Arts season goes into full swing

It's arts season from now till February. Besides a whole slew of happenings taking place as part of Singapore Art Week 2019, this week also marks the start of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2019; so you better plan ahead if you wanna make full use of your free time. It only gets more interesting with the Japanese Film Festival 2019 going on, plus a couple of drink things to keep things upbeat. 

The 15th edition of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival is here, and this time, remarkably free from any pre-festival drama (unlike last years). There are plenty of productions to catch, but our pick of the best local ones will help you choose the ones that hit home hardest. Jan 16-27

Get your tissues ready, the Middle East Film Festival is back with more tear-jerking and emotionally gratifying screenings. Expect seven films in the lineup this year, with six of them making their Singapore premieres at the festival. Through Jan 16 

The headline act of the performance season happening as part of the Minimalism at ArtScience Late in January, FEN is an improv music group that will be sculpting an immersive sound piece at the ArtScience Museum. It's free entry, so come grab a spot early. Jan 17

Origin Bar is turning one, and everyone's invited to come enjoy some of the best cocktails in town at only $11 each all night long. There'll be free bites and live entertainment by the lovely Leandra Lane, then come 10pm, be prepared for a golden Champagne shower to really get the party going. Jan 17

Be among the first in the world to try a new Whisky Barrel Aged Stout by Pirate Life Brewing made in collab with their Western Australian mates Limeburners. The launch party's happening at crowd favourite CBD craft beer haunt Freehouse, so come early if you wanna get a seat. Jan 17

Next up in Telok Ayer Arts Club’s roster of artists is Dawn Ng with 11, an experiential performance piece on human relationships that involves bringing together 11 pairs of strangers. Pay for a ticket and become part of the performance, in a social experiment-type show that combines audience participation with speed dating. Jan 17-Feb 14

Held in conjunction with Aliwal Urban Art Festival, So Gelam Market returns for their first edition of the year with fresh new vendors and feel-good vibes for a whole weekend of fun along Bahgdad Street. Besides food and shopping, look out for surprise performances and activities too. Jan 18-20

Like Artbox but with just the food stalls, the second weekend of January sees the start of the inagural Eatbox taking over the Open Plaza space at Downtown East. Expect over 50 local and regional vendors offering their yummy treats, as well as an impressive lineup of DJ performances by Eatmepoptart as part of parallel event Bacon Beats. Jan 18-20

Set to the theme "Image and Sound of Fragrance", the fifth Artwalk Little India returns this year to the buzzing heritage district with more experiential works, where guests get to admire public art displays, wall murals, performances and more, all happening in the real-world stage of Little India. Part of Singapore Art Week 2019. Jan 18-Feb 2 

The 22nd edition of the Japanese Film Festival presents a bumper crop of 31 films this year, with screenings of Japan's best at Shaw Theatres Lido, *Scape and The Projector. If you can only catch one screening, make it zom-com One Cut of the Dead, the festival's opening film. Jan 18-Feb 10

Crowd favourite Light to Night returns for its third year, with a bumper six-week edition to span both Singapore Art Week and the Singapore Bicentennial in February. While the second half of the festival has been themed to honour Singapore’s histories, the first two weekends will see installations and programmes emphasising new perceptions of art via the five senses. Jan 18-Feb 24

Ever wanted a peek into the lives of artists-at-work? Check out the Sim Lim Square Art Residency. Taking inspiration from the interactions between visitors and people who work in the building—ranging from mall tenants to repair technicians—artists will produce works within the space, creating in turn an open studio, workshop and exhibition all wrapped in one. Through Jan 27

Local artist John Toh is showcasing watercolour pieces of iconic Singapore landmarks old and new, such as Temple Street, Keong Saik and the Supertrees, in a new solo exhibition titled Cityscapes, Ancient and Present. Held at Pan Pacific Singapore's public art space. Through Jan 28

Lend your support for local passions made possible at architect-turned-art teacher Tay Zhiyong’s debut solo art show Brush Diary. Featured in this debut are familiar scenes from Tay’s daily business of living—like the Fullerton Waterboat House, Marina Bay Financial Centre; even a bridge at Tampines River. Part of Singapore Art Week 2019. Through Jan 29 

Celebrating our hawker culture and protecting the men and women toiling behind each stall has never been more pertinent. Pledge your support to induct this beloved part of our everyday life into the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage at the travelling Our SG Hawker Culture Exhibition popping up at various hawker centres and community venues around Singapore. Through Jan 31

Peranakan Museum's latest exhibition, Amek Gambar: Peranakans and Photography, delves into the Southeast Asian history of photography through the pictured lives of the Peranakan community in the region. Through Feb 3

Brace yourself for a disturbing visual experience at contemporary video artist Toh Hun Ping’s first solo show Dance of a Humble Atheist. In it Toh marries his self-invented techniques of bleaching, scratching and recycling filmstrips, with more than 600 handmade ceramic pieces—for a painstakingly made, frame-by-frame stop-motion masterpiece. Part of Singapore Art Week 2019. Through Feb 17

From Cold Storage to Tiger Balm, come chart the evolution of print advertising in Singapore from the 1830s to 1960s at Selling Dreams: Early Advertising in Singapore. Aside from just print advertisements, the exhibition at the National Library also includes interactive multimedia stations for you to experience life as a consumer in early Singapore. Through Feb 24

The second coming of the Prudential Marina Bay Carnival is here, set to transform the Marina waterfront into a colossal fairground filled with rides, games, food, and of course, plenty of pretty lights. This time, entry is free, and with more rides to check out than before. Through Mar 24

Trace the Polaroid camera’s fascinating history at the National Museum of Singapore’s latest exhibition, In an Instant: Polaroid at the Intersection of Art and Technology, featuring over 200 Polaroid artefacts and artworks from the original collection. Through Mar 31

The ground-breaking Minimalism: Space. Light. Object exhibition spanning National Gallery Singapore and ArtScience Museum traces the origins and evolutions of the Minimalist art movement, in more than 150 works loaned from all over the world. Check out our quick picks hereThrough Apr 14

One of Singapore’s smallest minority communities is finally having their moment in the spotlight at Chetti Melaka of the Straits: Rediscovering Peranakan Indian Communities. Come hear the lesser-known stories of the Chetti Melaka, also known as Peranakan Indians—descendants of early South Indian migrants who to Singapore in the 15th and 16th centuries, and married local Chinese or Malay women. Through May 5