Updated: Aug 22, 2022
There is so much incredible creativity happening in Singapore right now if one just turns over a few rocks. Here are five different artists all producing world class work that you could be enjoying, commissioning or collaborating with with right now. Enjoy and happy Friday!
I’ve been a fan of Inch since her sophomore album, Bumfuzzle, came out in 2013 featuring the impossibly catchy single Artful Dodger. Since then she has holed up on Pulau Ubin to write an album, Letters To Ubin, inspired by the sounds of the jungle and travelled to Antarctica as part of 2041's International Antarctic Climate Force Expedition, which has inspired her new music including single Sun + Moon.
This song will feature in a 'binaural anti-musical' written by Inch called 'Til The End of TheWorld, We’ll Meet In No Mans Land, which premieres on 25th April - 4th May at 73-12, Home of Theatreworks in Singapore. Together with art direction from Ong Keng Sen, she promises a multi-sensory experience that will showcase her original songs and a full-length script on environmental issues. Need I say more? Just buy your tickets, https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/cland0519.
Pam Oei is a comedienne, actress, singer and, by this point, a bona fide national treasure! Still inspired, still angry, the video for this single from her band Ugly In The Morning was directed by her husband Ken Kwek (see below), and the pair pulled no punches confronting the malign elements of society in 2019. As a tireless campaigner for gay rights in Singapore this song and video encapsulates Pam’s energy and attitude better than anything I’ve ever seen.
For more unfiltered Pam catch her one-woman show Fag Hag at The Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre @ Wild Rice from 24th - 28th July. Tickets available here, https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/cfaghag0719.
Ken is so much more than simply Pam’s husband (thought that is impressive enough!), he is the director of two feature films, the notorious Sex, Violence, Family Values (2012), which was initially banned by the the Singapore government, and tense hostage thriller Unlucky Plaza (2014). An acclaimed journalist and writer of children’s books, adult films (not that kind!), and theatrical plays Ken’s latest work, This Is What Happens To Pretty Girls, is being performed by the Pangdemonium theatre company from 10 - 26th May at the Drama Centre Theatre. Based on interviews Ken conducted with over 100 victims of sexual harassment and abuse it promises to be a necessary and confronting experience. Get your tickets here, https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/cpretty0519.
Following his controversial Cannes selected film about a prison hangman, Apprentice (2016), Junfeng recently took part in the 15 Shorts project, a collaboration between Blue3Asia and the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre to document a social history of 'giving' in Singapore. His 12 minute short, Plague, is captured in a single breathtaking shot inside a 1980s HDB and tells the true story of health worker Iris Verghese who defied the lies and propaganda to care for and comfort Singapore’s first HIV patients. Try to look away, I dare you!
I saw Singaporean comedian Jinx Yeo perform two weeks ago at The Projector's fabulous new comedy night in the Intermission Bar and have been addicted to his YouTube videos ever since. As we approach Singapore's controversial bicentennial Jinx has a great take on the island's former colonial oppressors (and again, on behalf of the British, apologies for that but I think karma is exacting its revenge via Brexit!).
Despite all the talk of androids and Skynet humans still have a massive role to play in exploring and untangling the messy business of being alive and creativity has as much a part to play in that as science so get stuck into some local creativity this weekend. Best, N.