In August 2014, the famous Banyan tree behind The Substation was uprooted to make way for a new building. It’s currently waiting to be transplanted, but other trees were less fortunate – they were simply chopped down.
Luckily, artist Robert Zhao Renhui had collected photographs, chunks of wood (which have since been sanded down), and the plants and insects that used to live in those felled trees. All these are displayed at an exhibition called, appropriately enough, The Tree that Fell.
Debbie Ding – aka the ‘facilitator’ of the Singapore Psychogeographical Society – is also curating an exhibition: Making Space – 25 Years of The Substation. The show presents artefacts, such as old event posters from the art venue’s archives, as well as a new video featuring 25 members of the arts community sharing their hopes for The Substation.
The Substation has partnered Campbelltown Arts Centre from Australia to produce Bunny, a play inspired by club culture and Japanese rope art. The two performers – Daniel Kok and Luke George – connect and control each other in a game that threatens to get dangerous.
Music lovers can look out for the Tribal Gathering of the Tongue Tasters, which plays host to many of the bands that have previously performed at The Substation, including power pop band The Oddfellows, emo outfit Plainsunset, and fusion jazz trio TAJ.
Take a break from the doom and gloom of the news and enjoy a whimsical short film about childhood and innocence, titled The Boy with Many Balloons and directed by The Substation’s former associate artist Victric Thng.
The Asian Film Symposium also makes a return after a six-year hiatus. This edition features films from around the region, with a special focus on Taiwan. Highlights include On Happiness Road by Sung Hsin-Yin (Taiwan, pictured left), To Siomai Love by Remton Zuasola (Philippines) and Anchovies by Zulkifli Salleh (Singapore).