Life awards the best of the fest

Sandaime Richard. PHOTO: JUN ISHIKAWA
Five Easy Pieces. PHOTO: TED OONK
Ron Arad's 720°. PHOTO: KONG CHONG YEW
Oliver Chong (above). PHOTO: KEVIN LEE

Otaku Award


By Japanese playwright Hideki Noda and Singaporean director Ong Keng Sen

In the hands of director Ong, Noda's adaptation of Richard III was Shakespeare for the South-east Asian Japanophile.

The visuals wowed with Harajuku fashion and gender-bending from the traditions of kabuki and Takarazuka musicals, while shadow puppets and dialogue in Bahasa Indonesia brought in an eerie element of wayang.

Talking Point Award


By Swiss dramatist Milo Rau and his International Institute of Political Murder, with Ghent-based arts centre Campo

This oddly uplifting play had child actors learning about theatre and real-life issues as they replayed key scenes in the arrest of a known paedophile.

It was developed for audiences aged 12 and older, but received an R18 rating here from the Media Development Authority, provoking a conversation about what is appropriate theatre for the young.

Brightest Star Award


This voluptuous construction, which shone like a glorious white hole at night, breathed new life into the films it showed through its scale, design and sophisticated technology.

Zen Award


By Argentina's Fernando Rubio, performed by Singapore's Oliver Chong

In idea and execution, this exhibit encapsulates impermanence - a cooled cabin made of wood from long-gone houses, that has travelled the world and been inhabited by many different actors and those they let into it.

And yet, these actors' brief meditations with each guest was a moment shared - forever. Brilliant.

Sonic Tapestry Award


By Wu Man and Master Musicians From The Silk Route

This combination of Chinese pipa music and Uighur muqam (suite involving poetry, singing, instrumental music and dance) had the drawing power of a muezzin's call to prayer, heady aroma of freshly burnt incense and earthly pleasures of a seraglio.

Akshita Nanda, Chang Tou Liang, Cheong Suk-Wai, Huang Lijie

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2016, with the headline Life awards the best of the fest. Subscribe