Singapore’s cultural landscape explored on ABC’s Artworks

In a fascinating documentary on Australia’s ABC Radio National’s weekly arts programme, Artworks, Singapore’s cultural landscape is explored by Debra McCoy, with Singapore Arts Festival’s Low Kee Hong, poet Alvin Pang, Drama Box’s Kok Heng Leun, TTRP’s T. Sasitharan and The Necessary Stage’s Haresh Sharma and Alvin Tan.

The theme of this year’s Festival was I Want to Remember and and featured 18 new commissions for the festival, grouped into five curatorial threads: Dance Greats, Histories, Lost Languages and Memories, Personal Memories, Sites.Sights.Sounds.

Kee Hong comments: ‘I see the Singapore Arts Festival as a dynamic, ever-evolving arts platform that responds keenly and sensitively to what is happening in Singapore and the world around us by presenting relevant works that probe deeply into city life and the urban condition. The Festival has a critical role to play in raising awareness of contemporary issues, provoking thought and opening up avenues for discourse.

This year’s I Want to Remember examines our own capacity and desire to remember what has been lost, left behind or forgotten in the name of progress and civilisation, because to progress inevitably necessitates a state of perpetual erasure, in order to make way for the new. Yet we cannot not remember, for the past provides reference points to navigate both present and future. This tension fuels the Festival’s creative programming to offer reinterpretations, even reinventions to fill the gaps in fragmented memories to make sense of them.’

Listen to the programme here.

There will be more coverage of Singapore in July on ABC on Radio National’s 360documentaries, including a feature on the place of Ghost Stories in Singaporean culture.


Listen to a further edition of the Artworks programme, exploring Singapore’s visual arts scene, here.

Listen to a two part Poetica special, exploring Singaporean poetry, here.

In Rear Vision, also on the ABC, the story of public housing in Singapore is explored, starting with the very first developments along Tiong Bahru Road.

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