Hosted by the Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF), Dear Japanese is a photo-documentary centred on Miyuki Okuyama’s research into the descendants of Indo-European women and Japanese men, who are presently residing in the Netherlands. Whether born from unions that were consensual or against these women’s wills following the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies in 1942, the identities of these children’s parentage were often kept secret for prolonged periods of time. Regardless, this group of individuals has faced a cascade of persecution and stigmatisation; be it in the early days of post-colonial Indonesia, or following their “repatriation” to the Netherlands – a land to which they had never been.
The presentation featuring portraits of these individuals, bearing both Asian and European facial features, set amidst Dutch scenes is a two-fold juxtaposition. It simultaneously alludes to the challenges stemming from their hybrid ancestries in their everyday lives, while highlighting the complexities of negotiating notions of home and personal identity amidst the burden of history.
Dear Japanese: Children of War by Miyuki Okuyama
Now till 30 January 2021
Buy your tickets here. (Free admission for children under 12 and senior citizens above 65)
Singapore International Photography Festival, 37 Emerald Hill
Start your new year afresh with The SGtrails Adventure Series – Discovering our backyards with Leave No Trace™ at Coney Island, Singapore!
From the 1 – 3 January 2021, bring your family on this exciting adventure to explore the island’s exquisite nature and its beautiful biodiversity. The SGtrails Adventure Series provides a self-facilitating challenge passport that gives participating families the liberty to design their own responsible outdoor explorations, in search of new knowledge and appreciation for nature.
The challenges listed in the passport combine elements of adventure and environmental learning and are based on Leave No Trace™ – a set of internationally recognized outdoor ethics principles. Being able to enjoy the outdoors is not simply a privilege but also a responsibility we all share. Let us enjoy and appreciate our outdoor spaces the right way. Bringing families and nature together, this family experience is proudly brought to you by Better Trails, SGTREK, and Adventure World.
Hosted by Beyond Expeditions SG, explore the abandoned WWII Marsiling Bunkers with an adventurous trekking activity. You’ll have a smashing time bashing your way through the rainforest and exploring abandoned hidden WWII structures!
Expect sprawling underground tunnels leftover from British rule, rambling jungle vines, giant geckos, ankle-high mud and more!
(Note: In line with current COVID-19 safe distancing measures, each trek will have a maximum of 8 people, split into two groups.)
Exploring The Abandoned World War 2 Marsiling Bunkers
Slots available till 16 January 2021
Sign up online here.
Beyond Expeditions SG
The Malay Heritage Centre (MHC) will be shining a spotlight on this lesser-known community in its latest special exhibition. Urang Banjar is the fifth instalment in MHC’s Se-Nusantara series of community co-curated exhibitions on the ethnic and cultural diversity of the Malay community in Singapore. Featuring ethnographic objects, photographs, community stories and treasured family belongings, Urang Banjar brings together over 100 exhibits that trace the migration history of the Banjar community into Singapore, and highlights the contributions of the Banjar in the fields of entrepreneurship, Islamic scholarship and language.
Urang Banjar: Heritage and Culture of the Banjar in Singapore
1 January 2021 – 25 July 2021
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Malay Heritage Centre, 85 Sultan Gate, 198501
“Once Upon A Time on The Orient Express” will present some of the most extraordinary objects and documents to showcase centuries old history that retraces the legacy of the train, allowing visitors to discover events that transformed the world, and shaped the map. Explore the tracks and landscapes that generations before had once travelled on, and witness what then, only a few explorers and diplomats had.
Tickets are at $25 and they are even offering a Family Bundle at $88 (2 Adults & 2 Children – ages 3-12).
Once Upon A Time on The Orient Express
12 December – 13 June
Gardens By The Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, West Lawn, 018953
Get your family and friends together and explore Sentosa’s first ever virtual escape game set in Fort Siloso! Solve puzzles, hunt for treasures and explore Singapore’s only preserved coastal fort in Fort Siloso. Solve puzzles using Zoom with a virtual whiteboard for brainstorming and collaboration, all while playing a fun virtual escape room game in the comfort of your home!
