Looking for things to do? Read on for our guide to the week's best events and recommended things to do. If you manage to tick off all ten, head back to our home page for daily updates on the best restaurants, events and whatever else Singapore has to offer before our next hotlist is published on Monday.
More than 90 galleries and artists from the region and beyond make a return to the second edition of the Singapore Contemporary. Spread across 6,000 square metres are artist dialogue sessions and the show’s well-received ‘China Encounters’ and ‘Gallery Projects’ sections – but remember to drop by ‘Photo 17’, too, for a curated platform of documentary, fine art and conceptual photography from the world over.
Besides the violence and unrest in Palestine, the country is also rich in culture and history. In attempt to battle stereotypical views that surround the war-torn city, The Projector is hosting the first non-profit Singapore Palestinian Film Festival. The programme opens with Speed Sisters, a story that follows the first all-women race car driving team in the Middle East, and will screen five other films including Ave Maria and Five Broken Cameras.
The Grammy award-winning heavy metal rockers are set to return to our shores after their sell-out show in 2013. This time, they're storming the stage of Singapore Indoor Stadium to wreak havoc with their face-melting anthems, including classics like 'Enter Sandman' and 'Master of Puppets', alongside songs from their latest studio album Hardwired...To Self-Destruct. Having cemented their name in rock 'n' roll history, you can bet it's gonna be nothing less than an explosive show.
This travelling art exhibition marks the launch of Parkview Museum, a new art space in Parkview Square. Highlighting environmental issues such as shark protection and ocean conservation, the exhibition also explores the links between sharks, humans and the environment. Expect over 30 artworks from contemporary artists all over the world, including Germany, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Think you can chin-stroke your way through 12 days of art? Tell your Warhols from your Hirsts from your Emins? Do you have the names of the Stuckists tattooed on your leg, above the one of that Mondrian piece? If so, then congrats – you’ll breeze through Singapore Art Week. And even if art isn’t your jam, you don’t want to miss the exhibitions, tours, talks, film screenings and music performances during the 12-day extravaganza. We’ll show you what’s up.
A poem written on a ship and imprisoned in a bottle, laser-cut letters displayed in a cabinet of curiousities, and drawings hand-burnt with incense sticks: memories and drawings become one in a collaboration between poet Marc Nair and visual artist Nicola Anthony, whose works trace the architecture of memory through experimental forms.
The exhibition will be open from Jan 11-Feb 11, and from Feb 21-Mar 5.
Singapore’s far more than a shiny tourist destination, as the Asian Film Archive sets out to prove. This tour takes you across five locations around the city where films were shot – you’ll also find at each stop an artwork that responds to both the film and the site. Also taking place are screenings, talks, workshops and exhibitions.
Inspired by Gillman Barracks' address and the 24-km march route all army recruits have to go through, LOCK ROUTE features 16 installations, murals and sculptures. Artists featured include China’s Chen Tianzhuo, Vietnam’s Oanh Phi Phi, Cleon Peterson of America and Singapore’s very own Gerald Leow, Sheryo+Yok, Acit Salbini and Stephanie Jane Burt.
Hopping on the local indie R&B bandwagon is homegrown singer-songwriter Maricelle Wong. Her debut five-track EP Pursuit boasts a blend of contemporary R&B and Brit-pop electronica, including heartbreak single 'LoveDrunk'. The record was produced by James Lye and audio-mastered in Sweden by Björn Engelmann – who has also worked with the likes of Tove Lo and Zara Larsson.
Belgian artist Phil Akashi’s first solo exhibition features his latest trilogy Rings of Fire, which tackles the issue of marriage as an institution and a concept. Akashi experiments with a vast range of mediums to create his pieces, often dealing with contemporary topics through a mix of traditional art and modern techniques.
Step into a labyrinth-like museum of curiousities when a two-storey terrace house in Chip Bee Gardens opens as part of Singapore Art Week, set with animal traps, tropical field equipment, taxidermy and rare colonial photos. This is OH’s fictional institution, and with no guides, labels or explanations, you’re left to make meaning of artefacts within the living, breathing museum. The experience’s only open to two visitors at a time, so book ahead.
The annual youth festival organised by the National Library Board aims to make the arts more accessible to all by bringing together local designers, art collectives and musicians. The fourth edition of PRESSPLAY will be segmented into various portions; artisanal workshops, talks and panel discussions, and free live performances by sub:shaman and Ffion.
From the same people behind Future World, this art installation brings to life sixty-nine works from the William Farquhar Collection of National History Drawings within the museum’s Glass Rotunda. Look forward to roving animals, digital flora and seasonal weather in an expansive forest created by Japanese digital art collective teamLab.
Things are about to get personal in local artist Amanda Heng’s 24-part work featuring interviews – ‘mini performances’, if you will – of 12 individuals, based on their treasured objects and heirlooms. From intimate familial ties to the exploration of memories, Heng combines print and papermaking with storytelling to present interactive and visual elements alongside the performative.
The triple-header highlights the works of Arkiv Vilmansa, Laila Azra and Ronald Apriyan. The artists explore the simplification of art by using three primary colours – red, yellow and blue. Each artist tackles the theme differently; Vilmansa exploring landscapes, Azra melding the colours into her trademark abstract pieces, and Apriyan illustrating his childhood.
