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national day, fireworks
Photograph: Supplied

The best things to do in August

Paint the town red (and white) with National Day celebrations, as well as a virtual fashion show, DC convention, and exhibitions

By Time Out Singapore editors and Cam Khalid

August is all about putting on your pride face and donning those red and white colours as August 9 marks National Day – the day Singapore gained independence from Malaysia. The best bit? It falls on a Sunday, making Monday a public holiday. To sweeten the jubilant atmosphere, the NDP2020 fireworks are being set off at over 10 different locations islandwide, so that you can enjoy the stunning display from the comfort (and safety) of your home.

That's not all – the month also welcomes another long list of exciting events. Get front-row seats to a virtual fashion show featuring local brands. Sneak peeks at Matt Reeves' upcoming The Batman, the highly-anticipated Wonder Woman 1984, and the recently confirmed Snyder Cut of Justice League at an online DC convention. Uncover the lesser-known stories and hidden histories of Singapore's migrant communities through a series of thought-provoking thoughts. To help you plan your August schedule ahead, we've rounded up our top picks of things to do this month.

RECOMMENDED: NDP2020: the guide to National Day and 101 best things to do in Singapore

National Gallery Singapore
Photograph: National Gallery Singapore

Gallery Light Up

Art Digital and interactive National Gallery Singapore, City Hall

Feast your eyes on the facade of one of the National Gallery Singapore as it illuminates in the national colours of red and white in a show of solidarity – all in commemoration of the nation's 55th year of independence and our spirit of resilience this year. The rotating projection on the Gallery's central veiled canopy features 60 original artworks from its Open Call. These artworks are further accentuated by the colourful lights on its façade.

The Arts House
Photograph: Arts House Limited / Haji Sanwan Bin Rais


Things to do Exhibitions Singapore City, Raffles Place

There's no denying that migrant communities are pivotal to Singapore's growth. And the third edition of LumiNation delves deeper into this fact by uncovering Singapore's lesser-known narratives and hidden histories. This year's theme, 'The Migration Edition', takes a timely look at how the intricate fabric of Singapore has been woven by the many communities that call Singapore home – from the Baweanese and Peranakans to the country's ecosystem of migrant workers – through a series of talks and videos that aim to spark conversations about nationhood and how migration is central to Singapore's story.

Photograph: Facebook/OliveAnkara

The Front Row

Shopping Singapore City, Raffles Place

Dominating the cyberspace for ten days, the virtual fashion festival is the first of its kind where 21 local brands and 9 Asian labels showcase their latest collection virtually. It also allows guests to be part of the show, join live interviews, take part in workshops, and also buy pieces directly from the brands they fancy. Binary Style, Graye, Oliveankara, Elohim by Sabrina Goh, Ginlee, and Reckless Ericka are some of the participating brands to catch. The best part about an online fashion festival? Everyone gets a front-row seat.

Wonder Woman 1984
© Warner Bros./Clay Enos


Things to do Singapore City, Raffles Place

Gear up, superhero fans – Warner Bros. is putting the 'wow' in 'pow wow' with an exciting virtual fan experience, #DCFanDome. The mega online event is set to go live for 24 hours, showcasing the biggest movies, TV shows, and comics set to be released over the next few years. Fans around the world will be able to catch all the action for free from the comfort of their very own Batcaves – no badge required. When it comes to the action-packed movies, Warner Bros. is pulling out all the stops to showcase Matt Reeves' upcoming The Batman, the highly-anticipated Wonder Woman 1984, and the recently confirmed Snyder Cut of Justice League. Dwayne Johnson has also confirmed that he's joining the event to promote his anti-hero spinoff, Black Adam. But don't expect your usual Zoom dialogues either – panels are presented with the speakers appearing as holograms. Beyond the panels and presentations, #DCFanDome is also mapped out into five themed-portals where fans can discover and explore the DC Multiverse – the epicentre is dubbed the Hall of Heroes.

