FESTIVALS & COMPETITIONS

LumiNation 2019: Exploring Our Place in Singapore

1 August 2019

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LumiNation 2019: Exploring Our Place in Singapore

About LumiNation 2019:

Following a successful inaugural edition in 2018, LumiNation returns with a weekend of programmes to explore the building blocks of our Singaporean identity. Held in conjunction with National Day, this sophomore edition will be held on 15 to 18 August 2019 at The Arts House. Admission to the festival grounds is free. Selected programmes require pre-registration, and film screenings are ticketed.

This year’s theme, “Building Identity”, puts our personal relationships with the nation in conversation with communal narratives and histories. Curated programmes including performances, exhibitions, and panel discussions will focus on the relationship between the self, place, and space in creating a fuller sense of belonging. Screenings of a standout selection of local films and post-show dialogues with some of Singapore’s best filmmakers will also invite festival attendees to experience the role of film in shaping the Singaporean identity.

“In 2018, LumiNation began by uncovering lesser known stories exploring Singapore’s history and heritage, and was met with a positive response. This year, we are taking a more focused approach to curate programmes that touch on the multi-layered nature of our narrative, which often goes unnoticed. We hope that audiences will find a renewed interest to engage in the Singapore conversation and explore the different threads that it ties together,” says Shridar Mani, Festival Programmer.

Film Programme:

Rediscover what is lost when our world is sequestered into memory, and how this nostalgia helps us negotiate the present and the future through the works of some of Singapore’s most celebrated filmmakers. Curated by The Filmic Eye, all screenings will be followed by post- show dialogues with the filmmakers to glean rare insight into their work.

Film highlights include:

  • Yei Siew Hua’s A Land Imagined, an award-winning film about a police investigator who uncovers the truth and underbelly of Singapore’s success after the disappearance of a lonely construction worker from China
  • Eva Tang’s documentary From Victoria Street to Ang Mo Kio, which chronicles the survival of the nation’s first Chinese Catholic missionary girls’ school
  • Tan Pin Pin’s In Time to Come follows the ritualistic exhumation of an old state time capsule, transporting audiences to moments from 25 years ago
  • The Animated Shorts of Jerrold Chong, which has a post-screening programme that allows participants to learn more about the local animator’s fascination with the power of animated media and what inspires him to tell sincere stories that examine the depths of everyday life
  • Nobody by veteran director and producer Eric Khoo
  • Ramon A. Estella’s Anak Pontianak, which could be the oldest Pontianak (a vampire ghost) film today

Explore the instrumental role of film in creating a Singaporean identity and how the way these identities are performed on screen reflect the deep personal histories and stories that make up our collective consciousness in Uncovering Singapore Stories through Film, a special panel discussion featuring prominent Singapore filmmakers Yeo Siew Hua, Eva Tang, and
Jerrold Chong.

Other Programme:

Let performances, panels, talks and exhibitions guide you on a journey back in time as they share Singapore’s lesser-known stories.

This list includes:

  • Poet A. Samad Said’s personal stories about 1950s Singapore in Lyrical Poetry: A Father & Son Collaboration, accompanied by his son Az Samad on the guitar in a special performance of poetry, stories, and classic Malay songs
  • Performance-forum Muse TV – Lyrics and Themes of Malay Drama Serials, featuring established TV producers Zaharian Osman, Rifaah Ridzwanulhak and composer-lyricist Reyza Hamizan, that takes a look at the lyrical aesthetics and themes of Malay TV drama serials and educates audiences about the intricacies behind filmmaking
  • Cheong Suk Wai’s Written Country – A History of
  • Singapore Through Literature, which is a retelling of modern Singapore history through fifty of our defining moments from literary works
  • Portraits and Stories of Justice and Resilience in the Singapore War Crime Trials, which introduces the stories and backgrounds of those involved in the trials on the atrocities committed during the Second World War
  • Lee Chuan Low’s 1945 – 1965 in National Identity in Singapore’s Post-War Chinese, which deals with the growing sense of national identity and consciousness within Chinese settlers after the war. Panelists will discuss the themes, unique styles, and stages of development within this genre, and shed light on its relevance today
  • Story of Chinatown and Place Histories of Kent Ridge, by Wong Sow Kuen and Lai Chee Kien respectively, which delves into the secrets of these familiar places in Singapore
  • Beyond the Racial Bloc: Singapore’s cultural mosaic through its architectural traditions and urban histories, in which prominent local architecture scholar Professor Imran Tajudeen contemplates how architecture has influenced our society and identities into what it is today
  • What Society Hides from Itself – Toto, Nation-building and the Integrated Resort by Lee Kah-Wee, Associate Director of the Master of Urban Planning Programme at the National University of Singapore, which reflects on the oddities of one of Singapore’s most iconic buildings, Marina Bay Sands, and how lottery was legalised in the context of strident nationalism
  • The Collective Memory: Haw Par Villa by Deanna Ng, which crowdsourced more than 50 photographs of Haw Par Villa between 1965 and 1985 that examines how memory can be a fickle thing, and questions the completeness and reliability of archival photography in this exhibition
  • A special edition of பேனாச்சுடர்- A Tamil Creative Writing Workshop, which follows poet Harini V and theatre practitioner Sivakumar Palakrishnan in a walking and writing tour that explores Singapore’s historical sites that have been reinvented to be modern artistic hotpots, and the intersection of our daily lives

Ticketing Information

For more information on LumiNation 2019 and to pre-register or purchase film screening tickets, please visit this website.

Members of the public can also join the conversation at the official Facebook and Instagram pages.

Event Details:

LumiNation 2019
Venue: The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore 179429
Dates: 15 to 18 August 2019

(The Collective Memory – Haw Par Villa exhibition runs from 3 to 25 August 2019)


About The Arts House

Occupying the almost 200-year-old building that was home to Singapore’s first parliament, The Arts House continues in the distinguished tradition of this gazetted national monument and now plays a key role in the country’s arts and creative scene. The Arts House at the Old Parliament, as it is affectionately referred to, promotes and presents multidisciplinary
programmes and festivals within its elegant spaces. It focuses in particular on the literary arts, celebrating the works of written and spoken word artists from Singapore and beyond.

The Arts House is run and managed by Arts House Limited. For more information, visit their official website.

About Arts House Limited

Arts House Limited (AHL) is a not-for-profit organisation committed to enriching lives through the arts. AHL runs The Arts House, a multidisciplinary arts centre with a focus on literary programming located in the heart of Singapore’s Civic District; manages Goodman Arts Centre
and Aliwal Arts Centre, two creative enclaves for artists, arts groups and creative businesses; and presents festivals through the arts centres. AHL presents the Singapore International Festival of Arts, the annual pinnacle celebration of performing arts in Singapore commissioned by National Arts Council.

AHL was set up in 11 Dec 2002 as a company limited by guarantee (CLG) under NAC and was formerly known as The Old Parliament House Limited. It was officially renamed Arts House Limited on 19 Mar 2014.

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