Arts Aloud Mar 17

Published on 26 February 2017

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

“Late last year, I went for an event called Mamakan Presents: Gastrogeography Tours @ Niven Road & Mount Emily, which was part of the Singapore Biennale 2016. I’m a die-hard foodie and I also love cocktails; so despite having a busy schedule, I made it a point to go for this tour. What I learnt from The Mamakan Art Collective of Food Explorers is that there’s food everywhere around us and that it’s not difficult to grow a small spice garden for the kitchen. It was such a great way to draw connections between food, art and culture! I’ve also been checking out more Singapore Biennale programmes such as Mirror Walk With Perception3, where artists, architects and academics share interesting facts and personal stories that relate spaces in Singapore to the themes of the Biennale.”


“ In January, I attended the Aliwal Urban Art Festival, which was part of Singapore Art Week 2017. There, I learnt many new things about what young people do. I am amazed! Even though I’m in my 70s, I took part in some of the events, like Sketch Combat [an urban art challenge where the sketch with the most likes on social media wins]. Such events inspire me to try new things. Last year, my family brought me to the River Nights Festival at the Asian Civilisations Museum and I enjoyed it very much. Everyone should experience these events — age doesn’t matter. I think it would be nice to learn art together with my granddaughter next time. I find this activity very meaningful, and I am happy to share with young people what I miss about Singapore through my drawing. ”


“ Last October, I attended a performance that was part of the Singapore International Festival of Music. Titled Portrait of a Virtuoso/Ikan Girl, this two-part performance at The Arts House incorporated contemporary and traditional Malay music and dance forms. A good friend was also the pianist for Ikan Girl, so I went to show her some love! I have a soft spot for traditional art forms and am very proud of my Malay and Singaporean heritage. As an educator, I see first-hand how my students are losing touch with their culture, identity and tradition; so I choose to support and raise awareness for artists who are championing the traditional arts. I feel that the arts makes us more compassionate; and I truly enjoy being around people who are passionate about their craft. Coming up is a national dikir barat [Malay musical art form] competition — I’m looking forward to that! ”


“ One of the most significant moments for me was watching the screening of a film noir classic by Orson Welles during an art history class in school. Every shot had a very distinctive visual language. The simple use of light and unbalanced composition can set a mood and tone. It was fundamental in moulding my tone in visual language and it also influenced my current career choice in motion design. In my line of work, I’m constantly seeking inspiration, so I like to go for art exhibitions alone. An exhibition that left a deep impression on me was Rain Room (2012) by Random International. It’s an art-tech installation made up of a field of falling water that pauses wherever a human body is detected. It was such a clever way of combining digital technology with art! I would love to learn the art of creating experiential spaces. ”


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