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3 Arts events to check out

Dance videos on demand, a controversial Balinese artist and a play about concubines.

Co.Lab.Asians

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Syimah Sabtu’s H A S E R returns as a fully realised production, also available as video on demand.

The physical performances of the annual M1 Contact Contemporary Dance Festival, which brings together dancers from various countries and backgrounds, have had to be cancelled.

But the collaboration between Singapore’s Adele Goh and South Korea’s Kwon Hyuk will be available as video on demand. They were “matchmade” by M1 Contact and the Seoul International Dance Festival, and created the work over WhatsApp and Zoom, exploring the idea of isolation amid the pandemic.

Syimah Sabtu’s H A S E R, which appeared in an inchoate form in the 2019 festival’s Off Stage platform, returns as a fully realised production, also available as video on demand.

Where: Online
When: July 18 to 31
Admission: $12 via Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to Sistic’s website)
Info: Click here

(Related: Highlights from the Singapore International Piano Festival)

I Gusti Ayu Kadek Murniasih: Shards Of My Dreams That Remain In My Consciousness

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More than 50 of I Gusti Ayu Kadek Murniasih’s paintings and sculptures, spanning the mid-1990s to her death in 2006, will appear in a solo exhibition at Gajah Gallery.

The late Balinese artist I Gusti Ayu Kadek Murniasih, also known as Murni, was known for her striking, confrontational works about female sexuality and the body.

More than 50 of her paintings and sculptures, spanning the mid-1990s to her death in 2006, will appear in a solo exhibition at Gajah Gallery.

Murni’s life was fraught with tragedy. She was born into poverty, suffered sexual abuse as a young girl and became a domestic worker at age 10. She faced controversy when she initiated divorce proceedings against her husband, which was unheard of at the time in Bali. She died from ovarian cancer on the cusp of turning 40.

The Gajah exhibition charts the evolution of her works – from early pastel pieces that hark back to the Pengosekan style in which she was trained, to the colourful, transgressive paintings for which she later became known. Unsettling dream imagery mingles with bold depictions of sex and power.

The show will be accompanied by a collection of essays by art historians Wulan Dirgantoro and Astri Wright about Murni’s life, art and legacy.

Where: Gajah Gallery, 03-04 Tanjong Pagar Distripark, 39 Keppel Road
MRT: Outram Park/Tanjong Pagar
When: July 15 to Aug 15, 11am to 7pm (weekdays), noon to 6pm (weekends and public holidays)
Admission: Free
Info: Click here

(Related: Artists at Art Basel reflect the times)

The Concubine

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Isaiah Christopher Lee co-writes and performs a semi-autobiographical monodrama about a young Singaporean man who has hurt his lover. 

In this independent solo show, Isaiah Christopher Lee co-writes and performs a semi-autobiographical monodrama about a young Singaporean man who has hurt his lover. He is forced to return to his past to confront trauma and revisit those he loved and lost.

The play, co-written with Izzul Irfan and directed by Adeeb Fazah, is interspersed with tales of concubines through history – from the consort Qi in Chinese historian Sima Qian’s records of Empress Lu to a fictitious Peranakan second wife.

Where: Drama Centre Black Box, 03-01 National Library Building, 100 Victoria Street
MRT: Bugis/Bras Basah
When: July 14 to 16, 7.30pm; July 17 and 18, 3 and 7.30pm
Admission: $37.74 from this link
Info: Mature themes, official rating to be advised. There will be no pre-event testing as each performance has fewer than 50 audience members.

This article was originally published in The Straits Times.

(Related: Theatre review: Faghag seeks to reclaim a controversial term with joy)