The Cultural Extravaganza 2019 returns for its 3rd edition from 24 May to 15 June, and invites all to discover Singapore’s evolving and contemporary Chinese culture in everyday life.
Organised by the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC), find out the legacy behind our daily cups of kopi, Chinese wedding traditions across generations, and other lesser-known cultural roots are explored in the third edition of the bustling extravaganza. Come unravel, understand, and get to know more about Singapore — including the sights of its flourishing Chinese comic market, and even pick up a circus trick or two from a local community circus along the way.
Held over three weeks, get set to be absorbed in an eclectic line-up of programmes featuring performances by local arts and cultural groups, exhibitions, workshops, talks, and creative markets.
Mr. Low Sze Wee, CEO of the Cultural Centre, explains, “Culture is all around us. Through Cultural Extravaganza 2019, we hope to cast a spotlight on the many ways in which our evolving local Chinese culture has influenced our social practices, language, music, and other art forms. We are delighted to partner many local talents to present our culture in enjoyable ways through a diverse line-up of programmes. We hope that the Festival will kick-start everyone’s journey in discovering more about our distinctive culture, and inspire them to appreciate the strong connections that bind us.”
We were invited to the media preview of the Cultural Extravaganza and were treated to a show with four of the performing groups giving us a teaser on what to expect come the actual event.
Some of the vendors that will be participating in the Cultural Extravaganza were present too with booths of their own. Here is a list of the performers and vendors to look out for during the festival:
Memoirs of Nanyang: Siong Leng Musical Association
Ever wonder what would happen when 2000-year-old Nanyin music meets Malay music and Mandarin pop? We were wowed by Memoirs of Nanyang’s ambitious fusion of both languages and the riveting story it told – a cross-generational tale of an immigrant in Singapore and how familial ties comforted his longing for home.
This new production showcases the works of three Cultural Medallion recipients, Mr. Yip Cheong Fun (photography), Mr. Teng Mah Seng (Nanyin music), and Mdm Som Said (Malay dance). The Siong Leng Musical Association is the first recipient of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Contribution Award (Organisation).
Date: 25 May 2019, Saturday
Time: 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Venue: 1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore 018906, SCCC, Far East Organization Auditorium, Level 9
Tickets are priced from $28 onwards. For more information, visit https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/csccce2019
The performance will be conducted in Mandarin, English, and Malay, with English & Chinese subtitles.
Peranakan Sayang Concert
Through their distinctive music, Peranakan Sayang celebrates Peranakan culture with an amalgamation of Chinese and other local elements. They refer to their music as a “Rojak” of languages and song in the tune of popular songs.
Performing a catalogue of golden oldies and original compositions, viewers can expect to get on their feet to groove with their exuberant performances and lively banter.
Date: 2 June 2019, Sunday
Time: 2:30 PM – 4 PM | 7:30 PM – 9 PM
Venue: 1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore 018906, SCCC, Far East Organization
SCCC Far East Organization Auditorium, Level 9
Tickets are priced from $15 onwards. For more information, visit https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/csccce2019a
GroundZ-0 Island Tales
Did you know that there are 63 islands alone in Singapore? Neither did I.
Our favourite performance of the day led us to discover legends and fun facts of Singapore through an interactive, quirky, and multi-lingual street-wayang performance. Presented in an innovative retro game show format, audiences at GroundZ-0 can get up close with the actors and decide the outcome of these fascinating stories of friendship, loyalty, and love among the early settlers of Singapore.
Date: 8 & 9 June 2019, Saturday & Sunday
Time: 3 PM – 3:30 PM | 3:45 PM – 4:15 PM | 4:30 PM – 5 PM | 5:15 PM – 5:45 PM
Venue: 1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore 018906, SCCC, Multi-Purpose Hall Foyer, Level 7
Admission is free.
The performance will be conducted in various languages.
Circus by the People
In the past, Singapore’s amusement parks had impressive circus acts by local performing troupes. During the Cultural Extravaganza 2019, watch them stage a comeback as Singapore’s own community circus, Bornfire, presents UNBOX – a circus production. We were given a teaser of the diabolo (not to be mistaken for Diablo, the devil in Spanish) performance and the dexterity and showmanship displayed were truly phenomenal.
With circus acts like juggling, the cry wheel, and even more to be shown on their actual performance, viewers can expect to be in for an exhilarating treat.
Date: 8 & 9 June 2019, Saturday & Sunday
Time: Saturday- 5 PM – 8 PM | Sunday- 4 PM – 6:30 PM
Venue: 1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore 018906, SCCC, Ho Bee Concourse, Level 1
Admission is free.
The performance will be conducted in English.
Do you have any clue what a Hokkien glove puppet looks like? Discover the disappearing art of traditional Chinese puppetry in this exhibition that traces the evolution of the Hokkien glove puppets.
Beyond the opportunity to witness a display of rare Hokkien glove puppets, visitors can also enjoy puppet performances by Sin Ee Lye Heng, one of the last surviving Teochew puppet troupes in Singapore; and San Chun Long, the last and oldest Hainanese puppet troupe, whose history dates back to the 1920s.
Date: 27 May to 9 June 2019
Time: 10 AM – 8 PM
Venue: 1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore 018906, SCCC, Multi-Purpose Hall, Level 7
Admission is free
*Puppetry performances will be on 8 & 9 June 2019, Saturday & Sunday, 11 AM – 12:30 PM.
The exhibition will be in both English and Mandarin while performances will be conducted in various dialects.
Comic Draw for All
Find out the connection between comic drawing and our culture by Singapore’s first full-time comic.
For the adults, learn how to transform biscuits into delightful characters through our hands-on sessions, while the younger ones can find out more about Singapore’s early builders through the drawing of our iconic Samsui women.
Adult Session Date: 25 May 2019, Saturday, the workshop will be conducted in Mandarin.
Children Session Date: 26 May 2019, Sunday, the workshop will be conducted in both English and Mandarin. Suitable for children 7 years and above.
Time: 11 AM – 1 PM | 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Venue: 1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore 018906, SCCC, Creative Box, Level 6
Tickets are priced at $5 per pax.
Kossip would like its consumers to visit them and ‘kossip’ over a cuppa. Find out more about the evolution of coffee in Singapore and how it has become a lifestyle, through their exhibition. Visitors will also get to participate in workshops that highlight Singapore’s rich coffee culture and try their hands at brewing.
● Heritage Coffee: Learn what goes into a good cup of coffee through a hands-on coffee brewing experience
● Yaya Kaya: Learn how coconut is used in cooking across Hainanese, Peranakan and Malay cultures and trade experiences over kaya toast
● Crack Me Up: Learn how different flavours of biscuits are influenced and shaped by our local culture, and try your hand at making mini biscuit replicas
● Tea Station: Find out how tea has evolved over the years by travelling from China to Singapore, and how traditional teh and tea from around the world are infused to make cold brew and mocktails.
● The Coffeeshop: Come “la” kopi with us and share about your coffee experience at our coffeeshop.
● Retro-City: Connect across generations with Kalkitos rub-on stickers to trigger conversations on the past and present.
● Chinese Calligraphy: Use coffee by-products to upcycle and design your own notebook, bag and postcard with Chinese calligraphy.
Date: 6 to 9 June 2019
Time: 11 AM – 6 PM
Venue: 1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore 018906, SCCC, Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Gallery, Level 2
Admission is free.
Activities will be conducted in both English and Mandarin
Cultural Extravaganza 2019
Of course, this list is far from exhaustive — to find out more, visit https://www.singaporeccc.org.sg/series/ce2019/ for more information.
Photos by Solomon Soh of the Danamic team.