Journey through the richly storied history of Little India at multidisciplinary arts festival ARTWALK Little India (ARTWALK), which returns over two weekends on 10–11 and 17–18 January 2020. Themed Passage of Time, this sixth edition offers a plethora of interdisciplinary performances, workshops and art murals to engage all of one’s senses.
ARTWALK is jointly organised by LASALLE College of the Arts (LASALLE) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB), with the support of Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (LISHA). The festival is the brainchild of artist and LASALLE Senior Fellow Milenko Prvacki, and has become a staple of the Singapore Art Week circuit. Over the years, visitorship has grown from 74,000 at the inaugural festival in 2015 to over 260,000 visitors in 2019.
For this year, a new wall mural Mayura has been created along Belilios Lane. Boasting the title of ‘longest mural in Little India’, the proud peacocks on a 70-meter stretch of wall is the work of veteran street artist Boon. Over at the newly opened Tekka Place, up-and-coming artist Jezlyn Tan further unveils her first permanent installation that is a homage to the meditative qualities of the mandala. Well-loved murals from previous editions of the festival get a 3D facelift thanks to augmented reality animation created by LASALLE students.
Another highlight of the 2020 festival is Nakshatra: The Lunar Mansion where master storyteller Kamini Ramachandran and musician Raghavendar Rajasekaran will together narrate the journey of the stars and invite audiences to participate in the tale through folk painting.
Visitors can also create their own immersive experiences at a sound painting workshop conducted by Dr Timothy O'Dwyer, Head of LASALLE’s School of Contemporary Music. Through simple movements and noises, they will orchestrate a composition that recreates the visual bustle of the surrounding neighbourhood.
A unique dining affair awaits in Three Courses where over starter, main and dessert, a troupe of actors will serve up three tantalising plays written by LASALLE’s MA Creative Writing students.
Managed and curated by BA(Hons) Arts Management students from LASALLE, ARTWALK also provides budding arts programmers with valuable on-ground experience in organising arts events. “Stimulated by the area’s culturally diverse nature, ARTWALK is the perfect opportunity to explore one’s imagination. By marrying different disciplines and encouraging visitor participation, we aim to inspire conversations and sharing of experiences so that the relationship between the public and the artist is deepened,” said Sangitha, a student representative from the BA(Hons) Arts Management team.
Ms Serene Tan, Director, Arts and Cultural Precincts, STB, said: “ARTWALK Little India invites locals and visitors to step out of traditional galleries and encounter art in the streets of one of our key cultural precincts. Through ARTWALK, we hope the public can engage with Little India’s rich heritage on a deeper level. We are also heartened that the Little India community has embraced this event, with landlords lending their walls for art murals and businesses offering ARTWALK promotions. We are confident that our partnership with LASALLE and the support of the Little India stakeholders will continue to enhance Singapore’s appeal as a vibrant arts and lifestyle destination, and boost Little India’s relevance to a younger audience.”
ARTWALK Little India 2020 runs from 10–11 and 17–18 January 2020. Details can be found on http://artwalklittleindia.sg, where a digital version of the festival guide is also available for download. Members of the public can pick up a copy of the festival guide at the event ground and any Singapore Visitor Centres.