New SCCC to open with cultural festival

Highlights of the SCCC Cultural Extravaganza include Sing, a concert led by Chingay Parade artistic director Fan Dong Kai (left), and Voyage, a multimedia musical by filmmaker Royston Tan. The 11-storey Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre in Shenton Wa
Highlights of the SCCC Cultural Extravaganza include Sing, a concert led by Chingay Parade artistic director Fan Dong Kai (left), and Voyage, a multimedia musical by filmmaker Royston Tan. The 11-storey Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre in Shenton Way will be opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on May 19, and the inaugural festival will run from May 20 to 27.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

8-day celebration of Chinese Singaporean culture showcases work by local talents

An eight-day festival of Chinese Singaporean culture is set to take place next month to celebrate the launch of the $110 million, 11-storey Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC) in Shenton Way.

Highlights of the SCCC Cultural Extravaganza include Voyage, a multimedia musical by filmmaker Royston Tan, and Sing, a concert led by Chingay Parade artistic director Fan Dong Kai.

Mr Tan's musical, which will 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.

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

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will open the centre on May 19 and the inaugural festival will run from May 20 to 27.

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 audiences both young and old."

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

He added that Voyage preserves and passes on traditional aspects of that culture, while at the same time presenting "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 directors such as Boo Jun Feng. The project traces the journey of these filmmakers as they search for their cultural roots and how they make Singapore home.

Meanwhile, Mr Fan who is also artistic director of the extravaganza, said the Sing concert aims to inspire a fresh perspective on the development of Chinese music here.

"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 workshops on puppetry, crosstalk, Chinese opera, and performances by local arts and culture groups.

Facilities at the SCCC, located at 1, Straits Boulevard, include a 530-seat auditorium, a 500-seat multi-purpose hall and 150-seat recital studio. It also has a visual arts gallery, an activity concourse and a 2,000 sq m roof terrace garden.

The SCCC 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.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2017, with the headline 'New SCCC to open with cultural festival'. Print Edition | Subscribe