Happy 15th birthday to Esplanade! Titled #mydurian for the endearing nickname many Singaporeans have given it due to its similarities to the iconic King of Fruits, the twin durians of Singapore have played host to over 37,000 local and international art performances and exhibitions since it first opened in 2002, establishing itself as a major regional arts venue and attracting over 92 million visitors.
The celebrations in October kick off with a special light up that runs from 12th October all the way till 31st October. Each night, the domes will display a specially designed lighting pattern utilizing thousands of dome lights, emblazoning the number ’15’ on the domes, before alternating that with a second pre-chosen pattern. This display can be seen from most of the major vantage points along the Civic District, including higher floors of hotels such as Swissotel or even the National Gallery.
Next, the Esplanade will also be initiating the #mydurian campaign, inviting people from all walks of life to share personal stories of moments spent at the Esplanade. The campaign will see 15 advocates step up to the plate and start this process on social media, including stage and television actress Oon Shu An and composer and Cultural Medallion recipient Dick Lee. Members of the public are also highly encouraged to hashtag #mydurian in their social media images and posts, and from now till March 2018, vicitors can even hunt the 10 scenic backdrops around the Esplanade and print out their photos at a photo-printing booth at the Esplanade Concourse to take home!
What’s more, the Esplanade is also offering up fabulous prizes for the best #mydurian experiences and stories. Each month, when you tag the Esplanade and #mydurian, you stand a chance of winning a specially curated experience at the Esplanade, such as the complete theatrical experience in November, where one lucky person stands to win a pair of premier box tickets to NINAGAWA Macbeth, a ride to and from the Esplanade, a pre-show dinner for two and post-show drinks at Orgo.
From 28th October to 16th December, members of the public will also be able to purchase tickets to exclusive weekly Backstage Pass tours of the Esplanade as part of the venue’s fundraising efforts for the centre’s new 550-seat theatre along the waterfront, slated to be opened in 2021. Co-organised with arts publication The A List, each tour is limited to 20 people, and will be led by celebrated local artists with plenty of experience performing at the centre and Esplanade senior staff who keep the performances and place up and running. Some of these tour leaders include beloved local actors Hossan Leong and Siti Khalijah, as well as Esplanade Head of Production Management Isis Koh, and even CEO Benson Puah!
Finally, a total of 42 local visual artists will come together to contribute to the new exhibition Every Body, set to be unveiled on 13th October and located all around the Esplanade. In addition to the performing arts, the Esplanade has always supported local visual artists with various visual arts exhibitions, which have provided an important platform for the exposure and development of local artists over the years. At Every Body, expect to see works from artists such as Tang Da Wu, Jeremy Hiah and Chun Kai Qun, three different generations of artists who are collaborating on producing a large-scale installation at the Esplanade Concourse inspired by local legends.
As part of their fundraising efforts, the Esplanade will also be launching 80by80, an exhibition at the Esplanade Tunnel consisting of 80cm x 80cm works contributed by 38 Singaporean artists, including Ian Woo, Vincent Leow and Zai Kuning. All of these works will also be put up for an online auction from 19th October to 19th November 2017, and all proceeds will go to bringing the arts and Singapore artists to more people through Esplanade’s free programmes, including its visual art exhibitions.
Finally, as part of the celebrations, various promotions will also be held throughout the Esplanade Mall, ranging from 15% discounts to $15 food deals. As the Esplanade turns 15, there’s plenty to celebrate, and plenty of ways they’ll be celebrating this decade and a half of great art and fond memories. Come join in the festivities this October and beyond at everyone’s favourite giant durians, and show us just why you guys love #mydurian.
The Esplanade celebrates its anniversary throughout October, while the Esplanade Backstage Pass Tours run every Saturday starting from 28th November till 16th December, with tickets available from SISTIC (limited to 20 people per tour). Find out the full list of events and discounts available during October on the Esplanade website