O.P.E.N. 2017: Rediscover the Magic of the Everyday With the 2017 Singapore International Festival of the Arts

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When was the last time you changed up your routine and could honestly tell yourself you’ve found an inspirational spark in daily life? Living in this terrifying and unstable world, it’s easy to become disillusioned and forget the magic that continues to live on in every moment of the everyday.

And that is why sometimes, we all need a little reminder that there is a cure to the rampant cynicism in the world, a way of letting go and recalling the sheer pleasure in life itself. That solution may very well be found in this year’s edition of the O.P.E.N.

This year, the 2017 Singapore International Festival of the Arts’ (SIFA) pre-festival public engagement programme, the O.P.E.N. will feature plenty of activities to engage audiences with alternate ways of thinking about the world and asking the difficult questions relating to the arts today, all inspired by this year’s festival theme of Enchantment.

Looking at the O.P.E.N programme this year, we were immediately drawn in to the keen selection of 26 award-winning arthouse films, exciting workshops and unique, innovative activities visitors could take part in and in turn, become part of the art themselves!

We’ve let our imagination run a little wild and thought out our ideal journey through the O.P.E.N. Since the O.P.E.N. Pass is a one-stop ticket to each and every O.P.E.N. event, we decided to plan how best to use it to enjoy ourselves this round.

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We’ll be starting off the O.P.E.N. this year with the opening event Art as Res Publicae (28th/29th June), a public education programme debating and reflecting on various art pieces that have shown in Singapore. We’ll also be attending the other lecture-performance type events, with artist/curator Ho Rui An’s Opening Draft (6th July), Dubaian artist Lantian Xie’s Sultan Ibrahim (7th July), and Chinese artist Zou Zhao’s On the Threshold of Listening (8th July), giving us insight into the artists’ craft and creative process.

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The O.P.E.N. also offers us a unique opportunity to fulfil our childhood dreams of becoming film stars and works in some movie magic with local director K. Rajagopal filming his new film with the help of O.P.E.N. audiences, letting them become part of the film during Lizard On The Wall (30th June/1st July), inspired by Balli Kaur Jaswal’s 2013 novel Inheritance. Lizard On The Wall will later have a red carpet gala premiere during SIFA itself on 9th September.

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What’s a festival without music? Audiovisual exhibition Spectres will be transformed into a thubthumping live music venue with Spectres LIVE (6th-8th July) at 8pm each night, featuring indie artists including sound artist Bani Haykal and The Observatory’s former guitarist Dharma.

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Finally, with all the award winning films available at the O.P.E.N., it’s hard to divide our time and pick the best of the best. We absolutely loved Neruda (2nd July) when we caught it earlier this year, and we’re definitely signing ourselves up for the O.P.E.N. closing film On The Beach At Night Alone (15th July), which features The Handmaiden actress Kim Minhee, promising an award-worthy performance in her most compelling role yet.

Whether you choose the same path as we do or deviate, there’s certain to be a little magic in the air as you chart your own way through the myriad of activities to take part in during the O.P.E.N. this June and July. We’ll be bringing you individual previews of the highlights we’ve listed here, so stay tuned for a more in-depth look into what’s in store at SIFA 2017!

Finally, for all you tertiary students out there all fired up now, no need to pinch pennies to get yourself down to The O.P.E.N., cause we’ve got a special giveaway just for you!

On our Instagram page @bakchormeeboy, look out for our The O.P.E.N. post and simply comment to answer the question ‘What is the opening event of The O.P.E.N.?’ (Hint: you can find the answer above!) and stand a chance to win a PAIR of O.P.E.N. passes! And if you want to invite more friends to join you, all students also enjoy a special concession rate on O.P.E.N. passes with a valid student ID!

The O.P.E.N. will take place across various venues from 28th June to 30th July. Buy an O.P.E.N. pass to get access to each and every event via registration on their website here or purchase tickets on the door (limited availability). In addition, O.P.E.N. Pass holders can enjoy a further 25% discount to SIFA tickets, so it’s even more value for money!

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