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Thursday, June 13, 2024


story David Chia and Tan Jia Hui, Arts Editors

The Octant Arts Editors have put together a list of five upcoming art events to attend this month. And, trust us—it wasn’t easy. From a festival, to exhibitions, to galleries, to screenings screaming ‘hipster!’, and even a convention for comic aficionados, we promise that you will have something worth procrastinating your assignments for.

For thespians bored of Proscenium-style theatres: Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA)
Organized by Arts House Ltd. and commissioned by the National Arts Council, SIFA turns 38 as Singapore turns 50. A festival filled with experiential and experimental performances, SIFA 2015 aims to bridge the gap between the people of Singapore and the arts by taking it out of the theatre. What has changed after the recent passing of the man who made Singapore? What remains after? Here are three performances we think best address these questions:

Six Characters in Search of an Author
Transplanted almost 100 years from Paris with performances in New York and London, Pirandello’s seminal 1921 play, Six Characters in Search of an Author grapples with these questions about the ever-shifting relationships between authors, characters, actors and audiences. In an Orwellian-like world imbued with Foucauldian power, we as audience members, find ourselves peeking into a rehearsal room pondering what is real and what is fictional; every character strives to perform their own stories, actors become spectators and the director dreams of being the author. Everyone’s roles come into question (even ours). The six lives are reclaimed and—in doing so—the power of the Author is subverted. As such, can we rewrite the History that has been written for us?

By Luigi Pirandello, Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota and Théâtre de la Ville
8 pm, Sept. 10, 11, 12
Victoria Theatre
(1h50, no intermission)
$25, $40, $60, $75
10% discount for students

Open Homes
Often, the best way to understand culture is through private spaces. Inspired by the open-house concept in Singapore, Open Homes transforms 25 homes across Singapore for public consumption. What goes on in claustrophobic HDB flats? What secrets are shared? Encounter narratives from all subsections of Singaporean society, as each living room becomes a space for storytelling and intimacy. PAssionArts, in collaboration with SIFA, brings the arts to your doorstep—or rather—the doorstep to the arts.

By PAssionArts (People’s Association)
Various times, Sept. 5, 6, 12, 13 September
Open houses all over Singapore
Free admission
Register at http://www.tiny.cc/openhomes

It Won’t Be Too Long: The Cemetery
Perhaps the only piece at SIFA that resonates with the Common Curriculum (think CSI!), It Won’t Be Too Long: The Cemetery, explores the notion and reality of the burial ground of Bukit Brown. Unraveling in two moments of the day (dawn and dusk), The Cemetery synthesizes the power of documentation, conservation, and performance. A commentary on the construction an eight-lane highway in Bukit Brown cemetery, affecting approximately 5% of the 100,000 graves in Bukit Brown, the piece explores the tensions of loss, space, progress and death. How does Bukit Brown represent both loss and the process of being lost? What stories are lost in spite of progress? Who dies? Slip into the ghastly rhythms of dawn and shift into the genre of verbatim theatre at dusk as we discover the heartbreak and hope of everyone involved in negotiating the fate of the dead and the impending death of Bukit Brown.

By Drama Box, Kok Heng Leun, Jean Tay and The Observatory
Sept. 18, 19
Dawn: 5.30 am, Bukit Brown Cemetery
Dusk: 8 pm, SOTA Studio Theatre
(1h30, no intermission)
Dawn or Dusk: $45
Dawn and Dusk: $75
10% discount for students

For the toy, comic and cosplay enthusiasts: Singapore Toy, Game, and Comic Convention (STGCC)
Closet cosplayers, this is your special chance to make your debut at the first time ever Championships of Cosplay! Spend time at a weekend jam-packed with dress-ups, exhibitions, and local talents such as Tell Your Children, Kee Choon Wee, Ong Ean Keat of Keatopia. Some of the events that caught our attention are a toy creation workshop, an East and West forum on cosplaying, and a DJ Night to celebrate the end of the STGCC weekend.

Sept. 12, 13
Venue: Marina Bay Sands, Sands Expo and Convention Center
Website: http://www.singaporetgcc.com
1-day pass: $19
2-day pass: $28


For the Indie Film Buffs: The Projector
Indie. Cult Favorites. Arthouse. Local Flicks. If any of those words rattle your hipster skin and sinew, you will want to head up to the 5th floor foyer of the history-laden Golden Theatre. An independent cinema and creative platform, The Projector subverts the mainstream Hollywood experience by bringing together a curation of indie films within Singapore’s and Malaysia’s biggest cinema in 1973. Grab a popcorn and draft beer at the Golden bar before sitting in the classical 220-seater Green Room. Upcoming films this week include Amy, Flowers of Taipei, Ex Machina, and The Assassin.

Venue: Golden Mile Tower (not Complex), 6001 Beach Road
Buy online to avoid disappointments: http://theprojector.sg/
$11 for students


For those who prefer pixels over people: Dreamworks Animation Exhibition at ArtScience Museum
Featuring its recent animations How To Train Your Dragon 2, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and Mr. Peabody & Sherman, DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition narrates the studio’s creative journey and cultural legacy. The exhibition will feature 31 films and more than 400 displays, allowing visitors to experience the process of animation from preliminary sketches to big-screen debuts. Juxtaposing aesthetic prowess with technical ingenuity, the exhibition showcases exclusive concept drawings, storyboards, reconstructions of DreamWorks’ real-life workspaces, and specially commissioned interactive environments.

Till Sept. 27
$14, $21
10 am – 7 pm daily
Venue: ArtScience Museum
Book online: http://www.sistic.com.sg


For the hipster-slash-anthropologists engrossed with Edward Said: Reverse Exotic Exhibition at Gillman Barracks
Located on the site of a former military camp named after the late General Sir Webb Gillman, Gillman Barracks is a contemporary arts cluster in Singapore, characterized by its conserved colonial facade. Composed of 11 international art galleries amidst verdant greenery, the Barracks showcase a multitude of ever-changing exhibitions by internationally-acclaimed artists.

Look out for Reverse Exotic, the first solo exhibition in Asia by renowned Turkish artist Lale Tara. Turning orientalism on itself, Tara is known for her photo-surrealism, and in her latest series, she presents a reversal of gaze towards the West as the exotic Other. She re-imagines female characters from prominent works of art—her photos re-interpret the likes of Miss Havisham and Estella from Dickens’ Great Expectations, Konstanze from Mozart’s The Abduction From The Seraglio and the nymphet from Nabokov’s Lolita. Successfully re-contextualizing the exotic in shades of grandeur and eroticism, the exhibition is something to mark on your calendars for.

Venue: Gillman Barracks, 9 Lock Road, Singapore 108937 (Yanvuz Gallery)
Sept. 26 to Nov. 7

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