Singapore Tourism Board Roundup: Art and Culture come alive in unexpected places and formats this November


From sketching lessons in Singapore’s last fishing village to musical performances in the back lanes of Muscat Street, and even leaving their mark on a wall mural in Little India, locals and visitors to Singapore can look forward to encountering art in its various forms in unexpected places around the island this November.

Singapore’s key lifestyle and cultural precincts – namely the Civic District/Marina Bay, Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glam and Katong Joo Chiat – and beyond will host a series of arts and culture events aimed at celebrating Singapore’s unique heritage and culture. Anchored by the Singapore Biennale 2019, the events will provide casual art appreciators, serious enthusiasts and creators with numerous opportunities to enjoy and make art in new, inspiring ways.

At Far East Plaza, shoppers may get more than they bargain for with a circus troupe from Cambodia, Phare, set to put up a jaw-dropping performance of high-energy acrobatics and hypnotic dance moves at the mall. The act is part of the Singapore Biennale 2019, which returns for its sixth edition this year.

The art-centric programming continues at Kampong Glam, where the back lanes of Muscat Street will transform into an art street with roving artists and performers, bazaar stalls, craft demonstrations and community activities. Elsewhere, visitors can catch a Chinese Opera performance on a wayang stage reminiscent of the olden days at Chinatown’s inaugural Chinese Opera Festival, or literally leave their mark on a large 2m by 6m painting at Little India’s social painting event, aimed at encouraging greater interaction among visitors and artists.

Those looking to venture further can join six art tours, which will run regularly for eight weekends across the city. For example, participants can learn how to paint from local artist Rico Ngim at his studio in a modern-day kampong or venture offshore to Pulau Ubin for an immersive experience sketching the island’s natural landscape.

Retailers Naiise and Urban Market Singapore will be organising a series of workshops where participants can create and take home their own Singaporeinspired resin jewellery, clay earrings or watercolour Peranakan tiles, among other crafts.

Relax, or lepak in Malay, among colourful art installations of hammocks at GlamArt! – ColourPlay in Kampong Glam. The hammocks, which provide visitors with some respite in the day, transform into a fluorescent visual extravaganza at night. Go on a hunt for more standalone lepak installations to discover more about the cultural precinct.

Embark on a walking trail in Chinatown at MINI ExtraOddinary and explore sustainability through a cultural lens. Have a taste of meatless bak kwa, browse leather accessories made from mushrooms and admire an urban farm that doubles up as an art sculpture, or go on a self-guided trail and discover new murals painted specially for the Katong Joo Chiat Art Circuit, with each mural telling a story about the precinct’s history.

Indian musical performances, both traditional and contemporary, will be roving around Little India as part of the Indian Heritage Centre CultureFest. The Centre has also planned an experiential trail around the precinct focusing on aspects of fashion food, craft and spice, to deepen visitors’ understanding of Little India’s heritage culture.

Ms Serene Tan, Director, Arts and Cultural Precincts, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “The wide array of events this November offers something for everyone, whether you are an avid art aficionado or just a curious consumer. In Singapore, arts and culture are not confined to just galleries and museums – they come alive on our streets as well. With the strong support of our stakeholders, we believe the exciting line-up will inspire local pride in our heritage and culture, as well as enhance Singapore’s appeal as a vibrant arts and lifestyle destination.”

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