The 19th Singapore Writer’s Fest has officially begun! The opening ceremony was held at the Arts House, with various performances to celebrate the launch!
In his opening speech, Festival Director Yeow Kai Chai explained the theme of the festival: Sayang (literally ‘Love’ in Malay, but can also mean regret), which originated from how most of our stories are centered around love and loss. Senior Minister of state at the ministries of Culture, Community & Youth and Trade & Industry Ms Sim Ann graced the occasion as well, and spoke about how the festival has grown over the years, and truly was a great opportunity for others (and herself, as an avid reader) to finally meet the masters behind these literary works.
Audiences were also treated to an amazing opening performance by the world music band SA(仨), who have a unique sound from their use of traditional chinese instruments combined with modern electronic and looping technology. The group wowed the crowd with their new age soundscapes, combining the musical might of the gu zheng, the flute and the Chinese drums. Dizi player Andy C. in particular kept me at the edge of my seat with his fast paced and melodious tunes.
This was followed by a poetry reading by mother-daughter duo Noor Hasnah Adam and Nur Aisyah Lyana, who performed their original commissioned work ‘Genggaman Sayang’. In line with the festival’s theme, the poem explored a mother’s fears of losing her daughter as she grows into adulthood. The performance even ended off on an emotional notes, as the two intertwined fingers to reassure each other that their bonds will remain strong.
With such a fantastic opening ceremony, the rest of the festival is set to sizzle with electricity! Highlights this year include lectures by Lionel Shriver – author of “We Need To Talk About Kevin” and German investigative journalist Frederik Obermaier, Rants and Raves II – a new play by the Finger Players, and more!
Get your tickets now and check out the rest of the programme here