Checkpoint Theatre is kicking off their 2019 season with a tender and lyrical look at life and art-making through the eyes, words and works of artist-writer Dana Lam. Still Life is a new play directed and dramaturged by Claire Wong and performed by Dana Lam and Jean Ng.
Presented in collaboration with TheatreWorks, the play will run from 28th February to 10th March.
Set in the intimacy of an artist’s studio, Dana examines the way we view the world, the past, and ourselves through her twin first loves of writing and painting. Taking us from the 1950s to the present, she paints a deeply personal portrait of the human condition, of falling short, and of how intimacy in relationships can fade or drift — not for want of trying.
“Still Life as a title came about because it is what we try to achieve,” explained Dana, “The still-life in the history of painting is a contrivance of the ideal life. Today, we are doing it on Instagram and Facebook. I enjoy them all. But what I find interesting is the tension between these still images and the lived life.”
Dana first brought Still Life to Checkpoint Theatre when she attended Huzir Sulaiman’s Playwriting Masterclass in 2016. She continued to develop the work with Checkpoint’s support and a version of the script received a dramatised reading at Works in Development (2017). In 2018, the development of the work moved into Dana’s visual art studio for several months of devising, exploring and re-writing.
Throughout this rigorous two-year-long process, Claire worked very closely with Dana to mould and weave the latter’s evocative prose and the body of her artistic practice into a theatrical frame.
“I wanted to include Dana’s voice as a visual artist because that is very much part of her identity,” Claire said, “We rented a studio where she began work on numerous sculptures, sketches and paintings. I would pop in and work with her, bringing her through exercises that teased out the layers and nuances in the artworks that she had created.”
What has resulted is an immersive multidisciplinary piece that pulls back the curtain on the artist at work. Still Life is a vivid and honest account of one woman’s journey in returning, rediscovering and reclaiming herself through the healing powers of art.
Dates: 28 Feb – 10 Mar 2019
Times: 8pm (Thurs to Sat); 3pm matinee (Sat & Sun)
Venue: 72-13, Mogamed Sultan Road
Ticket Price: $45 (excluding SISTIC booking fee)
Ticketing Agent: SISTIC – www.sistic.com.sg or Hotline 6348 5555