There are two different game modes, and very attractive prizes up for grabs such as an amazing Sea Breeze and Champagne Staycation at The Barracks Hotel, worth up to $2,805.
Tickets are priced at $20 each and can be bought here.
Fort Siloso: The Quest for Lost Gold
30 December 2020 – 10 January 2021
Slots from 11 a.m. – 10:45 p.m.
If you love murals, then you must check out the one at the Singapore Art Museum at 8Q. This site-specific mural draws on imagination and heritage to question the histories surrounding the area, and reflect on the museum’s role as a re-teller of official narratives.
Head here to find out more about Singapore’s natural and built environment that is bound to be an eye-opening experience!
SAM Hoarding Commission: ‘An Unnatural History’
1 January – 6 June
8 Queen St, 188535
This January, join The Esplanade as they celebrate new music and welcome fresh faces as Singapore artists embark on brand new chapters of their musical journeys. Catch daily live performances at the Esplanade Concourse and every weekend at Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, along with daily livestreams from Esplanade Concourse.
6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
(image: Indian Heritage Centre)
Welcome the harvest festival of Pongal with a hearty “pongalo pongal!” (hail Pongal) festival at the Indian Heritage Centre (IHC) this January! Pongal is an important festival that commemorates the rice harvest, and is celebrated by South Indian communities all over the world, including in Singapore.
Pongal is observed in the 10th month of the Tamil calendar, known as Thai, which is considered the most auspicious month of the year. It marks a time of thanksgiving for both agricultural communities and non-farming ones like Singapore, and is derived from a Tamil word that means “to boil over”, signifying the abundance of blessings. Pongal is also the name of the sweet rice dish boiled in milk till it overflows, as an offering to Surya the Sun God for the festival.
Discover Pongal and how it is celebrated in Singapore with an exciting array of immersive cultural activities presented by IHC at its hybrid online and on-site Pongal Day Out from 9 to 17 January 2021. From hands-on urban gardening and harvesting workshops, to an educational walk through bustling Campbell Lane to soak in the sights and sounds of the festival; and online activities that include a TikTok Pongal dance challenge and a special interactive learning portal that allows everyone to enjoy the festivities from home, there is something for everyone to explore this Pongal!
Other highlights at IHC during this period include a Bingo Hunt beginning at the centre, which will take participants on a quest to complete special activities around Little India and the galleries, free limited-edition Pongal planting pots and seed packets when you visit IHC, and more!
Workshops + Events
1. Pongal Planting Workshop
Discover how you can grow your own Indian herbs and vegetables at home in this workshop presented by Bollywood Adventures. Learn about the Pongal festival and its significance to farmers and rural communities, and how urban-dwellers can experience the essence of Pongal celebrations by growing your own plants and participating in the joy of harvesting. Other highlights include an introduction to urban gardening, a hands-on potting session where you will be able to pot two plant types of your choice, an overview of plant care and harvesting techniques, and finally, a pot painting activity for you to unleash your creativity.
16 January 2021, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., 1.5 hours per session
Programme capacity: 20 participants per session
2. Pongal Hands-on Experience @ IHC
Embark on an educational journey and learn about harvest tradition basics through a variety of cultural activities and programmes available at the Indian Heritage Centre (IHC). The trail kicks off with a tour of the exhibits at IHC; followed by interactive live demonstrations of how a kolam, a traditional floor drawing created with rice flour, is created; and how the traditional Indian decorative craft, the thoranam, is made using coconut leaves.
Next up is a Pongal Walk through bustling Campbell Lane, which will show the hustle and bustle of last-minute shopping, colourfully painted earthen pots used for the boiling of the traditional dish pongal, which consists of rice boiled in milk with jaggery, and rows of tall sugar cane stalks lined along the shops. You will also get to see how fresh turmeric and ginger stalks are used to decorate the Pongal pot. Finally, catch the Pongal light-up along Serangoon road before heading back to IHC to learn how the traditional dish of pongal is prepared, and sample it for yourself to end the evening!
