Timed to coincide with the school holidays, Arts in Your Neighbourhood (AYN) will be returning for its 14th edition next month, focusing on the vibrant neighbourhood of Bukit Panjang.
Organised by the National Arts Council, AYN March 2020 will take place over three weekends from 12 to 29 March.
As arts have the ability to lift spirits and unite communities in challenging times, this edition of AYN encourages Singaporeans to get some fresh air and enjoy the arts with friends and families.
This year’s AYN will feature 40 family-friendly events, and close to half of them are inspired by Bukit Panjang – its landscape as well as stories of the town and its people. These include recorded sounds from residents crafted into podcasts, as well as site-specific performances – which aim foster a greater sense of community and belonging through the arts.
The programmes will take place in eight locations around Bukit Panjang, including lesser-known spots in the neighbourhood such as the Pang Sua Pond and Bukit Panjang Khek Community Guild Building. With some of the activities taking place at unconventional locations, residents and the wider public are encouraged to rediscover Bukit Panjang through the arts, and form shared memories and social bonds rooted within the neighbourhood.
AYN’s diverse line-up of multi-genre and multi-cultural arts experiences aims to attract new arts audiences and caters to people of different ages and backgrounds. These programmes range from a theatrical dance performance on a travelling bus, to a multi-ethnic music concert and even an illustration competition-cum-exhibition involving youths from under-served communities.
This edition of AYN will also include literary-related events held in conjunction with the #BuySingLit movement to celebrate Singapore’s literature. The line-up includes an experiential floral installation inspired by SingLit texts and a book fair with a focus on SingLit children’s books.
Highlights in the AYN March 2020 programme include:
Back of the Bus by Java Dance Theatre
Show times: 14, 15, 21, 22 March (9.30am and 11.30am); 19 & 20 March (5pm & 7pm)
Location: Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre and Market
Description: Ride on a bus through the streets and sights of Bukit Panjang! Dancers propel themselves along the aisles and hang from the ceiling. Physical comedy, pure kinetic energy and outrageous scenarios combine to create a magical mystery tour of the unexpected. First performed in 2008, this unique dance theatre show now premieres in Singapore following sell-out seasons at over 21 arts festivals including the renowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2014, 2016 and 2019. Created by Java Dance Theatre (New Zealand) and performed with Singapore artists Adele Goh, Sabrina Sng and Syafiqah ‘Adha, Back of the Bus takes you on an experiential journey through Bukit Panjang and you may never look at a bus ride the same way again.
Tickets priced at $5. Limited audience capacity. Suitable for ages 5 and above. Purchase your tickets here.
The Outer Space curated by ZERO
Date: 12 – 29 March
Location: 139 Petir Road, 257 Bangkit Road, 133A Cashew Road (Ramps), Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council (Playground/Open Space outside)
Description: The Outer Space is a street art trail around Bukit Panjang, curated by homegrown street artist ZERO, featuring 4 distinct outdoor works by SPAZ (in collaboration with The Super System), SYCO, TraseOne, and Atomick. In this current age, public spaces and play areas are no longer as bustling as before as people spend more time in comfort of their own homes, consumed by digital spaces. In an attempt to view and embrace the unknown as a form of play and exploration, the artists engage with the community in Bukit Panjang through various activities, discovering interesting narratives unique to the neighbourhood.
Podscape by Shophouse & Co
Date: 13 – 29 March (Installation display period); 14, 21, 28 March (Pop-up recording booth)
Location: Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council (Playground/Open Space outside)
Description: Podscape is a roving audio installation and podcast series by Shophouse & Co that explores the soundscape of a neighbourhood. The installation will feature a recording booth to collect stories from the community, which will pop up from 9am to 12pm on 14, 21, and 28 March. These collected recordings, alongside soundscapes and music by artist Ng Sze Min of Artwave Studio will then form the 6-episode podcast series produced by Shophouse & Co. This pop-up installation will also feature interactive activities and a ‘community radio broadcast’ to create a memorable shared experience of the space.
Rolling On by Rolypoly Family & The Kueh Tutus
Date: 28 & 29 March (4.30pm – 6pm)
Location: Pang Sua Pond Boardwalk & Outdoor Amphitheatre
Description: Rolling On raises awareness of Earth Hour through a dance performance and parade. This Arts in Your Neighbourhood performance is made from movements co-created between children and artists. In finding cyclical patterns in their bodies and in nature, they create specific dance moves to be performed together with audience-participants and animate the values behind the expression – “what goes around, comes around”.
To register for the parade and craft activities (suitable for ages 5 – 12), click here.
A Collection Of Things
Date: 21 March (10am & 11.30am); 22 March (10am, 11.30am, 1.30pm); 28 March (10am & 11.30am), 29 March (10am, 11.30am, 1.30pm)
Location: Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council (Playground/Open Space outside)
Description: Bukit Panjang has always had a strong community spirit and a rich history. But how much do we really know about it? On one of his last few days as a karung guni, Uncle Teong shares his fondest memories of Bukit Panjang and shows off some of the objects that he’s collected over the years. Guiding us through this personal trip down memory lane, A Collection of Things is an interactive performance that only you, the audience, can help complete. Join in creating another special memory in Bukit Panjang that you won’t forget!
To register your interest in attending the show, click here.
Admission is free for all events, except a nominal fee for Back of the Bus. Additional precautionary steps will be put in place for the well-being of all artists and participants.
For more details on the event and its programmes, click here.
[UPDATE] – Wednesday 25th March, 5pm
In line with the Ministry of Health’s advisory on ‘Tighter Measures to Minimise Further Spread of COVID-19’ issued on 24 March, National Arts Council has announced the cancellation of the following Arts in Your Neighbourhood programmes:
- A Collection of Things, all Sat 28 March and Sun 29 March shows
- Podscape Pop-up & Fringe Activities: 9am—12pm, 28 March; Installation will also be removed
- BOUND, 5pm, 28 March show
- Rolling On, 4.30pm–5.20pm, 28 & 29 March Performance & Parade
- The Mighty Mousedeer of the Forest, 4pm & 6pm, 29 March shows
- Melodic Flowers, 5pm, 29 March show
- Kembara Kelana, 6pm, 29 March show
- The Outer Space*’s Pag-Ahon + Meningkat artwork at the open space outside Holland/Bukit Panjang Town Council
- Character Clash art installation
- Floral Trails: Reading the Garden City installation
- Poems on Air exhibition
Here are the programmes that you can still catch or enjoy online:
- The Outer Space*: These street art murals can still be viewed all day, until 29 March.
- NaturEscape at 139 Petir Road
- Wisdom Tree at 257 Bangkit Road
- TraseOne at 133A Cashew Road (Ramps) and 139 Petir Road (Void Deck)
- Podscape: Podcasts of the stories and sounds of Bukit Panjang will still be aired online at www.shophouseandco.com/podscape.
- Poems on Air: Recordings of poems selected and retold through voice, music, and sound will still be available online at artwave.studio/poemsonair.
Programmes that were cancelled earlier included performances by Java Dance Theatre for Back of the Bus, and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra for SCO Goes To Bukit Panjang. Shows by Paper Monkey Theatre for Hug the Tree and Hello SingLit for Woods in the Books have already been completed.
National Arts Council also expressed its gratitude to everyone for supporting AYN March 2020.