Creative players are finding new ways to depict the island's rich history and make it more publicly accessible in a trend that could lift Singapore's presence on the international arts stage.
Singapore's identity is defined by a mix of ethnicities, including Malaysian, Chinese and Indian—three groups that constitute the bulk of the population. That gives the island a multi-layered and diverse history that few other countries can claim. While heritage has long flavored the local arts industry, the past three months have seen artists re-invent the theme by blending the past with the present and reality with fiction.
Club Malam [meaning night in Malay], part of the ongoing Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA), is one example.
Having debuted on Thursday, the event transformed Old Kallang Airport, the country's first commercial international airport, into a rave inspired by 1940s and 1950s nightlife. It referenced old-school entertainment complexes such as Gay World, which was housed in the same neighborhood from the 1920s-1960s and offered both Western and Malay music.