In March, a three-month festival in seven French cities, coinciding with Singapore’s SG50 celebrations, showcased the best of the island nation’s arts, culture and heritage. London and New York had their taste of Singaporean arts, culture and more in June and September respectively.
Next month, it’s Kuala Lumpur’s turn to receive the Singapore’s Golden Jubilee arts bandwagon.
“Culture has the unique ability to bridge differences – different communities, different cultures,” said Yeo Whee Jim, the senior director of Singapore’s Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (the arts and heritage division) in Kuala Lumpur last week.
Titian Budaya (cultural bridge), a three-month long affair, is set to celebrate this “bridge” which uniquely connects the two nations across the Causeway.
Presented by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and supported by Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Titian Budaya will roll out 400 arts practitioners from both Malaysia and Singapore. It will start on Nov 21 and end on Jan 17, with several venues in the Klang Valley involved.
Titian Budaya was first held in 2008 in Singapore, where, similarly, Malaysia’s culture, arts and heritage were showcased.
Goh Ching Lee, the creative director of the upcoming second edition of Titian Budaya, programmed an array of performances, exhibitions, craft bazaars, collaborative concerts and film screenings.
Goh is also the executive and artistic director of CultureLink Singapore, an arts consultancy and artist management agency.
She shares that the programmes, which a contemorary edge, were designed with the all-ages audience in mind. “We remember the shared familiar icons and traditions of our music, theatre and film histories, and added new tendencies in music, film and visual art,” says Goh.
Titian Budaya will be staged mostly at popular arts destinations like Publika and DPAC, and it will introduce aspects of Singapore’s contemporary creative scene which haven’t been largely exposed here.
Titian Budaya will kick off at Publika with the Next Door programme, which promises to turn the mall into a cultural playground. Next Door is divided into four events, which, as the title suggests, conveys the notion of daily living with shared experiences in a common neighbourhood.
The main event is the Art Next Door exhibition at White Box @ Publika. Curated by Tang Fu Kuen, a Singaporean curator, producer and dramaturg, the two-nation exhibition features works by artists like Ming Wong, Ho Tzu Nyen, Amir Muhammad, Fong Qi Wei, Michael Lee, Liza Manshoor, Perception3, Ming Wong, Vertical Submarine and others. Happening from Nov 21 until Dec 13, the exhibition also covers photography, video art and installation works.
But if you’re looking for something more relaxed and family friendly, Publika will host the Bazaar Next Door (at the Boulevard) and Cinema Next Door (Black Box and The Square). Music Live Next Door (The Square) is definitely something for pop enthusiasts and indie fans. The line-up includes Charlie Lim, SA Trio, Liyana Fizi right to world fusion outfit Kailin Yong’s Plus Trio and jazz-tipped act Rustic Vibes. These free admission events will take place from Nov 21-22.
On Dec 8, get ready for Titian Budaya Night: Bridging Cultures at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in Kuala Lumpur. The gala event promises a programme criss-crossing wayang kulit, tabla, jazz, Chinese orchestral music and new interpretations of Tan Sri P. Ramlee’s classics.
Titian Budaya Night also boasts The Silly Little Girl And The Funny Old Tree, a newly commissiond work, to be delivered by Kumpulan Sri Campuran, a Kelantanese wayang kulit group and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra. This will be followed by two dance performances – presented by DPAC and T.H.E Dance Company (Singapore) – at the Theatre, DPAC, Petaling Jaya on Dec 19 and 20.
From Jan 14-17, the Singapore Film Festival at GSC Pavilion (Kuala Lumpur) and 1 Utama (Selangor) hits town. Showcasing 10 breakthrough works by Singaporen filmmakers (Eric Khoo, Jack Neo, Anthony Chen, Liao Jie Kai, Royston Tan and others), the festival highlights award-winning films and box-office successes.
There will also be several public talks, panel discussions and community theatre under the Community Engagement Programmes at Publika from Dec 12-22.
For more information on Titian Budaya, visit www.titianbudayasg.com.