Traditional art forms are presented in new ways with cross-cultural collaborations and innovative use of technology
Singapore, 15 March 2021 - Stamford Arts Centre (SAC), a centre focused on traditional arts, will launch a series of activities starting with a virtual Open House this weekend. With the aim of bringing traditional arts closer to the community, SAC presents a series of online and onsite programmes from March to September, providing immersive and interactive experiences through the use of digital technology. Kicking off the series of SAC initiatives from 19 March are two programmes - a collaborative digital performance between dance company P7:1SMA and Ding Yi Music Company, and a 360 Virtual Tour of SAC.
Meshing traditional arts with technology
As part of SAC’s vision to encourage multi-disciplinary collaborations and support the creation of innovative traditional arts content, P7:1SMA and Ding Yi Music Company were commissioned by the National Arts Council (NAC) to produce Kedai Sinseh, a multi-view digital performance which makes reference to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shops and natural remedies for healing and recovery. Inspired by TCM concepts, Kedai Sinseh presents three performative remedies conceived for the Mind, Body and Soul, in a thirty-minute performance where Malay traditional dance meets Chinese music. Recorded using a multi-camera filming technique, viewers have the option of toggling between five camera perspectives to get a bird’s eye view of the performance, as well as close-up details of the performers. They may also click on interactable objects to learn about the instruments being played, and view ‘recipes’ of the three remedies. Kedai Sinseh premieres on 19 March and can be accessed via NAC’s website till 2 April.
The second virtual experience which launches on 19 March is a 360 Virtual Tour of SAC that introduces the building and its tenants to visitors. Accessible through NAC’s website, the 360 Virtual Tour is a refresh of the SAC Walking Trail that was first launched in 2019, welcoming visitors to an immersive and interactive experience of SAC. Shot with 360-degree panoramic photography, audiences can navigate around the space, learn about the different traditional art forms, and explore the architectural highlights and history of the building. During the 360 Virtual Tour, visitors will also be introduced to various interactive educational features on traditional arts – from getting their hands on traditional ethnic music instruments such as the Sheng (笙), Pai Gu (排鼓), Kompang, and Sitar; to discovering traditional performance costumes such as the Baju Kurung and Baju Melayu of Malay dance, Kathakali, Kathak, and Bharatanatyam costumes of Indian dance, Water Sleeves, as well as the Jing (净), and Chou (丑), characters of Chinese opera.
Bringing the heart of traditional art forms to audiences
Following the virtual programmes, SAC will house two physical traditional arts exhibitions from April, focusing on Chinese opera and traditional dance forms respectively.
Having completed a tour around Singapore’s three regional libraries last year, the Chinese Opera Roving Exhibition will find its home at SAC from 3 April to end-August. Presented in aesthetically designed information panels, visitors may uncover the history of Singapore’s Chinese street opera or wayang. They may also access a Virtual Reality (VR) 360-degree Chinese opera stage tour via a QR code, which provides a peek into what goes on backstage at a Chinese opera performance, such as how makeup, costumes, props, headdresses and musical instruments eventually come together in harmony during a production. This immersive and educational stage tour is available in both English and Mandarin.
An all-new Traditional Arts Exhibition focusing on traditional dance forms will also be open to the public from 12 June to 12 September. This experience draws visitors closer to traditional dance forms, taking them through a ten-minute immersive journey of the history and evolution of these forms. Paired with informative narrations, visitors can expect an all-rounded experience, as they interact with innovative digital concepts such as life-sized holographic mesh projections that surround them. The interplay between projections on both the foreground and background of the exhibition space aims to create a quasi-3D holographic experience, bringing these dances to life in the exhibition space.
The two exhibitions will be housed at #01-05 and #01-06 of SAC respectively. More information will be shared at a later date.
Deputy Chief Executive for Sector Development at NAC, Low Eng Teong, said, “Singapore’s traditional arts scene is a key component of our national identity encompassing our rich cultural diversity and history. With heritage and culture shaping our collective consciousness as a community, the Stamford Arts Centre (SAC) 2021 initiatives aim to explore the interconnectedness of traditional arts and present times, through creating new experiences with the help of digital technology. We hope that the SAC programmes will generate interest amongst new audiences and pave the way for even more enjoyable and engaging cross-disciplinary artistic collaborations to come.”
Please find more details in the following Annexes:
Annex A - About Kedai Sinsei by P7:1SMA and Ding Yi Music Company
Annex B – About our Stamford Arts Centre tenants (as of March 2021)