Arts Books Singapore

Preview: Textures 2019 – Love and Loss (And Some Things In Between) by The Arts House


After a successful first edition held in 2018, The Arts House’s Textures returns to fill Singaporeans’ weekend with words with a lineup of literary activities from 7th to 10th March.

This time, the annual festival, co-commissioned by both The Arts House and #BuySinglit, takes on the theme of Love and Loss (and some things in between), focusing on how words can capture and decipher a spectrum of emotions through curated programmes that transcend traditional literary art forms. Over four days, watch as artists of all disciplines come together to present a range of experiences and brings to life Singlit in unique ways.

Says Lisa Lip, Senior Manager, Programmes and the Producer of Textures: “Besides celebrating the written word, one of the goals of Textures is to make Sing Lit accessible and relatable to all Singaporeans and residents. We have this in mind when we curate the festival to ensure there is something for everyone who is at the different stages of their relationship with Sing Lit.”

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A Night of Terrifying Tales

Start the festival with some storytelling by master storyteller Kamini Ramachandran, who we last saw as part of ARTWALK Little India 2019, as she leads a team of storytellers to recount spooky stories in A Night of Terrifying Tales. Or come hear about memories at Remember When Remix Show-and-Tell, as past participants of The Arts House’s Remember When Workshop series come share about their treasured memories, moments and aspirations of the silver generation over original monologues.

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Meanwhile, watch out for theatrical adaptation of local lit as well. Youth theatre company The Second Breakfast Company adapts excerpts from local writer Alfian Sa’at’s short story anthology Malay Sketches to life with Performing Malay Sketches,  bringing to life Alfian Sa’at’s anthology of short stories, Malay Sketches, and will star Nur Sofihah, Muhammad Fauzi, Adeeb Fazah, Muhammad Hafidz, Hu Yuheng and Nisa Syarafana. Theatre veterans Tan Kheng Hua and Lim Yu-Beng co-produce the second edition of The Page on Stage, this time around adapting Cyril Wong’s The Mistake from the Balik Kampung series as a monodrama starring Norman Ishak.

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The Page On Stage 2019

Be sure to immerse yourself in multi-disciplinary exhibits as well that illustrate this year’s theme through poetry, music and physical items. Step into the Room of Love and Loss, featuring photographs of objects significant to members of the literary community and artists involved in the festival, or let the sounds of Singlish and our uniquely Singaporean mishmash of languages become music to your ears through any anything also can, a broadside exhibition of multilingual poetry.

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Common Life

Art and design poster exhibition QuoteUnQuote, features memorable quotes from Singapore literature, while local scenes are painted in a new light in Common Life as artist Ho Chee Lick sketches of quiet and unremarkable objects and scenes of everyday life in Singaporean neighbourhoods, paired paired with poems by Cultural Medallion recipient Anne Lee Tzu Pheng. Don’t forget to check out Neo Kim Seng’s multi-disciplinary exhibition My Grandfather’s Road – Rabbit Heart, Dragon Soul, featuring tales from his childhood growing up at Neo Pee Teck Lane.

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Other programmes in the lineup also include cross-disciplinary collaborations between artists and writers, such as a chance for visitors to discover the potential of illustrated books《一起探索和发现:绘本的美好与力量》 (Discovering the Power and Beauty of Illustrated Books), or for aspiring artists to understand the challenges of adapting the written word to other mediums in Adapting the Page. Music lovers can enjoy words set to tunes at Degap-Degup Dikir (Dikir Heartbeats), சொல்லும் ஸ்வரமும்– Sollum Swaramum, and As the Music Follows – Singapore Art Songs, while even younger visitors can get in on the action with Mandarin story-telling sessions, learn how to perform a story in Tamil, or even create their own comics.

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Panels will also be available for visitors to learn about the development of Singapore’s literary scene, learn about topics such as migrant workers, mental health and religion, or join workshops to hone participants’ writing skills. And of course, one will also be able to purchase actual literature at the #BuySingLit Bazaar.

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Haresh Sharma, Danielle Lim, Daniel Fung, the lineup for a panel discussion on “Will Singaporeans Ever Be Happy?”, moderated by Edith Podesta (far right)

Says Arts House Limited CEO Sarah Martin: ““Textures started in 2018 as an opportunity for everyone to simply enjoy a weekend with words in The Arts House. We are very encouraged by the positive response and therefore delighted to bring back the festival this year as the literary arts centre’s signature programme. We invite all to join us and weave a tapestry of emotions through words over the festival days.”

From identity to nostalgia to fear, watch as The Arts House brings together audiences and artists from all walks of life together to discuss topics close to the hearts of locals and bring out your emotional side as you rediscover the power of words with the Arts House at Textures 2019.

Textures 2019 runs from 7th to 10th March 2019 at The Arts House. For a full list of programmes and tickets, refer to their website here

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