Chinese cultural extravaganza featuring local songs and workshops to kick off next month

A multimedia musical by filmmaker Royston Tan (left) and a Xinyao concert led by the Chingay's artistic director Fang Dong Kai are part of an eight-day cultural extravaganza to launch the $100 million Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre.
A multimedia musical by filmmaker Royston Tan (left) and a Xinyao concert led by the Chingay's artistic director Fang Dong Kai are part of an eight-day cultural extravaganza to launch the $100 million Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre.ST PHOTO: MELODY ZACCHEUS

SINGAPORE - A multimedia musical by filmmaker Royston Tan and a Xinyao concert led by the Chingay's artistic director Fan Dong Kai are part of an eight-day cultural extravaganza to launch the $100 million Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC).

Mr Tan's musical called Voyage, to take place on May 21 and 22, will be a "visual journey" using 3D projection mapping with holographic imagery. The festival's opening act will take viewers down memory lane with familiar rhymes and folk songs rearranged by the TENG Ensemble.

Meanwhile, the concert on May 27 will highlight Xinyao favourites and popular songs - from the 1980s to present day - that are written by local composers. The artiste line-up includes Liang Wern Fook, Pan Ying, Jiu Jian, Gentle Bones, MICappella, Tay Kewei, Alfred Sim, Ling Kai, Jacky Chew and THELIONCITYBOY.

The inaugural Cultural Extravaganza will run from May 20 to 27. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will open the centre on May 19.

Centre chairman Chua Thian Poh said: "SCCC is looking to present our unique Singapore Chinese culture in relatable and accessible ways to the community.

"The SCCC Cultural Extravaganza is a start and it is exciting to have so many of our local talents on board as torchbearers, looking at traditional Chinese art forms in fresh and innovative ways, for audience both young and old."

Filmmaker Mr Tan, who is also the artistic director of the showcase, said the diverse and vibrant Chinese culture in Singapore is something he has always held close to his heart.

He added that Voyage has allowed him to work with other like-minded artistes and individuals in this mixed-media showcase "to preserve and pass on traditional aspects of our Singapore Chinese culture, while at the same time present these art forms and values in more innovative ways".

Mr Tan is also producing an omnibus film called 667 which is an anthology of short films by local film directors such as Boo Jun Feng. The project traces the journey of these filmmakers as they go in search of their cultural roots and how they make Singapore home.

Meanwhile Mr Fan said the Sing concert aims to inspire a fresh perspective to the development of Chinese music in Singapore. "This is a challenge that I am excited to take on - to both preserve the popular favourites of our Chinese music scene, and present them in new ways to appeal to a greater audience," he said.

Visitors can also look forward to a series of cultural workshops on puppetry, crosstalk, Chinese opera, and performances by local arts and culture groups.

Located at 1 Straits Boulevard, the centre is home to a 530-seat auditorium, a 500-seat multipurpose hall and 150-seat recital hall.

It also has a visual arts gallery, activity concourse and a 2,000 sq m roof terrace garden. It is envisioned as a space to cultivate a deeper understanding, broader appreciation and long-lasting love for Chinese culture, and will also serve as a performance arts venue.

The Government is covering 90 per cent of the centre's construction costs. Almost $29 million has been pledged by individuals and groups, like local clan associations, for construction and other costs.

For more information, visit: www.singaporeccc.org.sg.