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Arts Picks: Street Out: East Meets West

Sufian Hamri's cheeky piece titled World War M.
Sufian Hamri's cheeky piece titled World War M.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Stephen Hough
Stephen HoughPHOTO: SIM CANETTY-CLARKE
Veshnu Narayanasamy (in red)
Veshnu Narayanasamy (in red)PHOTO: BEVERLY YUEN

STREET OUT: EAST MEETS WEST

Street artists from South-east Asia and South America add a splash of colour and grit to the otherwise pristine lobby of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore in this exhibition by ARTitude Galeria.

Look out for Singapore artist Sufian Hamri's cheeky piece titled World War M, which shows people clambering to reach a helicopter that is already in mid-air.

Upon closer inspection, one can barely make out the image of the cartoon character Hello Kitty in the helicopter, looking down at the heap of writhing bodies.

The 39-year-old artist, who goes by the moniker TraseOne, says this piece provides social commentary on the mad rush for the limited-edition Hello Kitty toys that were sold with McDonald's Happy Meals in 2013.

He adds: "When the stock ran out, the queues turned rowdy and multiple fights were allegedly reported, causing temporary chaos. That same year, the movie World War Z was released and I adapted the movie poster for this commentary piece."

WHERE:The Fullerton Heritage Gallery, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, 1 Fullerton Square MRT: Raffles Place WHEN: Till Sept 30 ADMISSION: Free INFO: www.artitudegaleria.com or e-mail info@artitudegaleria.com

STEPHEN HOUGH - EGYPTIAN PIANO CONCERTO

British pianist Stephen Hough recalls playing Rachmaninov's first piano concerto to a "young and enthusiastic" Singapore audience when he was last here about two years ago.

This time, he has chosen to share Saint-Saens' picturesque Egyptian Piano Concerto with his fans here.

"It is a piece I've played a lot and I always enjoy it. It's not as well-known as many concertos, but audiences and orchestras always light up with pleasure as they realise how attractive it is."

In fact, this was the first piece he played in Singapore, back in the late 1980s.

That was "before the Esplanade was built, of course - perhaps even before the land it sits on was reclaimed from the sea", he says in an e-mail interview with The Straits Times.

He adds that the piece combines "great excitement with charming French elegance".

"It's got some of the most intoxicating and unusual sounds in the second movement, and in the finale, the pianist's hands fly all over the keyboard. It's really a riot."

WHERE: Esplanade Concert Hall, 1 Esplanade Drive MRT: Esplanade WHEN: Today, 7.30pm ADMISSION: $15 to $88 INFO: www.sso.org.sg

PROJECT TRANSIT: ECHOES OF WATERLOO

Soak in the sights and sounds of Waterloo Street in this site-specific performance, where nine performers use text, movement and multimedia to bring the precinct to life.

Dancer Veshnu Narayanasamy, 49, who leads this collaborative project, says the work acknowledges the importance of the cultural heritage of Singapore, even as the city embraces modernity.

"'Who are we?' and 'Where are we heading to?' are the two fundamental questions that arise within me when I walk through these picturesque neighbourhoods," he adds.

WHERE: Stamford Arts Centre (site-specific), 155 Waterloo Street, meet at Block C lift lobby MRT: Bencoolen/Bras Basah WHEN: Oct 24 and 25, 7.30pm ADMISSION: Free (by invitation only) INFO: E-mail projecttransit19@gmail.com to request an invitation

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2019, with the headline 'Arts Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe