Things to do, watch, listen this week: 11 to 17 Oct
The A List has another enticing mix of things to do this week. The pick of the finest private art collections in the country can be seen at SEED The Art Space, while the Chapel Gallery at Objectif invites you to take the path less travelled in a show inspired by the Sufi poet, Rumi. Our theatrical highlight is a play based on the real-life rivalry between two great inventors as they battled each other to decide who would electrify the world. We also recommend an exhibition at Gillman Barracks that contemplates our complex relationship with the land, and a chamber music concert tuned in to the personal lives of some of the great composers.
As We Were
View contemporary Southeast Asian art from the private collection of Michelangelo and Lourdes Samson, courtesy of art logistics and storage specialist Helutrans and SEED The Art Space. There are more than 40 paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and videos by artists hailing from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, demonstrating the dynamism and breadth of artistic practices across the region. This free show runs until 17 Oct. Find out more and book a viewing or curator-led tour for As We Were here.
With You Here Between: Defamiliarizations
Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film plays host to this thought-provoking exhibition at the Chapel Gallery until the end of the month – including an artist talk this week on 16 Oct. The connecting theme takes as its point of departure a poem by the 13th century Sufi mystic, Rumi, invoking the power of love in whatever form it may take. Dylan Chan, Fitri Ya’akob, Masuri Mazlan and Vimal Kumar offer up their take on living, loving and thriving outside the mainstream. Find out more about With You Here Between: Defamiliarizations here.
Chamber: From My Life
Join six talented musicians at Victoria Concert Hall on 16 and 17 Oct as they perform pieces that reflect the lives of three composers. Beethoven was famously deaf when he wrote some of his greatest symphonies, but this programme instead focuses on his love for the viola, which prompted him to compose the lovely Obligato for Viola and Cello, nicknamed the ‘Eyeglasses Duo’. Deafness does come into it, but here we feel the impairment suffered by Czech composer Bedřich Smetana, who wrote his intensely autobiographical String Quartet No.1, ‘From My Life’, when all he could hear was silence. You’ll also enjoy Bruch’s 8 Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano (No. 1, 2, 6, 7), which he created for his son, who was a talented clarinettist. When you hear their music, you hear their lives. Book your seats for From My Life here.
Electrify My World
The personal rivalry of two men who literally electrified the world lies at the heart of this original play co-presented by Nine Years Theatre and Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre from 8 to 17 Oct. Genius inventor Thomas Edison patented the world’s first practical lightbulb in 1879 and, powered by the money of bank JP Morgan, set to work lighting up New York and the world using his Direct Current system. Enter another genius, Nikola Tesla (in whose honour Elon Musk named his electric car company) with a rival Alternating Current system. It had far more potential for large-scale power grids but might just kill customers by electric shock. The play is performed in Mandarin with English surtitles. Get your tickets for Electrify My World here.
The Lie of the Land
Head to FOST Gallery at Gillman Barracks until 17 Oct for this fascinating exhibition that addresses our complex relationship with the land – whether it be enlarging it, quarrying its stone, or building on it. Nearly 200 years after Sir Stamford Raffles approved the first reclamation in Singapore, Sim Chi Yin’s Shifting Sands documents the reclamation project of the new Tuas container port, turning the site into a textured abstract divorced from the sweat and dust of the effort below. Ong Si Hui’s geometric marble sculptures speak to the way we mine and mould the geological structures beneath our feet, while Donna Ong’s My Forest Has No Name photographs ponder the artificial green environments we have created in Singapore as the real forest is chipped away by development. The show also serves up works by Kray Chen, Zulkifle Mahmod and Ian Woo. Find out more about The Lie of the Land here.
(Photos: SEED The Art Space, Objectifs, VCH Chamber, Nine Years Theatre, Sim Chi Yin)