three events to start 2014 with

Three events to start 2014 with. New year resolution opening ceremony? No. Chinese New Year? Nope. Birthdays? Nah.

For those who are always in a rush or those who like things at a glance, here you go…

M1 Fringe Festival 2014 ~ 8th-19th January 2014

Art Stage Singapore ~ 16th-19th January 2014

Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts 2014 ~ 6th-16th February 2014

As the name suggests, the M1 Fringe Festival has never failed to bring out-of-the-box (of course also at-the-brim-of-the-box) performances, art works and projects to people. One past performance art that would come to my mind every time is Loo Zihan’s Cane at the 2012 edition of the festival.

In 2014, the festival will bring the worldwide Tree Project to Singapore as part of its line-up. Project leader Hiroshi Sunairi would distribute seeds to voluntary participants in Singapore to grow and have the seedlings exhibited at the National Museum of Singapore during the festival period. These seeds are descendants of Hibaku (“atomic-bombed”) trees that survived the bombing of Hiroshima.

There will also be film screening of Sunairi’s documentation of the project, including interviews with participants in the Singapore leg of the project. It is a wonder that, the nature like trees would quietly witness history and how people’s connection with the nature is so thin.

camphor Hibaku seedlings

camphor Hibaku seedlings

The next event will be the fourth round of Art Stage Singapore happening at Marina Bay Sands again in 2014. I still remember, during its inaugural art fair in 2011, I was impressed by a whole booth full of glass bottles painted on the inside by artist Liu Zhuoquan (刘卓全). He has taken the traditional craft of snuff bottle painting – painting on the inside of a bottle – to a new realm of art creation by giving it a contemporary sense.

Here I am, looking forward to the event once again. There are bound to be some works that will fascinate me.


Thirdly, there will be Huayi (华艺) – Chinese Festival of Arts 2014 in February. A theatrical play Twelve Angry Men (十二怒汉) presented by Nine Years Theatre (九年剧场) during the festival last year was sold out very shortly after ticket-sale commenced. You can imagine and expect the kind of excellent theatre/opera as well as music and dance performances this year.

I am highlighting four shows here, but of course, all other shows and visual art exhibition are equally worthy of your time and attention, it’s a matter of taste and liking. My list comprises of Moving Horizon: A Nanying Journey (望远行) by Siong Leng Musical Association (湘灵音乐社); Good Soul of South Yangtze (江南好人); Ruan Lingyu’s The Goddess – A Silent Film Concert (阮玲玉·神女·默片音乐会); and Hong Kong indie pop rock & ballad band KOLOR.

Siong Leng Musical Association performs Nanyin (the southern sounds):