BUILDING IDENTITY: EXPLORING OUR PLACE IN SINGAPORE
LumiNation returns from 15 to 18 August 2019
Singapore, 18 July 2019 – Following a successful inaugural edition in 2018, LumiNation returns with a weekend of programmes to explore the building blocks of our Singaporean identity. Held in conjunction with National Day, this sophomore edition will be held on 15 to 18 August 2019 at The Arts House. Admission to the festival grounds is free. Selected programmes require pre-registration, and film screenings are ticketed.
This year’s theme, “Building Identity”, puts our personal relationships with the nation in conversation with communal narratives and histories. Curated programmes including performances, exhibitions, and panel discussions will focus on the relationship between the self, place, and space in creating a fuller sense of belonging. Screenings of a standout selection of local films and post-show dialogues with some of Singapore’s best filmmakers will also invite festival attendees to experience the role of film in shaping the Singaporean identity.
“In 2018, LumiNation began by uncovering lesser known stories exploring Singapore’s history and heritage, and was met with a positive response. This year, we are taking a more focused approach to curate programmes that touch on the multi-layered nature of our narrative, which often goes unnoticed. We hope that audiences will find a renewed interest to engage in the Singapore conversation and explore the different threads that it ties together,” says Shridar Mani, Festival Programmer.
Observe the Singaporean Identity on the Silver Screen
Rediscover what is lost when our world is sequestered into memory, and how this nostalgia helps us negotiate the present and the future through the works of some of Singapore’s most celebrated filmmakers. Curated by The Filmic Eye, all screenings will be followed by post-show dialogues with the filmmakers to glean rare insight into their work. Highlights include Yei Siew Hua’s A Land Imagined, an award-winning film about a police investigator who uncovers the truth and underbelly of Singapore’s success after the disappearance of a lonely construction worker from China, and Eva Tang’s documentary From Victoria Street to Ang Mo Kio which chronicles the survival of the nation’s first Chinese Catholic missionary girls’ school.
Tan Pin Pin’s In Time to Come follows the ritualistic exhumation of an old state time capsule, transporting audiences to moments from 25 years ago. Stay on after the screening of The Animated Shorts of Jerrold Chong to learn more about the local animator’s fascination with the power of animated media and what inspires him to tell sincere stories that examine the depths of everyday life. Check out Nobody by veteran director and producer Eric Khoo, and get ready for a fright with Ramon A. Estella’s Anak Pontianak, which could be the oldest Pontianak (a vampire ghost) film today.
Explore the instrumental role of film in creating a Singaporean identity and how the way these identities are performed on screen reflect the deep personal histories and stories that make up our collective consciousness in Uncovering Singapore Stories through Film, a special panel discussion featuring prominent Singapore filmmakers Yeo Siew Hua, Eva Tang, and Jerrold Chong.
Shine the Spotlight Back in Time
Let performances, panels, talks and exhibitions guide you on a journey back in time as they share Singapore’s lesser-known stories. Listen to the stories of poet A. Samad Said’s life in 1950s Singapore in Lyrical Poetry: A Father & Son Collaboration, accompanied by his son Az Samad on the guitar in a special performance of poetry, stories, and classic Malay songs. Muse TV – Lyrics and Themes of Malay Drama Serials, featuring established TV producers Zaharian Osman, Rifaah Ridzwanulhak and composer-lyricist Reyza Hamizan, is a performance-forum that takes a look at the lyrical aesthetics and themes of Malay TV drama serials, educating audiences about the intricacies behind filmmaking.
Revisit the history of Singapore with Cheong Suk Wai at Written Country – A History of Singapore Through Literature, as she intriguingly reconstructs the history of modern Singapore through fifty of our defining moments from literary works. Learn how the British sought for justice on the atrocities committed during the Second World War as Portraits and Stories of Justice and Resilience in the Singapore War Crime Trials introduces the stories and backgrounds of those involved in the trials.
Catch a glimpse of the growing sense of national identity and consciousness within Chinese settlers after the war in 1945 – 1965 in National Identity in Singapore’s Post-War Chinese Novels with Singaporean writer Lee Chuan Low. Panelists will discuss the themes, unique styles, and stages of development within this genre, and shed light on its relevance today. History buffs can also delve into the secrets of familiar places in Singapore in the Story of Chinatown and Place Histories of Kent Ridge by Wong Sow Kuen and Lai Chee Kien respectively.
In Representations of ethnicity and the curation of the vernacular city as heritage in Singapore, prominent local architecture scholar Professor Imran Tajudeen contemplates how architecture has influenced our society and identities into what it is today. Reflect on the oddities of one of Singapore’s most iconic buildings, Marina Bay Sands, and how lottery was legalised in the context of strident nationalism in What Society Hides from Itself – Toto, Nation-building and the Integrated Resort by Lee Kah-Wee, Associate Director of the Master of Urban Planning Programme at the National University of Singapore. Learn strategies of architectural camouflage and spatial containment and how it reflects on the larger question of what our society hides from itself.
Have a visual treat of more than 50 crowdsourced photographs of Haw Par Villa between 1965 – 1985 at The Collective Memory: Haw Par Villa. Meticulously restaging the photographs by placing subjects at the same spots in the present day, local photographer Deanna Ng uses juxtaposition to examine how memory can be a fickle thing, and questions the completeness and reliability of archival photography in this exhibition.
Go for a nostalgic walk alongside poet Harini V and theatre practitioner, Sivakumar Palakrishnan in a special edition of பேனாச்சுடர் - A Tamil Creative Writing Workshop. Explore historical sites, reinvented to be modern artistic hotspots, in the civil district through prose and poetry. The walking and writing tour will explore the spaces that hold many of Singapore’s valued stories and myths and the intersection with our daily lives.
For more information on LumiNation 2019 and to pre-register or purchase film screening tickets, please visit https://www.theartshouse.sg/programmes/lumination/. Members of the public can also join the conversation at www.facebook.com/theartshouse and www.instagram.com/theartshouse .
Venue: The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore 179429
Dates: 15 to 18 August 2019
[The Collective Memory – Haw Par Villa exhibition runs from 2 to 25 August 2019]
For more information, please contact:
About The Arts House
Occupying the almost 200-year-old building that was home to Singapore’s first parliament, The Arts House continues in the distinguished tradition of this gazetted national monument and now plays a key role in the country's arts and creative scene. The Arts House at the Old Parliament, as it is affectionately referred to, promotes and presents multidisciplinary programmes and festivals within its elegant spaces. It focuses in particular on the literary arts, celebrating the works of written and spoken word artists from Singapore and beyond.
The Arts House is run and managed by Arts House Limited. For more information, visit www.theartshouse.sg.
About Arts House Limited
Arts House Limited (AHL) is a not-for-profit organisation committed to enriching lives through the arts. AHL runs The Arts House, a multidisciplinary arts centre with a focus on literary programming located in the heart of Singapore's Civic District; manages Goodman Arts Centre and Aliwal Arts Centre, two creative enclaves for artists, arts groups and creative businesses; and presents festivals through the arts centres. AHL presents the Singapore International Festival of Arts, the annual pinnacle celebration of performing arts in Singapore commissioned by National Arts Council.
AHL was set up in 11 Dec 2002 as a company limited by guarantee (CLG) under NAC and was formerly known as The Old Parliament House Limited. It was officially renamed Arts House Limited on 19 Mar 2014.