The Singapore arts scene has long been accused of being too sanitised or worse, dead. Even with all the efforts currently being made to revitalise the scene, we generally adopt a very indifferent and oft lackadaisical air when it comes to our local artistic environment. One of the biggest misconception regarding the arts and culture movement in Singapore has always been that it is not for the hoi polloi.
“Very boring and non interactive”
“Only for old people”
These are some of the common replies that we get when we inquire about the arts scene in Singapore. What we don’t realise is the fact that Singapore actually offers a lot of pretty interesting art experiences providing you know where to look.
Even if there is no such thing as a free lunch, there ARE free shows that you can take advantage of. One of the best venues for your fix of free music and visual arts is definitely the Esplanade. Lauded by locals and tourists alike for its excellent view and acoustics, this living arts centre host a wealth of shows that the public can enjoy for free. Just head on over to their website and scroll through the various shows that they have and choose the one that suits your mood.
If you crave for something artsy and interactive at the same time, there are many art workshops available all over Singapore that you should check out. One that catches the eye is the Batik Open Studio that is currently being held by Kamal Arts Ltd at the Goodman Arts Centre. It is held every Wednesday and there are two sessions available; the first from 3-5pm and the second from 7-9pm. Each session is only $20 and all materials are included.
At this point you may be thinking “Yeah, they are all well and good, but what if I’m looking to buy art? Is there anywhere I can get good ones on the cheap?” There are actually many venues and events that has affordable art for sale. From 22 – 24 April 2016, head on over to the F1 Pit Building near the Singapore Flyer for the Affordable Art Fair. Offering a diverse range of artworks ranging from $100 to $10,000, the fair also aims to make art accessible while being fun and engaging at the same time.
There are so many things going on that it is actually quite a chore trying to keep track of all the events going on around town. Actually, you don’t have to. There are online portals that offer artistic and cultural tours and workshops that you can check out, such as BeMyGuest. They have a pretty diverse range of day trip getaways on offer such as workshops on the martial arts Wing Chun, a behind the scene look at Chinese lion dance and tours to discover Peranakan culture to name a few. Some of the tours can be a bit expensive, but the good news is you can head over to coupon websites like Saleduck where you can get discount coupons to reduce the price of your tour.
When we are discussing how technology complement arts, there is a mobile app that can be said to bring a revolution on how we perceive art in Singapore. Called “Text in the City”, this free app has been around since 2014 but has managed to stay under the radar all this while. Featuring poetry by well known as well as rising Singaporean poets, it is a location based app that has a poem connected to locations around the country. The poem would eloquently capture the essence of the place and its associated nuances and this is further amplified by you being in the location physically. The app lets you read the poetry yourself or have it read to you by the poets themselves creating a unique art experience like never before. The app is available at App Store and Google Play. Download it to experience a locale in Singapore through poetry.
The Singapore art and culture scene is teeming with many exciting possibilities and it doesn’t take a lot of cash to have a memorable experience in the country. The pointers above will serve as a very good start for your foray into Singapore’s world of arts. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a very exciting adventure and we assure you that it is one that is going to be filled with many fun and engaging moments. All without putting a dent in your wallet. As it should be.