Staying O.P.E.N. and curious

THE word "historic" appears a lot in press releases. But in the case of the upcoming O.P.E.N. festival - a mini-arts festival leading to the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) - its use of the word "historic" to describe its opening event is correct...

Mile High Jinks

Boeing Boeing is back with a brand new director and cast.

Political art makes splash at Art Basel

VISITORS to the world's biggest art fair, Art Basel, knew something was up when Unlimited, its section for large-scale works, opened earlier this week with an unusually high number of political works...

Shivaji Das

SHIVAJI Das is an inspiration to any white-collar executive looking to balance his or her professional life with humanitarian work and artistic pursuit.

The strange, obsessive world of Yayoi Kusama

JUDGING by the unusually large size of the local and international press attending the preview, as well as the queue for the merchandise at the gallery shop after that, National Gallery Singapore may just have its first blockbuster exhibition with Yayoi Kusama: Life Is The Heart Of A Rainbow.

Celebrating Sarawak's arts and culture

FOR the past 20 years, the Rainforest World Music Festival held in Kuching, Sarawak, has drawn tens of thousands of music fans from around the world. The three-day event sees musicians mingling freely with the audience, and it has been frequently voted as one of the best music festivals in the...

Postcards from China's past

WHEN Ulrike Ottinger decided to go to China in the 1980s to shoot photographs, films and documentaries, she had to wait two years before she could get the green light.

Earnest, heartfelt look at prejudice in Singapore

WHEN the National Library decided to remove three children's books from its shelves in July 2014 because they depicted gay parents and single mothers, it ignited a small firestorm of civil protest rarely witnessed in Singapore...

My Weekend

"Part of my role is to bridge the interests of our parent company (Genting Hong Kong) with Zouk's vision of taking Asian electronic music culture to the world. I am always intrigued by the way law, language and culture intersect...

Venice conveys the signs of the times

ZAI Kuning is as much an artist as he is a shaman. At the opening of the Singapore Pavilion in the Venice Biennale last week, he banged on the janggu (Korean drum) while his team members carried out a traditional procession to launch his 17-metre Phinisi ship. It involved spinning rocks and...

The weight of history in Venice

VENICE, an Old World fortress sinking slowly into the sea, turns out to be the perfect site for Zai Kuning's massive ship. Showcased in an old shipyard complex known as the Arsenale, Zai's 17 metre-long ghost ship looks ready to cut loose and sail quietly into Venice's back canals to...

How to live to 100

FANCY being a centenarian? According to statistics, more people across the world are achieving that goal, thanks to scientific advances and medical breakthroughs. And no, living to 100 here does not mean being infirm, incapacitated or confused. One can be in reasonably good physical and mental...

Art ponders a world in crisis

IF an apocalypse occurred and wiped out the entire human race save for a few survivors, the best bet these people have of resetting the Earth is to break into the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. There they would find nearly a million different types of plant seeds to help restore life on...

My Weekend

"I work with the Esplanade team to present mostly theatre and dance programmes at the arts centre...

Luxe Meets Local

Since Sri Lanka's civil war ended in 2009, travel magazines have been touting the South Asian island as the place to visit. With its gorgeous natural landscape and rich cultural heritage, it has much to offer the jaded traveller longing for authentic, unspoilt destinations...

A more modest fest before Ong exits

WE never make the festival safe - the only constant is that we don't have a template, says Ong Keng Sen, director of the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) which runs from June 28 to Sept 9. Yet, the last festival to be headed by Ong does feel smaller and less potent than previous...

A fuzzy postcard from the past

TROPICANA, billed as a musical about "sexy Sixties Singapore", turns out to be unusually heavy with socio-political themes - so much so that the drama weighs down much of the good music...

Hope is painful, but powerful

EVER met a woman called Hope who couldn't stop talking about her worries? That's how one feels sitting through the ironically-titled Harap (or Hope, in English) by Teater Ekamatra, a Malay adaptation of a Haresh Sharma play so suffused with suffering and misery, you wonder if there's...

Guitar hero

CLASSICAL guitarist and ChildAid alumnus Kevin Loh is one of the most decorated young musicians in Singapore. Last year, the 19-year-old was awarded the first prize in the Senior Division (ages 17 to 19) of the Guitar Foundation of America's International Youth Competition, as well as the...

Recalling a forgotten kingdom in Venice Biennale

AFTER 18 years criss-crossing South-east Asia, Zai Kuning's artistic journey is now going beyond the region to make a stop at the most important art event in the world: the Venice Biennale...

Ivan Heng: 'I intend to age disgracefully'

IVAN Heng stares at some 20 women's shoes laid out before him. They range from silver stilettos to black strappy heels to midnight blue velvet pumps. The heels are on average three-inches high...

Exquisite art from 'exquisite corpse' game

FOUR international artists, each known for a distinctive practice, came together to paper-and-print gallery STPI to "play a professional game", so to speak. ...

The New Art Aficionados

NATALIE and Nathaniel Gunawan belong to a new generation of young collectors rapidly emerging in Singapore.

Musical on Stamford Raffles for SIFA 2019

A MUSICAL about Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, may debut at the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) in 2019.

In Julie Wee's Hew, a classic hero rises and falls

ACTRESS Julie Wee is luminous in the revival of Faith Ng's play Normal, directed by Claire Wong. Sure, she has delivered strong performances in plays as varied as The Merchant Of Venice and Hotel. ...