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Preview: LumiNation by The Arts House


Coinciding with the nation’s 53rd birthday, the Arts House presents LumiNation, an all new programme showcasing a series of carefully curated events that explore just what it means to be a Singaporean.

In its inaugural edition, the programme explores the theme of Hidden People, Hidden Words, Hidden Histories, Hidden Spaces. Held over two weekends from, LumiNation focuses primarily on taking audiences through the lens of written and spoken narratives, as they reflect on Singapore’s history, and rediscover new facets to this land they call home.

Komesah Kristang

In Hidden Words, programmes expand the historical horizons and aims to add richer dimensions to the Singapore narrative. Programmes include Komesah Kristang, where audiences get to discover the dying, 500-year old Portuguese-Eurasian language— Kristang, spoken by less than 100 people in Singapore today. Words and music come together with Note for Note: #InvisibleInk as three pairs of poets and musicians collaborate on performing words that have disappeared into the margins of history, while in 《⾛向新诗乐 — 郭永秀新诗乐之旅》Nanyang Poetry and Music from Past to Present – One Man’s Musical Journey, Chinese poet and composer Quek Yong Siu revives Shiyue (诗乐), a precursor to the more modern Xinyao (新谣) songs. Hidden People, on the other hand, explores the histories of people forgotten or soon to be, with a talk by the President of the Peranakan Indian Association of Singapore, as he discusses the community of Chetti Melakas in Singapore and Malaysia, and their history and customs.

Ho Rui An

Hidden History takes a closer look at Singapore’s past, as audiences expose themselves to programmes that re-open old wounds and uncovers a layer of the past that may not have been immediately apparent on first glance. One highlight to look out for would be Ho Rui An’s lecture-performance Tropicopolitan Objects, as he uses images and objects to revisit the European colonial project, perfect as we approach our bicentennial year going into 2019. Meanwhile, the Hidden Spaces segment allows audiences to draw upon memories to learn about the past and access new worlds, such as in Jason Wee’s cross-disciplinary exhibition Temporal States, with writing responding to Wong Jing Wei photo documentary series of vanishing heritage sites and spaces in Singapore.

Boo Junfeng’s Sancastle. Photo Credit: Zhao Wei films

Rounding off the programmes would be a selection of Singapore films curated by the Filmic Eye, each responding to one of the four programming headers. Watch a selection of films of all genres, ranging from animated shorts to documentaries from the likes of  Boo Junfeng’s debut film Sandcastle (2010) to the Singapore Writers Festival’s Utter 2017, adapting works of local writers into short films.

This August, illuminate your life at the historic Arts House with the inaugural edition of LumiNation, and come on a journey into the nooks and crannies of the past and present, to rediscover the Singapore identity in full.

LumiNation runs at The Arts House from 4th – 5th and 10th – 12th August 2018. Admission is free, with the exception of film screenings, selected workshops, Note for Note and Tropicopolitan Objects being ticketed. For full details on the programming, ticketing, and registration, visit The Arts House website 

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