From thumping percussion beats by renowned Argentinean troupe Fuerza Bruta, to the soothing waves of art installation Whispers, the Singapore Night Festival (SNF) returns for its 12th edition, with a plethora of experiences to transform Singapore’s Bras Basah.Bugis district into an arts and cultural oasis from 23 to 31 August 2019.
In alignment with the Singapore Bicentennial, this year’s festival line-up will see a curation of works with a Southeast Asian connection, casting a spotlight on folklore and traditions, as well as ideas and talents from around the region.
For instance, festival-goers will notice elements of The Ramayana, one of the two major epic poems of India, featured in various festival offerings. One such work will take over the National Museum of Singapore’s Banyan tree, with a projection by internationally renowned French group Spectaculaires titled The Legend of Ramayana, inspired by the Indian epic poem. This marks the first time that the Banyan tree will see a projection work complemented by a stirring gamelan instrumental performance, which retells the story of the Ramayana in traditional Javanese tembang or poetry. The gamelan performance will be performed by local performing group Gamelan Asmaradana, from 29 to 31 August.
Another work, by internationally renowned Indian dance-theatre company Apsaras Arts, will bring to life The Ramayana story of Prince Rama rescuing his wife Sita. Set to a moving, original score and told through classical Indian and Javanese dance, Anjaneyam – Hanuman’s Ramayana is a cross-cultural production involving artists from Singapore, India and Indonesia. They will also present a children-friendly storytelling and dance production titled Sita’s Magical Forest, which follows Sita as she encounters the animals of the magical forest. Both performances will take place at the Festival Village at Dhoby Ghaut Green.
The Dhoby Ghaut Green Festival Village stage will also see the debut of Southeast Asian bands alongside our local talents. The line-up presently includes Malaysia’s SONUO, the Philippine’s MenAcoustic, and Thailand’s The Note, as well as local musicians like MOTUS, Flame of the Forest and Neon Feast.
Over at CHIJMES, an animated projection titled Waves of Time will capture and reflect the diversity of ethnic cultures in this region. The work will be the first to be projected on CHIJMES, and was created as part of a collaboration between Singapore-based animation studio Chips and Toon and Australia’s The Electric Canvas.
The Singapore Bicentennial edition of SNF will kick off with a curtain raiser, with three installations which will open to the public ahead of the festival on 8 August, at the National Museum of Singapore. The dramatic Whispers by Canadian group Light Society is set to convert the Gallery Theatre into a hypnotic and captivating space. Encapsulating the sensation, power and sound of wind, the experiential installation draws visitors into the rise and fall of nature’s power.
In Gallery 10, Collapse! by internationally-acclaimed French filmmaker Luc Jacquet invites visitors to confront the effects of global warming through an immersive audio experience that transports one to the edge of collapsing ice glaciers in Antarctica. Along the same theme of exploring the effects of climate change, three-part installation Intergalactic Dreams by Singaporean artist Jahan Loh captures his exploration of alternative homes in an imagined future where Earth is no longer hospitable.
Illuminating iconic facades and unexpected spaces, the annual Night Lights returns from 23 August with 16 light artworks comprising of both projections and installations, encouraging festival-goers to reimagine familiar landmarks with their artistry and interactivity.
Over the second weekend from 29 to 31 August, festival-goers can look forward to a visual treat with more than 40 performances and roving acts across the Bras Basah.Bugis district.
On the sidelines of the Festival, the Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN) will convene in Singapore for the first time from 27 to 29 August. The international association gathers place-makers and thought leaders in culture and urban development from around the world, providing a unique platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration. This year’s convening takes collaboration as a theme, exploring the carefully-constructed and managed partnerships that are needed to nurture and sustain arts, culture and creativity in changing urban environments.
Venue: Bras Basah.Bugis
When: 23 - 31 Aug 2019, 7.30pm - 12am