Downtown East presents Monthly Drive-In Movie Screenings
Photograph: Downtown East

Downtown East Drive-In Movie Screening

News Film

The popular drive-in movie screening is making its monthly return to Downtown East, setting camp at Begonia open-air carpark. It kicks off on August 8 with the award-winning musical The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya belting out show tunes while telling the story inspired by the Barnum's American Museum and the lives of its star attractions. Unlike those retro drive-in cinemas of the yesteryears, this one features a cutting-edge screen that spans 12-metres in height and 8-metres in length, as well as a bespoke audio set-up where you can get your own 'surround' sound directly in your car via an FM frequency.

Digital Traces: The Year of No Return
Photograph: The Necessary Stage/SIFA

Digital Traces: The Year of No Return

Theatre Singapore City, Raffles Place

Let The Necessary Stage take you back to The Year of No Return with its digital version from August 15. Originally scheduled to be staged in this year's festival, the SIFA-commissioned production presents the environmental crisis from the perspective of different individuals and discourses. While you wait to see it all in the flesh at next year's festival, get a glimpse of the production through the lens of its various characters via a Zoom play-reading session and four vodcast episodes released on the 15th of each month.

The Secret Room
Photograph: Siri House Dempsey

The Secret Room

Art Siri House at Dempsey, Tanglin

A 'secret room' awaits you within the art space of Siri House Dempsey. Brought to life by multi-media artist Mojoko, The Secret Room is the latest art installation that shines a torchlight into the mysteries and intrigues of the past – but with a modern twist. Known for his cross-cultural mashups of historical and contemporary pop imagery, the Iranian-born, Hong Kong-raised, and Europe-educated Mojoko finds inspiration in B-movie thrillers and film noir, deconstructs antiques, traditional paintings, and objects, and puts a modern spin to them. Stroke your chin and marvel at over 20 new artworks that vary in mediums such as rosewood furniture, lanterns, ceramics, and glass.

Remember When
Photograph: Edmund Leong/The Arts House

Remember When: From Memories to Monologues #6

Things to do Classes and workshops Multiple venues

Back by popular demand, The Arts House returns for the sixth run of its creative writing workshop – this time digitally. Created especially for seniors, the workshop guides participants through seven online sessions to capture precious life memories and transform them into dramatic monologues for the stage. On the eighth and final session, shake off your inhibitions and share your work onstage at The Arts House’s Play Den. The performance will be filmed and made available online for viewing – another great one for your memory bank.

Sonita, For the Record
Photograph: Cat & Docs

For the Record

Film Oldham Theatre, City Hall

Expand your cinematic horizons with Asian Film Archive (AFA)'s special programme For The Record, which features documentaries spotlighting bold musical acts from across the continent. Screened at the Oldham Theatre, the documentaries give us a glimpse into the cultural, social and political moments of their respective countries, as well as the various struggles the musicians had to endure to have their music heard. Expect a diverse range of contemporary musical forms and genres, from rock, punk, hip-hop to experimental – even weaving in traditional music from their own cultural heritage.

Majulah Weekender
Photograph: Zendyll

Majulah Weekender

Music Singapore City, Raffles Place

What do you get when you pair up five established producers with five emerging artists from Singapore's music scene? An exciting five-part video series where sonic worlds collide. It follows five pairs of musicians coming together for the very first time to create original songs around their experiences, thoughts and feelings during the circuit breaker. The catch? These unlikely pairs of musicians from completely different genres are given a weekend each to do so from scratch.

The Champion (Il Campione), Virtual Italian Film Festival
Photograph: Groenlandia

Virtual Italian Film Festival

Film Singapore City, Raffles Place

Enjoy the sights and sounds (smells not included) of Italy as The Projector teams up with the Embassy for Italy to bring the Virtual Italian Film Festival to the independent cinema's spankin' new streaming platform, The Projector Plus. The festival opens with a free online screening of The Champion (II Campione), and followed by a selection of six diverse films for pay-per-view including the award-winning film The Traitor (Il Traditore), indie refugee drama Twin Flowers (Fiore Gemello), and queer romantic comedy An Almost Ordinary Summer (Croce e delizia).

Your National Day weekend sorted


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