Look forward to a visual arts feast as Singapore Night Festival returns to the Bras Basah.Bugis precinct

Look forward to a visual arts feast as Singapore Night Festival returns to the Bras Basah.Bugis precinct

What do mystery theatre shows, food tours, and light installations have in common? They can all be found at this year’s Singapore Night Festival (SNF).

Centred in the Bras Basah Bugis (BBB) heritage precinct, the arts and culture festival puts a spotlight on the area’s unfamiliar stories. Since 2008, SNF has helped people to find the special in the ordinary through artistic experiences. By working closely with the area’s stakeholders and the local arts community, the festival continues to serve as a platform for the local art community to collaborate, create, and showcase their art. 

This year marks its 13th edition, where the festival celebrates its ‘Rebirth’ following the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown. From 19 to 27 Aug, the BBB precinct will come alive with more than 55 programmes and experiences. The line-up features a festival village, night lights and projection mapping installations, various arts and music performances, and a slew of experiential programmes.

The A list highlights some of the line-up’s events below:

1. Festival Village: After Dark @ Dhoby Ghaut Green (19-27 Aug)

Festival Village: After Dark @ Dhoby Ghaut Green (19-27 Aug)

From 6pm onwards throughout the festival, Dhoby Ghaut Green will transform into a neon forest-themed party with musical performances by local artists and DJs like Marian Carmel, Hashy Yusof, and Daniel Sid. 

Admission is free, and fantastic bites by Alley, Fooditude, The Swag Social, Sofnade, Queen Vadai, Pop’s Café and 6ixs Rosti will be available too.

2. Highlight Act: Cathay Hotel: The Curse of the Missing Red Shoe

Immerse yourself in this mystery theatre performance at Cathay Green. The production rewrites the story of the two lovers from Cathay film’s Lion City (1960). Audiences follow iconic characters from the Cathay film universe like Mat Bond, Orang Minyak, Pontianak, Mambo Girl, and ASP Latiff as they try to solve the mystery behind the separation of the two lovers. This Vertical Submarine production is directed by Jeremiah Choy and features many local actors like Rebekah Sangeetha Dorai, Munah Bagharib, Rizman Putra, and Andrew Marko.

Located opposite The Cathay, the 45-minute ticketed show runs on 19, 20, and 24-27 Aug at two timings (7.30pm and 8.45pm) with an additional show at 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

3. Projection mapping installations: Glitches of You by Amanda Tan

Glitches of You is an art installation by Amanda Tan, a Singaporean filmmaker, director, visual designer, writer, and artist.
Glitches of You is an art installation by Amanda Tan, a Singaporean filmmaker, director, visual designer, writer, and artist.

One of six projection mapping installations, Glitches of You takes viewers on a visual journey of a fragmented BBB where the past meets the present. It draws from the artist’s own dual cultures and explores the idea of a multicultural modern identity through fractured pixels and glitch art. The superimposed projections are paired with soundscapes composed by local musician Intriguant.

Admission is free, and the installation can be seen at the Stamford Clock Tower throughout the festival. 

4. Night lights: City of Books by Fish Jaafar

The Bras Basah Complex, once known as the City of Books, features a light installation of the same nickname that brings the building’s declining identity as a purveyor of print to light.
The Bras Basah Complex, once known as the City of Books, features a light installation of the same nickname that brings the building’s declining identity as a purveyor of print to light.

Located at the Bras Basah Complex, City of Books is a large-scale pavement mural featuring a variety of books, from 10-year series assessment books to old fiction novels, flying into a void. It is meant to symbolise the waning of printed media and pays tribute to the Complex’s heritage and history as a nexus of books. The artist, Fish Jaafar, is a local visual artist known for producing large-scale artworks that are accessible, featuring themes relevant to the community.

Admission is free, and the installation lights up from 7.30pm throughout the festival.

5. Art and music performances: Discoloo Centre by P7:1SMA

Discoloo Centre is produced by P7:1SMA, a local dance performance company that combines traditional Malay dance and contemporary practices.
Discoloo Centre is produced by P7:1SMA, a local dance performance company that combines traditional Malay dance and contemporary practices.

In their roving performance across the BBB precinct, dance group P7:1SMA turns the disco lights on at Waterloo Centre as they explore the various rhythms and relationships that once existed in the area.

Admission is free – join the roving disco experience on 19, 20, 26 and 27 Aug from 8pm and 9.30pm.

6. Experiential programmes: Heat Of The Night

Discover hidden stories from BBB’s past in this self-guided heritage scavenger hunt.
Discover hidden stories from BBB’s past in this self-guided heritage scavenger hunt.

Starting at the National Museum of Singapore, challenge-seekers can take part in this self-guided race down memory lane. Participants will have to find clues and uncover stories within the BBB precinct. The fastest racers will stand a chance to win prizes such as dining vouchers and a staycation at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore.

Heat of the Night is co-presented by the National Heritage Board and National Library Board. The scavenger hunt experience is a ticketed event and will begin at 7.30pm on the 19, 20, 26 and 27 Aug.

Note that the entire festival will run on a cashless system. Check out the festival map, complete programme, and promotions here.

(Photos: Singapore Night Festival)

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