Faith in Art
Posted on 26 January, 2012
Art lovers may tell you that the theatre is their temple. We at Muse sometimes feel like that’s not too far from the truth. So it seems timely that this year’s Singapore M1 Fringe Festival is themed on Art and Faith.
Organised by one of our favourite local theatre groups, The Necessary Stage, the Singapore M1 Fringe Fest has always been our go-to for edgy, indie work. This year, they already kicked up a mega media frenzy with their presentation of Loo Zihan’s Cane, a restaging of Josef Ng’s controversial performance art piece in 1993 which resulted in a blanket funding ban on the art form till 2007.
Art and faith have always had a contentious relationship. While art challenges norms through questions and critiques, faith relies on a confidence and belief in the tenets of the present day.
- Singapore M1 Fringe Festival 2012
We’re looking forward to the 17 international and local works (tagged with the festival’s cheeky Virgin or Veteran label), with pieces from emerging and established artists. Below are some of Fringe highlights we think you should catch:
Sean Tobin & Jason Wee (Singapore)
16 – 18 February 2012, 8pm
18 & 19 February 2012, 3pm
Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore
$30 | $19
(Fringe Commission / World Premiere)
R18 (Mature Content)
4 cold bodies lie in a morgue. The air conditioning breaks down. They warm up. And erh, wake up. Visual artist Jason Wee works with thespian Sean Tobin in this interactive piece that delves into real-life confessions, reflections and imaginations. It stars Nora Samosir, Faizal Muhammad, Walter Hanna and Serena Ho.
The Triple Gem
Htein Lin (Burma)
15 – 26 February 2012
Mon – Fri: 11am – 8.30pm
Sat & Sun: 10am – 8.30pm
Esplanade – Jendela (Visual Arts Space)
Admission is free
Burmese artist Htein Lin creates a new installation for the Fringe using monks’ robes to create a triptych of three rooms. Each of the rooms represent the triple gem of Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, in which Buddhists take refuge. The artist draws inspiration from his religion, as well as his experience as a political prisoner (some may remember his installation The Scale Of Justice in Fringe 2010).
Cie. Zerogrammi (Italy)
23- 24 February 2012, 8pm
Esplanade Theatre Studio
$30 / $19
Inspired by the religious traditions in Catholicisim, Inri recreates the scenes of a liturgy, describing a religion of devoted, old, rosary-bearing women clad in black. You’d think that means a whole congregation, but nope, it’s just two performers, Stefano Mazzotta and Emanuele Sciannamea.
Josephine Turalba (The Philippines)
18 – 19 February 2012, 6pm
Admission is Free
Artist Josephine Turalba is well, dressed to kill. Wearing handmade dresses made with thousands of bullet casings and shotgun shells, she walks among us in public. Evoking the ideas of violence and personal trauma, this sobering work is sure to trigger a strong response.
Alecia Neo (Singapore)
15 – 26 February 2012 11am – 7pm
The Substation Gallery
Admission is free
Two families. Four faiths. Visual artist Alecia Neo and sound artist Clarence Chung present an art installation about love and faith. In one old, rustic house in Bukit Timah lives Tan Ying Hsien and his mother Dr Nalla Tan, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. In a shophouse unit in Queenstown lives the Neo family, whose home is filled with books about Buddhism and cooking. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Mdm Tay Siew Hwa in Queenstown devotes herself to the study of religion. Her oldest son, Alex Neo, on the other hand, builds his own shire with religious pendants from Thailand.