Traverse the same rivers, mountains and towns around China that contemporary Chinese painter Wu Guanzhong explored in 20 of his works, each chronicling a different location – and point in time – from the ’60s to Noughties. This exhibition marks the first of a series of Wu’s showcased works at the Wu Guanzhong Gallery, most of which were donated by the artist himself.
Embark on an out-of-this-world expedition in Singapore’s largest space exhibition yet, spread across five galleries: Dreamers, Go Fever, Pioneers, Endurance and Innovation. Admire over 200 NASA artefacts, including a full-size model of the Apollo Command Module that carried the first humans to the Moon. But beyond artefacts, expect slices of history detailing how the Space Race ballooned into a rivalry between the United States and Soviet Union.
Relieve the magic world of Hogwarts at Singapore Philatelic Museum's Potter-themed exhibition. Harry Potter stamps from all over the world, including the first licensed stamp set issued by Taiwan, are on display alongside other collectibles and movie memorabilia including a statue of the beloved Dobby the house elf, a replica of the Monster Book of Monsters and an intricate Gringotts Wizarding Bank done up in LEGO bricks. There are interactive multimedia exhibits involving wands and moving portraits to engage the younger ones as well. Of course, don’t forget your cameras – you get to hop onto Platform 9 ¾ and ‘fly’ like a Quidditch player in the photo section.
Avengers, suit up – it's time to assemble. Think you have super strength like Hulk, or incredible marksman skills like Hawkeye? Then you might just have what it takes to join the all-star superhero clan. Immerse yourself in the fictional universe of Marvel’s The Avengers through this interactive exhibition, which brings to live the science and technology behind your favourite comic book characters. Try your hand at battling evil villains and defending the city or see original props and costumes from the cinematic world on display.
After a three-year hiatus, the Singapore Biennale, established as a platform for contemporary art, is back this year for its fifth outing. Bearing the theme 'An Atlas of Mirrors', the biennale explores the idea of using artwork to find different perspectives of the world around us. The exhibition features over 50 regional artists, including Indonesia’s Ade Darmawan, Sakarin Krue-On from Thailand and Singapore’s Melissa Tan and Vertical Submarine.
The ArtScience Museum’s first-ever permanent exhibition is a world of high-tech, immersive digital art installations. Featuring 15 works by award-winning Japanese art collective teamLab, Future World will be constantly updated with new works over the years. Highlight pieces include 'Crystal Universe', where visitors can enter a room filled with over 170,000 LED lights that change colours, and 'Universe of Water Particles' – an 8-metre-tall digital waterfall whose water particles tumble down logs in accordance with the laws of physics.
'Tis the season of Pokémon. Celebrate the school holidays with a massive Pikachu parade and other Pokémon related activities at Changi Airport. At Terminal 3, catch not one, but ten life-sized Pikachus performing against an 8-metre gingerbread house and a 7-metre tall Pikachu backdrop.
The much-loved true story of Hua Mulan is revamped for Taiwan’s Mulan the Musical, which sees the heroine enlisting in the army in place of her frail father and her effeminate brother. Apart from shooting arrows in archery practice, Mulan also dodges Cupid’s arrows, becoming the object of affection of more than one in the army. The musical comedy, features the talents of Taiwan’s Li Qian Na and Lai Ying Ying, alternating as the titular character, as well as local artistes Ann Kok and Pierre Png.
Featuring over 150 original works, Journey to Infinity: Escher’s World of Wonder takes you from M.C. Escher’s early works of realistic drawings and prints inspired by nature and Italy's landscape, to his paradoxical designs, tessellation patterns and metamorphosis-themed works. Step into Escher’s world of art and have fun looking at optical illusions that blend fantasy with geometry at this exhibition.
Studio Ghibli fans, get excited: a selection of original celluloids from director Hayao Miyazaki are on permanent display at Polar Bear Gallery, including scenes from My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Admire them alongside works by Japanese fantasy artist, Naohisa Inoue, who’s behind the surrealist background art for Whisper of the Heart, a Studio Ghibli film. If you’ve got some money to spare, prices start from around $6,000 for a Miyazaki film celluloid or an Inoue artwork.
Celebrate Esquina’s fifth anniversary with a line-up of treats. Up 'til April 2017, head chef Carlos Montobbio will be joined by five guest chefs in the kitchen to present a series of five dinners titled Amigos de Esquina. The feasts feature a selection of dishes made independently by chef Montobbio and each of the guest chefs, as well as dishes made jointly. For $148, enjoy classic local delights like nasi lemak chwee kueh coupled with the likes of the Norwegian king crab and fusion fare like laksa paella. Chef personalities include Nacho Baucells (of the world’s leading Spanish restaurant El Celler de Can Roca) plating out a menu in January, and Sun Kim (of Korean restaurant Meta) serving in March. Only 48 seats are available across the two seatings for each of the dinners, so make your reservations early to avoid disappointment.
In addition to the Amigos de Esquina collaborative dinners, Esquina has collated its signature dishes and is offering them as a five-course tasting menu for just $55 until January 31, 2017. Have the grilled Spanish octopus, chorizo croquet and grilled sucrine lettuce all in one meal.