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Preview: Arts In Your Neighbourhood – Kallang and Geylang

Screenshot 2020-10-30 at 12.32.32 AM

Even with a pandemic going on, there’s no stopping you from getting to know your neighbourhood a little better, especially with the return of the National Arts Council’s Arts In Your Neighbourhood (AYN) programme this November. This time around, the biannual programme is zooming in on the eastern neighbourhood of Kallang/Geylang Serai, with plenty of fascinating history and stories to be discovered.

For the first time, AYN’s line-up will be supplemented with digital offerings, presenting a blend of 11 digital and physical programmes, for greater accessibility and participation. From online music, dance and theatre performances to visual art murals and a dynamic light projection display on the façade of Old Airport Road Hawker Centre, enjoy an engaging line-up of multi-genre and interactive arts experiences from the comfort of your homes or up close in person. 

Kali Bah. Photo Credit: P7:1SMA

Highlights of this edition include P7:1SMA’s District 14: 7 Kali Bah, where the dance company presents a series of contemporary dance films that traces the dreamscapes of hijrah (“migration” in Malay) and ubah (“shifts” in Malay), all inspired by the stories, anecdotes and memories of Geylang Serai, with choreography stimulated by letters, audio recordings, photographs, textiles and objects of significance collected from the community.

In System Sovereign’s Brilliant Corners: The City Is Blooming, come on a self-guided trail to discover vibrant art murals around the neighbourhood, inspired by little glimpses of nature in the heart of the town and how its people relate to it. The works are co-painted by five artists Ink & Clog, Didier Jaba Mathieu, Oak & Bindi and Kiat with keen mural arts enthusiasts from the community.

Syndicate’s Patterns Seeking will leave you enthralled by a light projection and sound display at Old Airport Road Hawker Centre, with the works featured co-created with residents of Kallang and inspired by the patterns and motifs of daily Singaporean life. Members of the public can even be part of an on-going conversation about the patterns of Singapore by sending in their suggestions here

“We wanted the work to tap on Singapore’s multiculturalism, and for it to open up a conversation about what makes the ‘patterns of Singapore’,” comment Syndicate. “We consulted the merchants at Old Airport Road and asked about the patterns they could see in daily life. We ended up with a few basic shapes and patterns to act as our building blocks, put them through an AI data set and generated some interesting patterns and had Safuan Johari create a soothing soundtrack to go with it.”

From A to Z: The Adventures of Sol and Friends. Photo Credit: Sweet Tooth

In From A to Z: The Adventures of Sol and Friends by Sweet Tooth, join Sol and her friends on an adventure to find Maxie, her best friend who gets blown away in a giant storm. Combining design and performance, this theatrical experience for young audiences, brings to life three new characters designed by the community. 

Let’s Partea! Photo Credit: National Arts Council

In addition, parents and children can look forward to Let’s Partea! a series of virtual performances specially curated for young audiences, and hosted live by theatre actor Dwayne Lau every Sunday of AYN. Kids can also discover the power of imagination in an interactive theatre performance by Bitesize Theatre Productions, and venture into the world of jazz music through a music performance by Hummingbird Music. Families can also embark on an adventure right at their fingertips and take a virtual “walk” around Kallang River, in an interactive choose-your-own-adventure story by digital storytelling studio Tusitala and author Akshita Nanda. 

With plenty of free family-friendly activities for all across both the physical and digital space, there’s no excuse not to get a little closer to the arts. From old buildings to back alleys, it’s time to take a closer look at these sights and sounds we don’t usually see on a daily basis, and get to know your neighbourhoods better with the return of AYN this November.

Arts In Your Neighbourhood runs from 12th to 29th November 2020. For a full list of programmes, visit their website here

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