Singapore Showcases Artistic Diversity In Key Asian Festivals


In August, Asian audiences will get to enjoy an eclectic mix of performances and exhibitions presented by some of Singapore’s leading artists and arts groups.


In the second ASEAN Culture Week in Hanoi, Vietnam, Singapore will showcase new contemporary styles of Chinese ink painting, along with classical Indian dance and traditional Malay and Peranakan costumes.  A group of top, up-and-coming young dancers will also perform at the opening ceremony of the 6th Asian Arts Festival in Beijing and China’s Jilin Province.


ASEAN Culture Week 2004


5 – 13 August


Singapore will be represented by Cultural Medallion recipients Mrs Neila Sathyalingam (Apsaras Arts) and Mr Chua Ek Kay, as well as award-winning artist Ms Quek Kiat Sing.  An exhibition of traditional Malay and Peranakan costumes and accessories, provided by Malay cultural group Sri Warisan Som Said Performing Arts Limited, completes the showcase of Singapore’s cultural diversity.


One of Singapore’s most established Indian dance groups, Apsaras Arts will present a series of Bharata Natyam dances at the opening and closing ceremonies, and in the country showcase. The performances of Singapore’s most popular classical Indian dance form are choreographed by Mrs Sathaylingam.


Two generations of artists, Chua Ek Kay and his former student Quek Kiat Sing, will stage an exhibition of contemporary Chinese ink works to showcase the different styles and techniques that they have developed in this medium. Quek recently won the Highly Commended Award for the second time at the UOB Painting of the Year Exhibition.


Themed The ASEAN Arts – Tradition and Modernity, ASEAN Culture Week 2004 examines the need to preserve and conserve tradition, even in contemporary art forms in today’s world. The artists and arts groups representing Singapore not only practise the traditional and contemporary arts, they also reflect the development of Asian arts in Singapore.


6th Asian Arts Festival


16 – 26 August


A team of six young outstanding dancers, led by choreographer and dancer Ricky Sim, will perform Sim’s popular work O, Harinnggg…(1999) at the opening ceremony of the 6th Asian Arts Festival in Beijing. The group will then stage a contemporary dance triple bill that includes Sim’s other recent works in the city of Changchun, as part of the Festival’s Jilin Festival.


Sim, who has worked with several local theatre and dance companies, also collaborates with international choreographers.  A Shell-NAC Arts Scholarship recipient, he recently returned to Singapore after obtaining his Masters in Fine Arts (Dance) from Australia.  Since then, he has worked as a freelance choreographer, dancer and educator. The other five dancers in the group have performed extensively in Singapore and overseas. Many have won awards and received scholarships or bursaries from the National Arts Council to further their dance training.


The Asian Arts Festival was launched in China in 1998 to showcase the rich diversity and development of Asia’s arts and culture. Sim and his team join 30 arts groups from 20 countries who have been invited to the Festival. 


Pictures are available on request.



Annex 1 – ASEAN Culture Week 2004 Participants

Annex 2 – 6th Asian Arts Festival Participants