12 to 15 January 2021, 6.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. daily
Programme capacity: 20 participants per session
3. Rites of Spring: Kranji Farm Tour
Enjoy an immersive cultural farm experience away from the bustle of the city! Our farm tour experience includes a variety of live demonstrations, hands-on activities and mini- trails which will allow you to learn more about Pongal and its significance to the Indian community.
The journey begins with live cooking demonstrations of the traditional pongal dish! Get hands-on at the interactive stations where you can grind rice and other grains in a traditional stone grinder (attukallu), make your own festive thoranam decorations, and learn how to draw kolam floor art. End the journey with a soothing nature walk, where you will also learn about rice and millet varieties.
17 January 2021, 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., 3 hours each session
Venue: Kranji Countryside (Meeting point: Indian Heritage Centre)
Programme capacity: 20 participants per session
4. ‘Pongalo Pongal!’ An Interactive Learning Portal
Embark on an interactive learning experience with the Indian Heritage Centre, and enjoy an array of fun quizzes, engaging videos and craft activities to learn more about Pongal. Targeted at students aged 10 to 14, this specially created microsite will expound on different aspects of Pongal, such as the traditions that take place over the four-day festival, traditional Indian folk dances, Pongal cuisine, and how the festival is celebrated in Singapore. Other highlights include a variety of craft activities for students to try anywhere, anytime.
From 9 January 2021, online.
5. Pongal Music Video & Tik Tok Dance Challenge
Catch an exhilarating folk-dance performed to specially-composed music that captures the joy of a bountiful harvest. This music video features an ensemble of different dance groups who will be incorporating various folk dance styles such as poi kaal kuthirai, mayilaatam and karagaattam to launch the Pongal celebrations in Singapore! Do also keep a lookout for a fun #ihcpongal TikTok dance challenge, and post a video showing off your slick dance moves to this catchy tune!
From 10 January 2021, on IHC’s Facebook.
Celebrity Chef Melvyn Lee has put together an exclusive farm-to-table creative dining experience. Join him as he takes over the kitchen and brings you food from the heart for the soul. Indulge in fresh ingredients from local farms paired with Penfolds wine. Chef Melvyn pays tribute to hawker classics with his own modern interpretations. Drawing inspiration from childhood memories and his journey as a chef, this four course menu is peppered with playful nostalgia that surprises and satisfies.
The four course meal will be $165++ per person and you can book your meal here. Bonus: Part of the proceeds from the dinner will also be donated to Blossom Seeds Limited.
7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
1 – 3 January
XY Hotel Bugis, 11 Jln Klapa, 199323
Have you ever watched a movie in a club? Well, now you can! Zouk has put together a movie experience that you are bound to thoroughly enjoy. The theme of the month is the Art of Celebration, with a specially curated list of movie titles that allows you to Relive the teenage days of yesteryear boldly and extraordinarily under the synchrony of Zouk’s iconic UFO lights.
Look forward to a delicious selection of Capital Kitchen’s best dishes and a well-deserved tipple. Prices range from $80++ to $350++.
Art of Celebration
30 December 2020 – 30 January 2021
12 p.m – 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Zouk, 3C River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, #01-05 to #02-06, The Cannery, 179022
The Force will be strong in Singapore as ArtScience Museum and Pico Pro combine their powers to host STAR WARS Identities from 30 January to 13 June 2021. This marks the final stop of the exhibition’s global tour.
Developed and produced by Montreal’s X3 Productions in collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd., the exhibition presents close to 200 original items from the extensive Lucas Museum of Narrative Art archive to explore the science of identity through the characters of Star Wars. Visitors will embark on a customised, interactive identity quest to gain new insights on the Star Wars characters while discovering their own identities at the end of the quest, aimed at allowing them to answer the simple yet profound question: What force shapes you?
