3 arts luminaries share what they are looking forward to in 2021
Well-known arts figures (from left): Zul Mahmod, Sharon Au, and Siti Khalijah Zainal share what they are looking forward to in 2021. (Photos: Singapore International Festival of Arts, Sharon Au/Instagram, Wild Rice Theatre)

3 arts luminaries share what they are looking forward to in 2021

For many people, 2020 has been a challenging year, their lives turned upside-down by the global pandemic. The unexpected changes have led some to pause, reflect and reset their plans and approach to life. We ask three prominent arts figures – former TV actor Sharon Au, sound artist Zul Mahmod and actress Siti Khalijah Zainal on how they will be bidding 2020 goodbye and welcoming 2021.

What is your biggest takeaway from 2020?

Au: 2020 was crazy, but since I can’t get mad, I will get even in 2021. I want to live with zest and love recklessly. 

Zul: To never take things and people for granted. And for the things that I have no control over, to take what comes in my stride. 

Siti: How to adapt to situations quickly and to be creative despite limitations. 2020 has also taught me to not get too comfortable where I am, to take nothing I have for granted, and to always be prepared for any situation.

How will you be sending off 2020 and ringing in the new year?

Au: Quietly, in my Paris apartment, with wine, cake and my kitten Rudon. 

Zul: With things picking up work-wise in recent months, I’m ending 2020 with a bang. I am also in talks to do more shows and commissioned work in 2021 and that has me psyched up. 

Siti: I have a staycation booked for New Year’s Eve. It is pure luck that I was able to get a room on New Year’s Eve at a good price, which is perfect, since we can’t travel for now. I am honestly quite happy to get rid of 2020, but I am also nervous as to what 2021 would bring. 

What are you looking forward to in 2021?

Au: I have a hunch I will be involved in exciting projects, and I might meet someone who will again change the course of my life. I can feel it in my bones. 

Zul: My big day. I am excited and looking forward to tying the knot with my fiancé because it is about time. It sounds clichéd, but it will be a new chapter of my life, and I am looking forward to doing life together with my best friend.

Siti: Looking at the current situation, I am trying to be positive and hope that the COVID-19 case numbers in Singapore will keep decreasing so that life can return to the way it was. I have my fingers crossed that our theatre scene will be fully up and running next year.

Do you make New Year’s resolution?

Au: I have made most of my 2020 resolutions happen. I resolve to do this and that every other day, not just for the new year. I check on my mental health and my spirit regularly, sometimes even a bit too often. All I can say is, I can be disciplined when I want to be.  

Zul: I don’t usually set a New Year’s resolution because I don’t believe in waiting for a new year to come up with a list of resolutions. I constantly remind myself to do better each day.

Siti: I don’t make resolutions because I believe in living my life to the fullest and doing things in the now. If I want to do something, I will just do it. 

What is a personal achievement you hope to unlock in 2021?

Au: I hope to complete my book. I tell myself to keep writing.

Zul: I hope to start my own family with my wife-to-be, and to have a mini version of us running around the house. That would be such a milestone for both my wife and I.

Siti: I want to be more active and to be healthier for myself. Ever since the industry got hit by the pandemic, I have been neglecting my health and it has taken an emotional and physical toll on me. I want to start next year feeling more positive about my health and my body. 

Replies were edited and condensed for clarity.

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