SIFA is proud to open its 2017 edition with Art Studio, a Singapore-Mandarin theatre commission performed with English surtitles. Set against the backdrop of Singapore's changing landscape from the 1960s to the new millennium, Art Studio begins with the story of a young school drop-out, Ji Zong, who is coerced by his friend to become a model for life drawing by a group of artists.
From that point on, the narrative branches out, weaving the lives of these wildly disparate artists into a web of intriguing stories during the tumultuous years of Singapore from the 1950s to 1980s: An aspiring singer gives up everything she has to travel alone to India and pursue her love of Indian classical singing; a communist fighter disappears into the thick Malayan jungle for the rest of his life; a middle-aged woman returns to her old flat, which has remained unchanged after 30 years of self-exile, only to find the man she loved dying.
An epic that spans decades and is deeply intricate in its portrayal of the characters’ sentiments and of the heart’s innermost desires, Art Studio is a moving rendition of the poetic beauty and sorrow of ordinary human relationships. The performance is directed by Nelson Chia and adapted from the Mandarin novel of the same name written by 2003 Cultural Medallion recipient and Singaporean novelist Yeng Pway Ngon. Yeng won the Singapore Literature Prize no fewer than three times, most recently in 2012 for Art Studio. His books have been translated into many languages, including Italian, though this will be his first major translation onto stage.
Performed in Mandarin with English surtitles.
Commissioned by Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA).
Click here to view the synopsis in Mandarin.
Victoria Theatre is located at 9 Empress Pl, Singapore 179556
Attend Nine Years Theatre's Nelson Chia and Cultural Medallion author Yeng Pway Ngon of Art Studio, Drawing on Literature: The Process of Art Studio.
Read more here.
Nine Years TheatreNine Years Theatre, a Singapore Mandarin theatre company co-founded in 2012 by Nelson Chia and Mia Chee, has grown to become one of the key players in the theatre scene. Their Mandarin productions are recognised for their consistency in quality and a cultural sensibility in translation and adaptation of classics for contemporary audiences.
Nelson is an actor, director and theatre educator. For more than two decades, he has been seen on the Singapore stage, taking on numerous major and leading roles in English and Mandarin productions. As a director, he has directed 22 major productions and is known for his translation, adaptation and direction of old and contemporary classics in Mandarin.
Through his work as artistic director, he has not only managed to revive the interest in production of classics within the Mandarin theatre audiences, but has also raised the awareness of training among the acting community, employing the Suzuki Method of Actor Training and Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints.
Yeng Pway NgonRecipient of the 2003 Cultural Medallion for Literature, Yeng Pway Ngon writes in the fields of poetry, fiction, essay, drama and literary critique, and has published 26 titles to date. His novel 《畫室》(The Studio), which was published in 2011, was selected by Asia Weekly as one of 10 Best Chinese Novels for 2011 and is also the winner of the Singapore Literature Prize for 2012.