The of SIFA


cover image

Source: Adapted from Singapore International Festival of Arts 

Calling all theatre, film, art, technical design, anything-pertaining-to-arts enthusiasts: The O.P.E.N. is a pre-festival of ideas designed for you to warm up into the arts galore that awaits you at the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA). Catch this participatory line-up of activities and performances curated specially for those of you looking to get involved this July. Here are 6 unique activities to look forward to, this pre-festival:


1. Experience Bukit Brown cemetery through sounds only



Source: Adapted from Singapore International Festival of Arts

If nightmares could be audio-recorded, this is probably how it’d sound like. Spectres by Zai Tang is an audio-visual exhibition that explores the prospect of man killing nature, created with digital imaging and sound visualisation techniques. 

Don’t miss this hauntingly immersive experience featuring recordings from Bukit Brown cemetery, that illustrates the ecological dystopia that awaits, should man continue to limit nature with our current urban landscape. 

Zai Tang in action Source

Date/Time: 5th July: 7pm – 10pm | 6th – 8th July: 12pm – 5pm | 9th July: 12pm – 6pm
Venue: 72-13

By day Spectres is an audio-visual installation. By night it transforms into a concert, Spectre Live, featuring a line-up of nine musicians including Yuen Chee Wai, Bani Haykal, Dharma, Cheryl Ong, and Natalie Alexandra

Date/Time: 6th – 8th July: 8pm
Venue: 72-13


2. Be part of a filmmaking process at an undisclosed venue 


lizard on the wall


How often can you casually say, “I appeared in a film”

This year, The O.P.E.N is featuring Lizard On The Wall by K. Rajagopal – a cinematic creation exploring the pressures we face in a society obsessed with sensationalism and slander. As an audience member, you can not only appreciate the performance, but also be part of the filmmaking process that spans over 3 nights. 

Unleash your inner kaypoh aunty while playing the role of outraged guests at a wedding banquet, where scandalous secrets are revealed. 

Date: 30th June, 1st & 2nd July
Time: Fri & Sat: 7pm – 10:30pm | Sun: 2pm – 5:30pm
Venue: Secret venue to be disclosed


3. Join an open Lebanese picnic at the Malay Heritage Centre


lebanese picnic

Source: Singapore International Festival of Arts

If there’s one thing we Singaporeans bond over, it’s food, food, and more food. Join Lebanese chef and social innovator, Kamal Mouzawak, at this pop-up culinary showcase and feast on traditional Lebanese food cooked up by 4 chefs from different regions of Lebanon.

lebanese chef

Source: Singapore International Festival of Arts

Engage in this meaningful cultural exchange and da bao down your favourite local dish to the grounds of Malay Heritage Centre – remember to bring a picnic mat!

kamal mouzawak

Lebanese culinary activist and social innovator, Kamal Mouzawak. 

Source: Singapore International Festival of Arts 

Mouzawak’s overarching vision is to erase lingering ethnic and religious tensions in Lebanon through food as a unifying force. Don’t miss his talk about preservation of local food tradition and sustainable agriculture in Lebanon (7th July), as a precursor to the culinary showcase (9th July). 

Date/Time: 7th July: 7:30pm | 9th July: 3:30pm 
Venue: Malay Heritage Centre


4. Cook in a complete stranger’s kitchen 


open kitchen

Two home cooks participating in the program, mother-daughter pair Lkhvinder and Amrita Dhillon

Source: Singapore International Festival of Arts 

O.P.E.N. Kitchens, created in collaboration with Noorlinah Mohamed, uses food as a unifying force to bring people of various backgrounds together at a humble dining table, in the warmth of people’s actual homes. 

This collaboration offers an up-close and personal encounter with home cooks who welcome you as hosts, with open arms and kitchens. Bond over our shared love for food as Singaporeans and don’t miss this unique participatory encounter.

Date: 8th – 30th July
Time: Tue, Thu, Fri: 6:30pm | Sat: 10:30am, 6:30pm | Sun: 10:30am, 5pm
Venue: Various locations


5. Speak at a makeshift “Hong Lim Park” for Singapore’s arts scene 


arts as res publicae

Source: Singapore International Festival of Arts 

This is your chance to speak up and challenge the value of art in relation to the public. Join this artistic creation, Arts as Res Publicae (in other words, arts as a public affair) either as a discussant or an audience, and engage in conversation about the arts and what it stands for.

If you are aged 21 and above, you are eligible to sign up as one of the 100 public discussants. However, do note that there is a selection process involved to ensure a broad representation of various demographics. 

Date/Time: 28th & 29th June; 7pm
Venue: 72-13


6. Sit through a hybrid lecture-performance


Ever sat through a lecture and enjoyed it? Me neither. This however, is not any ol’ boring lecture on atoms or molecules – it’s a hybrid lecture-performance featuring one of the 3 youngest and most sought-after speakers in the world, Ho Rui An, Lantian Xie, and Zou Zhao.

ho rui an

Ho Rui An, an  artist and writer working in the intersections of contemporary art, cinema, performance and theory. 

Source: Singapore International Festival of Arts

lantian xie

Lantian Xie, a Chinese-born artist based in Dubai. 

Source: Singapore International Festival of Arts 

zou zhao

Zou Zhao, an artist currently living and working between China, Singapore and New York City.

Source: Singapore International Festival of Arts

For Lack Of A Better Word will expose you to thought-provoking subjects through the unique expressive platform of a lecture-performance. Join this one-of-a-kind experience as the speakers offer their perspectives and stories based off of their own personal experiences. 

Date/Time: 6th – 8th July; 8pm
Venue: Chamber, The Arts House


Don’t miss this pre-festival


With all these activities that you probably will not get the chance to catch elsewhere, don’t miss this unique pre-festival leading up to SIFA. Grab the opportunity while you can and get your hands on those early-bird lobangs ASAP – don’t say bojio!

O.P.E.N. Pass: $45 (for all programmes)

Accessible to all events; except O.P.E.N. Kitchens (one entry per O.P.E.N. Pass) and O.P.E.N. Films (a bundle of 6 films per pass)

O.P.E.N. Concession Pass: $25 (no further discount)

Single Entry Ticket: $10 (no further discount; limited availability for selected shows at the door)

Due to limited capacities, registration for all programmes at The O.P.E.N. is required.

Click here to find out more about O.P.E.N!

This post is brought to you by Singapore International Festival of Arts.