Latest updates to Singapore International Festival of Arts 2017

The Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) is happy to announce programme updates for this year’s Festival that runs from 28 June to 9 September, including the new ‘SIFA Shares’ initiative, extra shows added for the sold-out Becoming Graphic, and finalised venues for dance creation MARK.


SIFA Shares is a programme aimed at encouraging dialogue between artists and audiences, and will be offered free of charge to increase accessibility.

Curated by Founding Festival Director, Ong Keng Sen, the series of events will provide greater relevance to the productions at SIFA and allow the audience to dig deeper into the context of these works presented at this year’s Festival around the theme of Enchantment. 

There are four programmes in this year’s SIFA Shares: a paper art workshop/exhibition and three conversations.

1              Explore in a hands-on workshop, the creative art of papermaking in the Interactive Exhibition & Paper Art Workshop, with Drew Cameron (Combat Paper), a war veteran who after returning from the Iraq War, began a practice in the craft of hand papermaking, cutting his own uniform apart and turning it into paper. In My Lai, the stage is symbolically designed with Cameron’s transformative paper art works. Concurrent with the performance of My Lai, there will also be an interactive exhibition by Cameron which will be in the foyer of Drama Centre.

Both the interactive exhibition and hands-on papermaking session promises to reflect Drew’s innovative practice and his process of healing after the trauma of war.  As Cameron puts it: “This transformative workshop seeks to provide a setting for people to connect with one another. To investigate our various experiences, responsibilities and the collected effects of war and militarism in our communities, is an imperative inquiry of our times.”

2              SIFA will be hosting an intimate post-show dialogue session with Nine Years Theatre’s Nelson Chia and Cultural Medallion author Yeng Pway Ngon. Sip on tea as you chat with these two leading lights of the arts while they explore their ideas behind the writing and staging of the epic Art Studio, in Drawing on Literature: The Process of Art Studio.

3              In Conversation with Christian Rizzo is an eye-opening session about the power of community dances and liberated movement. Join the acclaimed French choreographer and visual artist as he takes the public beyond sticky dance floors, sharing his ideas of fusing dance with life, evidenced in his production at SIFA – Le Syndrome Ian.  Founding Festival Director Ong will converse with him about winning the prestigious FEDORA – Van Cleef & Arpels Prize for Ballet, an award that aims to guarantee the future of ballet by supporting the next generation of talented artists.

4              In Conversation with Manuela Infante explores the boundaries of science and science fiction. Join lauded Chilean actress, playwright and director Manuela Infante, director of Vegetative State, as she chats with Noorlinah Mohamed, Director of The O.P.E.N, about the controversial ideas behind vegetative soul, plant intelligence as well as interspecies communication between humans and plants.

Becoming Graphic by Sonny Liew and Edith Podesta

Due to overwhelming demand, two extra shows for the SIFA creation, Becoming Graphic, have been added. Award-winning cartoonist Sonny Liew creates an all-new graphic novel for the stage, while theatre-maker Edith Podesta brings her incredible, creative sensibilities to collaborate with him – bringing to life the art of the graphic novel in a unique production that melds the languages of comics and theatre.

Ong Keng Sen, Founding Festival Director, said: “Through SIFA, our aim is to create and share new works that inspire through interdisciplinary artistic experiences in performance, literature and visual arts. It is heart-warming to see such positive responses to Becoming Graphic, which explores the issues of greying societies.  This serves as testament to not only the growing appreciation of adventurous arts here in Singapore, but also a shared desire to stay connected to issues, to believe, and to engage.”

Using the superhero genre as a springboard to tell a story about ageing and mortality, the book for the stage looks to examine the limits of even superhuman abilities when confronted with the complex issues of greying societies, or when faced with the pain of losing loved ones to the ravages of time.

The new additional performances are as follow:

  • 19 August (Saturday), 3pm
  • 20 August (Sunday), 8pm

Tickets available for purchase at www.sistic.com.sg/events/sifa2017b


MARK by Daniel Kok

In MARK, award-winning Singapore-born, Berlin-based choreographer Daniel Kok brings nine independent dance artists of Singapore together at diverse sites to attempt a collective drawing in different urban spaces. The audience is invited to join the dancers physically in the drawing, which evokes social and imaginary landscapes where people can meet one another in an unfamiliar space.

The confirmed venues are as follow:

  • 23 August,           5.30pm: National Library Board, The Plaza
  • 27 August,           5.30pm: *SCAPE Playspace
  • 31 August,           5.30pm: MBS Event Plaza
  • 2 September,    5.30pm: MBS Event Plaza

Free admission for the 1h 15min programme, no intermission

For more details on the Festival, please visit: http://sifa.sg/