spoken-word poetry and attended my first Speakeasy event late last year. What attracts me to performance poetry is the power of this platform to shed light on issues. I attended Recite for Rohingya — featuring poems on refugees — and Speak for Syria, and I’d like to see more of such events here.”

Humairah Jamil 25, Teacher

“I am quite a fan of contemporary visual arts and I love thought-provoking exhibits. I recently attended a friend’s art showcase, Retina, at the School of the Arts, the National Gallery Singapore’s first-anniversary celebrations, and the Singapore Biennale 2016 — An Atlas of Mirrors. I make it a point to go for every edition of the Singapore Biennale! Such exhibitions teach me to put on different lenses and perspectives when tackling important issues, as things may not always be what they seem. They also inspire me to reflect on what’s happening around us in this world today; and to have a greater sense of adventure — be curious, open, and discover new experiences!

This year, I plan to catch Pangdemonium’s three productions (I bought the season pass again for 2017), Esplanade’s Huayi Festival and Coldplay. I’ve also made a new New Year’s resolution: to read at least one book a month.”

Corinne Kang 41,
Corporate Communications Professional

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