August is a month worth celebrating for Singapore — it is the nation’s birthday, and bicentennial year after all. As if those aren’t reasons enough to get up on our feet and party, we also have art exhibitions, musicals, performances, and festivals lined up for culture vultures.
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Snuggle up and get cosy under the stars. Films at The Fort returns for its seventh season with a winning combination of open-air cinema, gourmet food and award-winning wines from Casillero del Diablo. There is a film for everyone in the lineup, whether its political satires like Long Shot, thrillers such as The Talented Mr Ripley and Bohemian Rhapsody, the movie that’s set to be a singalong session (whether you’re a fan or not).
As with every Films at The Fort screening, the night is always a good one, with DJs and instrumentalists setting the mood before the show.
Disney is having its moment, with back-to-back live-action releases of beloved classics. The recently released Aladdin was a clear hit, and adding to that fever is the launch of the musical in Singapore. Like the movie, the musical is a riot of colour and beautiful sets, catchy music, and dialogue accentuated by wit, sharp humour, and seamless acting.
Cirque Do Soleil is back in Singapore, this time with its most acclaimed show: Kurios Cabinet of Curiosities. The steampunk-themed show honours the 19th century’s best inventions through the lens of the Curio Cabinet, which belongs to The Seeker, a fictional inventor who defies all laws of space, dimensions and time.
As with every Cirque Du Soleil show, expect to be dazzled by the gravity-defying stunts, electrifying soundtrack, and stunning puppetry.
In the 18th century, the first hot-air balloon took its maiden flight — it was the first time that humans had ever seen Earth from the sky. This spawned a fascination for floating objects that extended to cloud cities and castles in the sky. Floating Utopias examines how inflatables has affected our imagination and historical possibilities through a 40-strong exhibition that includes eight large air-filled sculptures, created by more than 15 international and local artists.
Inflatable objects quickly sealed their importance in the early 20th century, and were featured prominently in socialist and capitalist parades, before being used as structures by architects as alternative spaces of living. Visit the exhibit to discover how they have been used in art, architecture and social activism over time.
Jason Lim returns to independent art gallery Gajah Gallery with a new exhibit that features ceramic experimentations. Lim spotlights what’s seemingly mundane in nature, including tree branches, rocks, and stones using an array of materials which include clay, stainless steel, and asphalt. Pores, holes and oddly moulded forms characterise each of his experiments. Rocks and stones carry a deeper significance of stability, permanence and eternity; formations of these are seen as symbolising a record of history.
Though strangely shaped, these sculptures are created to encourage visitors to remember the richness and everyday objects found in nature, no matter how small and insignificant they might seem.
The Singapore Night Festival returns to the Bugis Bras Basah district once more. For two weekends in August, the precinct’s landmarks will light up in technicolour — thanks to myriad light projections — and be surrounded by art installations. Once more enthralling the crowds are roving storytellers and performers, with markets and stage performances to delight in between.
A key highlight of this year’s festival is Argentinean troupe Fuerza Bruta. For just three nights, the critically acclaimed group will charm the audience with a ticketed show that features its members tumbling in a giant bubble, gliding on a bouncy sheet, and swimming through a giant air tunnel. With thumping music, confetti, and stunning visual effects, this is a performance one will never forget.