SINGAPORE - Haw Par Villa's other-worldly characters and macabre scenes are the inspiration for a new immersive art exhibition that offers a fresh take on Singapore Chinese culture.
For three days starting Friday (Jan 10), visitors to the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC) will be able to explore the exhibit, as well as take part in a line-up of eight other events in Remix - the first festival organised for youth by the SCCC.
Other highlights include an urban art exhibition featuring contemporary portrayals of traditional Chinese mythology, a getai show starring the cast of military comedy Ah Boys To Men, and a concert that will be headlined by electronic music star Jasmine Sokko.
The concert, which will take place on Friday (Jan 10), will also feature artistes such as Olinda Cho, Wang Weiliang, Tay Kewei and Ian Fang.
Other events in the festival include an escape game with clues based on elements of Chinese culture, an art market and a street dance competition set to the beat of Mandarin songs.
Visitors can also take part in workshops such as perfume mixology, coin pouch hand-stitching and bootleg toymaking, and get inked with a temporary Jagua tattoo.
SCCC programmes director Lee Ee Wurn said that while the centre already has an annual cultural festival, it planned youth festival Remix as it wanted to show how Chinese culture has been transformed by pop culture.
For example, the festival's urban art exhibition showcases the works of 20 young artists, of various ethnicity and disciplines, who will reinterpret what they know of Chinese myths and legends, he said.
One such artist is Muneera Malek, 27, who has created a contemporary digital illustration of the "moon goddess" Chang'e.
Ms Malek started to appreciate Chinese culture when she joined the Chinese dance co-curricular activity in her secondary school.
"Through my art, I hope to convey the message that (mythology) can be fun too, depending on your perspective of it," she said.
Meanwhile, the Haw Par Villa-inspired installation sees seven artists fusing art and technology to create an immersive exhibition.
Among these artists are Bao Song Yu, 27, and Jake Tan, 26, who have created a kinetic art piece involving two mannequins, in a bid to re-examine the concepts of love and morality.
Describing the work as a piece that reflects what it means to shoulder the weight of expectations by loved ones, Mr Tan said: "A lot of values about parental love have bled into this piece."
Mr Bao said: "Traditionally, Haw Par Villa explores using punishment to encourage people to be good, but could it be different? Could it be innate for people to want to do good, not based on punishment?"
Meanwhile, Haw Par Villa exhibition artist Race Krehel, 34, said that his work - projection mapping for a pagoda designed by Japanese artist Taketo Kobayashi - aims to reflect the transcendent nature of Chinese culture and mythology.
"The make-up of modern Chinese culture is influenced by its ancient aspect. The pagoda will show a modern take on the vices and virtues that are depicted in Haw Par Villa," said Mr Krehel, an American who has worked in Singapore for several years.
When asked about his hopes for the exhibition, he said: "Haw Par Villa has a distinct personal meaning to people who grew up here. This is a good chance to re-interpret a place that on a nostalgic level, means so much to so many people."
BOOK IT/REMIX FESTIVAL
When: Jan 10-12
Where: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, 1 Straits Boulevard
Info: Visit www.singaporeccc.org.sg