23 Oct 2015: Get off the couch and get in on the arty party happening at Empress Place this weekend. Held in conjunction with the River Festival, River Nights comprises a series of art installations and performances taking place around the Asian Civilisations Museum with the theme, ‘Colours of Life’. The artworks will be around until October 31, but the bulk of the performances are taking place this weekend. Here are five cool things to check out.
‘Ocean of Flowers’ by Li Hongbo
Asian Civilisations Museum
You might have seen this Chinese artist’s works before – his amazing plaster-like paper sculptures were shown at Art Stage earlier this year – but here they are again in their full multi-colour glory. ‘Ocean of Flowers’ is an installation that takes up an entire room at the museum, and at first glance, it looks like a pretty landscape of arches and towers. But then you realise that when folded shut, each component is actually in the shape of guns or bullets. It invites visitors to consider the relationship between beauty and destruction, and the price that has to be paid for there to be peace.
‘Les Voyageurs’ by Cédric Le Borgne
The last time Le Borgne’s art visited our shores was at the Singapore Night Festival, where his huge chicken wire sculptures of birds rested on the branches outside the National Museum. This time, he brought over his human-shaped works instead. Suspended beneath the canopy of leaves beside the river with the CBD lights glittering behind them, these Peter Pan-like figures highlight how fleeting our existence is in relation to our surroundings.
‘Walter’ by Dawn Ng
Singapore’s favourite bunny is back! The dorky, somewhat disproportionate – but still very lovable – Walter has been popping up guerrilla-style around Singapore since 2010. He exists to get people to re-examine the spaces around him, and this time, he’s set to invade the space in front of the Asian Civilisations Museum to remind us of the link between art and history.
Oct 23; 10.30pm; Empress Place Lawn
Intimidated by opera? New Opera Singapore is here to demystify the art form and make it more accessible to the general public. The group is set to perform a series of songs, including ‘Habanera’ from Carmen in Mandarin, as well as ‘Una Furitva Lagrima’ from L’elisir d’amore and ‘Les Oiseaux dans la Charmille’ from Les contes d’Hoffmann, as a tribute to the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall nearby.
Oct 24; 10.30pm; Empress Place Lawn
Let your heart beat to the sound of ZingO’s drums during the closing performance of River Nights. The local percussion collective combine traditional and modern techniques, and hope to swing the spotlight on Chinese culture, music and education.