The word is out. After a hiatus due to restoration, the National Museum of Singapore is officially up and running. And kicking things off to a whopping good start is a slew of absorbing and exciting activities in its month-long opening festival. From exhibitions to theater shows, dance to films, there’s something for every art freak.
For a visual banquet, feast your eyes on a collection of over 99 items associated with Empress Maria Theresia Walburga Amalia Christina, or better known as Maria Theresia. This lady is the only female ruler of the Austrian Habsburg Dynasty and some very opulent, glamorous and precious objects such as the Gold Breakfast Table Service of Maria Theresia and the relic of Saint Francis Xavier are being exhibited. Or treat yourself to a street drawing by Kurt Wenner. This eminent artist, hailed as one of the world’s master painters, produces works that seem realistically 3D at a certain angle. Hit the festival between Dec 15-19, and you might just catch him drawing live. Don’t miss renowned local sculptor Han Sai Por’s striking installations relating to the museum and nature while you’re there.
If you’re an avid theatregoer, check out Cake Theatrical Productions’s Divine Soap. This amusing comedy inspired by the Malay opera Bangsawan shows how Bangsawan troupes try to hold on to traditions in the face of modernity. Written by Haresh Sharma and directed by Natalie Hennedige, Noorlinah Mohd, Peter Sau and Kumar headline this show.
Acclaimed local mixed media artist Brian Gothong Tan is presenting the film Waking the Fluorescent Lion. This work stems from different genres of film and video art and revolves around local culture, history and identity. Royston Tan, on the other hand, made a short film Sin Sai Hong which talks about a Hokkien opera troupe in Singapore for the opening festival, so fans of Tan’s won’t want to miss this one.