Celebrating 35 years of the Singapore Arts Festival


  • Emphasis on community engagement in the 2012 programme line-up
  • Ticket sales begin 15 March 2012


SINGAPORE, 13 March 2012 – In its 35th year, the Singapore Arts Festival comes full circle with a programme line-up that celebrates communities in Singapore through a re-discovery of their untold stories. The Festival will see Singaporeans of all ages and walks of life, and local companies, contributing to the festival in different ways. Through stories, legends and myths, the 2012 Festival will bring audiences on a journey of self discovery through recollections of their past and interactions with their communities.


2              From 18 May to 2 June 2012, the Singapore Arts Festival will present 14 ticketed and 66 non-ticketed productions presented by more than 500 artists and groups from Singapore and across the globe. The Festival will showcase local and international acts, collaborations and projects that take audiences into exciting new venues, pushing the boundaries of traditional performance. This year’s festival completes this trilogy with the theme “Our Lost Poems”, which began two years ago with “Between You and Me” in 2010 and “I Want to Remember” in 2011.


3              Says Low Kee Hong, General Manager of the Singapore Arts Festival, “The Singapore Arts Festival 2012 not only offers audiences performances that touch the heart and stimulate the senses, it also provides a platform to engage with different communities in Singapore by providing them with unique opportunities to take part in the process of art-creation. We want the festival to continue to push the boundaries of how stories could be told and challenge our audience’s perceptions of the arts. All productions this year are shaped by that approach, together with elements of myths and legends, completing a three-year journey to address our collective memories and historical past.”


Festival highlights

4              The Festival programme line-up this year boasts a strong repertoire of contemporary works rooted in Asian history and culture by local artists and groups. Performances such as The Flight of the Jade Bird by Mark Chan and LEAR DREAMING by TheatreWorks employ a multi-disciplinary approach through the infusion of various traditional arts forms with modern pop culture.


5              As a Festival with “something for everyone”, performances will explore themes that resonate well with any audience, Singaporean and foreigners alike; stories about love, identities, ageing, education, immigration, life and death. Works such as Mammalian Diving Reflex’s The Best Sex I’ve Ever Had, addresses the issues of identity, love and ageing through hilarious and heart-warming sessions with a group of female performers selected from the community. 


6              Several of the works by international artists also capture the cultural nuances and context of Singapore and the region, through the collaborative efforts between the artist(s) and local communities. For example, artists, Stefan Kaegi (Germany), Lola Arias (Argentina) and Gerardo Naumann (Argentina) are currently working with local arts groups, Singapore Drama Educators Association and Drama Box, as well as the man-in-the-street, such as chambermaids and factory workers, to adapt their piece, Parallel Cities, to the local Singapore context.


More than 300 free performances at the Festival Village

7              The Festival Village is a key emphasis of the Festival this year. It will feature 8 performance spaces and play host to more than 300 free performances. Audiences will enjoy free performances from a wide range of artists and arts groups, ranging from the T’ang Quartet and Budak Pantai, to special showcases by professional traditional arts groups as well as children. A key highlight at this year’s Festival is the strong community involvement. Projects such as Bridge Café Project by Japanese artist, Kim Itoh, and Dream Country by Marion d’Cruz will bring a strong local community participation component to its programme, which audiences will enjoy.


8              The Village will also be home to the second edition of the Kids Arts Village, a not-to-be-missed experience curated, performed and managed entirely by children. The Festival Village is located at Esplanade Park and opens daily during the festival from 4:00pm – 12:00am on weekdays and 4:00pm – 1:00am on weekends.


About the Singapore Arts Festival

Established to showcase Singapore’s diverse art communities in 1977, the Singapore Arts Festival has gained international acclaim with its cultural diversity and artistic innovation. The Festival, with its boldly progressive spirit, raises the bar each year by commissioning new works from within and out of Asia. The potent blend of artistry and culture inspires and captivates both practitioners and audiences. The Singapore Arts Festival 2012 will take place from 18 May to 2 June. The 2012 theme Our Lost Poems completes the trilogy of themes started two years ago - Between You and Me (2010) and I Want to Remember (2011). Over these 16 days, the city comes alive with an infusion of performances at the Festival’s hub – the Festival Village @ Esplanade Park and other key venues.


For more information, visit www.singaporeartsfest.com.

Annex A - Singapore Arts Festival 2012 Festival Highlights

Annex B - Singapore Arts Festival 2012 Fast Facts

Annex C - Celebrating 35 years – Highlights of the Singapore Arts Festival through the years