Arts Aloud – Oct 2017

Published on 26 September 2017

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

I work in the heritage industry, and I used to intern in a theatre company; so, attending arts and culture-related events is something I enjoy. Recently, I attended Main² by Teater Ekamatra, the Civic District Outdoor Festival, and Tumasik by Era Dance Theatre. But the production that stood out for me was Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress by the Singapore Repertory Theatre. I’d always heard rave reviews about the musical, but never had the opportunity to catch it when I was younger. I enjoyed reading Jung Chang’s book Empress Dowager Cixi, so this was right up my alley. What I took away from this, I think, was to not accept things at face value. The show revealed the internal struggles the Empress faced, and the sacrifices she had to make as a mother. It inspired me to actually treasure my relationship with my mother more.

Qazim Karim 28, Public servant 

“ My recent arts highlights include the Joseon dynasty exhibition at Asian Civilisations Museum, Borderline by T.H.E. Dance Company & Muscle Mouth, KittyWu’s 10th anniversary gig, and hanging out at Make It Share It (MISI), a non-curated art space founded by dancer/choreographer, Eng Kai Er. MISI provides a monthly platform called Open Stage, which allows artists to perform on a first-come-first-served basis, for free. As such, it’s always a refreshing mixed bag of performances and activities. A showcase of unpolished work-in-progress experiments, Open Stage, to me, defies being carved by institutional tastemakers or even a recognisable visual brand typical of art organisations. It can best be encapsulated as a strange collage that places performance art and opera on the same plane as a jangly acoustic cover or an interactive activity. It’s a space that must be experienced to be fully understood. ”

Ryan Benjamin Lee 20, National Serviceman

“ I chose to attend the ballet performance, Giselle (at the MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands) for both its haunting romance story and the fact that it’s performed by one of the oldest theatre and ballet companies in the world, San Carlo Theatre of Naples and San Carlo Ballet Company. The story of Giselle is heart-wrenchingly beautiful — it tells of love, betrayal, forgiveness and redemption. The emotionally turbulent plot unfolded at a good pace and brought me to tears by the end of the first act! The scene that left the deepest impression was the one where the vengeful Wilis spirits of abandoned brides first appeared. The long white tutus and extended passages of dancing en pointe created a surreal floating effect. I plan to catch Stuttgart Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet at the Esplanade — Theatres on the Bay next — I hear it’s accompanied by the Singapore Lyric Opera Orchestra! ”

Chan Yin Fun 38, Homemaker

“ In July, my family and I attended the Mountbatten Community Arts and Culture Club’s plank wood art painting workshop. My husband and eight-year-old daughter love to draw, so this was perfect for them. I’m not a natural artist, so I initially felt very shy drawing in public. But they taught me that I don’t have to be Picasso to do art, and it felt good to let down my guard and just be free-spirited! All our finished artworks were displayed in prominent places in the Mountbatten constituency to spruce up the neighbourhood in celebration of National Day. After that, we got to take them home! If not for this event, I would not have known my neighbours were such artistic folks. I enjoyed the camaraderie, and it was just heart-warming to see parents and children bond through art. ”

Low Bee Hong
46, Freelance lecturer/Media researcher

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