The STAR WARS Identities Experience
STAR WARS Identities places visitors at the centre of the exhibition experience with an interactive identity quest that spans the duration of the visit. Closely interwoven with the collection and content, the experience gives the visitors the opportunity to discover their own personal identities in the Star Wars galaxy.
The vast and exclusive showcase includes some 200 authentic props, models, costumes, and artwork from the original Star Wars films. This rich collection spans the original Star Wars canon, drawing from the classic (1977 – 1983) and prequel (1999 – 2005) trilogies, the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as well as Star Wars: The Force Awakens™. Fan favourites such as Darth Vader, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Yoda, and the Millennium Falcon – among many others – will be on display.
RFID (radio frequency identification) wristband will be issued to each visitor before they enter the exhibition
STAR WARS Identities has divided its study of human identity into three major exhibition themes: the characters’ origins (Origins), the influences that shaped them (Influences), and the personal choices that altered their lives (Choices).
Within these three themes, 10 components of human identity are explored: species, genes, parents, and culture in Origins; mentors, friends, and marking events in Influences; and occupation, personality, and values in the final zone, Choices.
These components form the backbone of the exhibition, exploring the complex notion of identity both in the real world and in creative fiction. Original content throughout the exhibition will shed light on each of the components of identity. “Making-of” featurettes will be shown at STAR WARS Identities as they explore the stories behind the development of iconic Star Wars characters, explaining how they became who they are, and showing how different creative choices could have made them different characters.
STAR WARS Identities: The Exhibition
30 January – 13 June 2021
Ticket sales commence on 15 January 2021 and can be purchased on site or online here.
ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Ave., The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 018974
As part of its annual Wan Qing Festival of Spring (5 January to 21 February 2021) celebrations, the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall (SYSNMH) will be presenting a special outdoor installation done in collaboration with artists Tan Yizi and Lee Hsieh-Lung of Blackbox, a design and collectible label based in Chengdu, China.
Titled Double Prosperity, the installation features two 2.5-metre tall ‘Foo Dou’ Guardian Lions, which are traditionally installed in front of imperial Chinese palaces to protect the buildings and their residents. It comprises one male guardian lion with its paw on an embroidered ball, and one female guardian lion restraining a playful cub. Double Prosperity reiterates the belief that ‘good things come in pairs’ and serves as an expression of the memorial hall’s hope for more prosperous years to come. The installation will be open to the public from 5 January to 28 February 2021.
About the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall (SYSNMH), a heritage institution under the National Heritage Board, traces Dr Sun’s revolutionary activities in the Southeast Asian region and highlights the impact of the 1911 Chinese Revolution on Singapore as well as Singapore’s contributions to the Revolution.
Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre presents ‘Moo Moo PARK’, Asia’s first drive-through exhibition, in partnership with The MeshMinds Foundation. Blending art and technology, we celebrate the Year of the Ox with a special focus on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Moo Moo PARK breaks new ground by using interactive and immersive technologies as well as electric vehicles to offer a novel way to enjoy art and culture with your family and friends, in a safe and sustainable environment.
Original artwork by 8 local artists, including André Wee, ANTZ, Howie Kim and Puffingmuffin, have been transformed from digital drawings to 3D installation art, selfie filters and augmented reality murals powered by Spark AR from Facebook. Blending creativity, resilience, and imagination, this immersive exhibition in a carpark is the perfect way to welcome the Lunar New Year of the Ox with your loved ones!
Moo Moo PARK
22 January – 28 March 2021 (*Closed on 11, 12, and 13 February 2021); 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Tickets: $5/pax (walk-in), $10/pax (drive-through). Purchase them online here.
Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, Level 6 Car Park, 1 Straits Blvd., 018906
By Jashleen Kaur, December 2020 / Photos: respective events and Facebook
More on The Finder:
9 Gorgeous Seaside Restaurants In Singapore For An ESCAPE From The City
How To Travel To Singapore DURING The Covid-19 Pandemic
ASK THE EXPERT: How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions EFFECTIVELY
Island Hopping In Singapore Made EASY For You
39 Fun, Indoor Activities To Do With Kids at Home