5 things to do at Singapore International Festival of the Arts and The O.P.E.N. 2016

5 things to do at Singapore International Festival of the Arts and The O.P.E.N. 2016

Arts open house

Text: Adibah Isa

Of our 5 picks of the Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA) and The O.P.E.N. 2016, you can get tattooed, bed strangers and be transported back in time to a nightclub of yesteryear

 1. Watch the Old Kallang Airport be transformed into a nightclub

More specifically, a nightclub from the '40s and '50s. Conceived by Noorlinah Mohamed, Club Malam is an immersive throwback that invites eight artists from Singapore, Indonesia and Germany to showcase music, digital media, installation and performances in Singapore's first commercial international airport. While local artist Speak Cryptic has always been known for his street art, 'The Tribe' will see 100 of his drawn characters come to life as public artists embody them.


7 to 9 July from 6.30 - 11pm at the Old Kallang Airport.

2. Get inked (temporarily) 

German Marc Brandenburg isn't just a tattoo artist. A man on a mission, the 50-year-old Berlin native delves into issues such as racism, violence as well as Berlin's post-punk and rave scene in his drawings. A fixture in Club Malam, he'll bring his concept of wearable and performance art by depicting his works onto temporary tattoos which you can wear, in turn turning your skin into its own exhibition space.

Marc Brandenburg

7 to 9 July from 6.30 - 11pm at the Old Kallang Airport.

3. Get into bed with a stranger or two

"A performance in extreme intimacy", describes Argentine artist Fernando Rubio about his work, 'Everything by my side'. If baring your soul and getting chummy with strangers sound like something up your alley, head to this unique performance art involving 10 white beds and 10 actresses. Co-starring local veteran actress Margaret Chan, you're invited to lie beside these women as they whisper their childhood memories in a fleeting yet profound exhange.

SIFA 2016 Everything by my side

12 to 14 August at the National Gallery Singapore. 

4. Catch a glimpse of the modern, middle-class Iran often ignored by the media

Self-taught Iranian photographer Newsha Tavakolian steers clear of the sneering cliches and lazy stereotypes surrounding Iran. In 'I Know Why The Rebel Sings', the 35-year-old captures the complexity of her subjects without framing them in the light of the oppression often claimed by Western media. Learn about the daily lives of the people in her building, as well as the plight of female singers who cannot perform or produce their own albums.

SIFA 2016 Portrait of Somayyeh

22 June to 9 July at 72-13. 

5. Feed your voyeuristic tendencies by watching a lone man in his house

Talk about an open house. Come September, you'll be able to watch as our own thespian Oliver Chong stays in a small wooden house in the middle of the city's blinding lights — notably, the Marina Bay Sands compound. Another performance art by Fernando Rubio, 'Time Between Us' explores what it means to leave your life behind to enter into a new environment. What's great is that we can watch the entire thing unfold — well, almost. As Chong goes about his day-to-day in the house for five days, you can choose to engage with him or simply watch him at any given time of the day.

time between us

7 to 11 September at Marina Bay Sands.

For more information on SIFA and The O.P.E.N. 2016, click here.