Olivia Ho Arts Correspondent recommends

Arts Picks: Singapore Symphony Orchestra National Day Concert

Singapore Symphony Orchestra National Day Concert PHOTO: SINGAPORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Noreen Loh's fantastical species of flora, blooming synthetically in bell jars. PHOTO: GAJAH GALLERY
Ashley Bickerton's sphere-studded mountains. PHOTO: STPI GALLERY


The Singapore Symphony Orchestra moves its annual National Day concert online this year. It was conducted by Darrell Ang and recorded mostly at the Esplanade Concert Hall on Wednesday with no audience.

The concert will premiere works by three young Singaporean composers - Sandra Lim, Jonathan Shin and Tan Yuting - as well as Singapore-based veteran composer John Sharpley's Brahman: Kannagi's Realisation, which will feature bharatanatyam dancer Kshirja Govind.

In its tradition of performing a different arrangement of the National Anthem each year, the orchestra will present a re-orchestration of Kelly Tang's 2010 arrangement.

WHERE: Sistic Live WHEN: Tomorrow, 8pm - Aug 29, 8pm ADMISSION: Pay as you wish from $5 to $50 at bit.ly/30P7X1R INFO: sso.org.sg


Four up-and-coming artists from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore investigate unease in Gajah Gallery's new exhibition - from Noreen Loh's fantastical species of flora, blooming synthetically in bell jars; to Koh Kai Ting's watercolours of animals in distress at being removed from their natural environments.

WHERE: Gajah Gallery, 03-04 Tanjong Pagar Distripark, 39 Keppel Road MRT: Tanjong Pagar WHEN: Till Sept 6, 11am to 7pm (weekdays); noon to 6pm (weekends and public holidays) ADMISSION: Free INFO: gajahgallery.com


STPI Gallery, usually known for its solo exhibitions, assembles a showcase of works by 15 artists who have completed residencies there.

The exhibition takes its title from the astronomical concept of the Axis Mundi, the primordial axis of the world, and examines humanity's relationships with one another, the natural world and the wider cosmic balance.

From the portal-like installations of Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija to Iranian artist Shirazeh Houshiary's video screens to the otherworldly landscapes of American artist Ashley Bickerton's sphere-studded mountains, the works evoke the possibilities of new universes in a world put out of joint by crisis.

Guest curator Tan Siuli says: "I hope that visiting this exhibition will be akin to meeting old friends, but in an entirely new environment so you appreciate them in a different light.

"The show is also a timely reminder of how art can speak to ideas and emotions that we are sometimes only half-conscious of, and through its myriad expressions, set us off on new ways of thinking about the world."

WHERE: STPI Gallery, 41 Robertson Quay MRT: Clarke Quay WHEN: Tomorrow till Sept 13, 10am to 7pm (weekdays); 9am to 6pm (Saturdays); 10am to 5pm (Sundays); closed on public holidays ADMISSION: Free INFO: stpi.com.sg


The Year Of No Return by The Necessary Stage, a play about the environmental crisis, was meant to premiere during this year's Singapore International Festival of Arts (Sifa), but has been postponed to next year due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Instead, viewers can gain an insight into the processes of the play's reworking through Digital Traces, which includes a Zoom play-reading session and four vodcast episodes about facets of and characters from the play.

In the Zoom reading, Siti Khalijah Zainal plays Su, a young Singaporean environmental activist who travels to the Philippines to educate Filipinos on climate change and meets Luis (Lian Sutton), a villager who initially resists her efforts.

The vodcasts, which will be released on the 15th of each month until November, include an interpretation of a climate change protest choreographed remotely and the dreamscape of a discredited marine biologist.

WHERE: Sifa All-Access WHEN: Tomorrow, noon (first vodcast) and 8pm (play reading) ADMISSION: Free at sifa.sg/all-access

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2020, with the headline Arts Picks: Singapore Symphony Orchestra National Day Concert. Subscribe