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Country Highlights - Australia

Singapore and Australia enjoy a strong and close cultural relationship. Both countries share many cultural similarities, as well as funding and organisational structures for the arts and culture institutions. In 2019, the National Arts Council (NAC) signed a three-year Letter of Agreement with Australia Council for the Arts, as a signal of our sustained commitment towards greater cultural cooperation.

As part of the Australia-Singapore Arts Group for key cultural leaders, NAC commissioned a video performance that brings together elements of music, dance and poetry from Australia and Singapore. The performance explores the concept of childhood memories that remain, in spite of constant change. Based on an original musical work by Singapore’s TENG Ensemble titled ‘Childhood’, the performance features this arranged medley of four popular Asian songs in Mandarin and Malay, as well as original choreography by First Nations dancer Janaya Lamb of a child seeing and mimicking a cockatoo (burung kakak tua). The performance also weaves in poetry by Aboriginal writer Nola Gregory and Singapore writer Ann Peters, read by Paul Carr (AU) and Siti Khalijah (SG).

Some of the past projects between Australia and Singapore artists include reciprocal micro-residences in 2019 designed to seed research on artistic practice and collaborative opportunities between artists from both countries as well as showcases by Singaporean artists at the 2020 Sydney Festival and the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts.