Hailed as one of Singapore’s most talented contemporary artists today, film director and performance-maker Brian Gothong Tan has created ingenious, cutting-edge work in visually stunning spectacles such as the National Day Parade, Youth Olympic Games and SEA Games 2015. Tropical Traumas is Tan’s electrifying new multimedia performance, up close on the Ron Arad’s 720° massive stage at Gardens by the Bay.
At its heart, this hybrid-cinema experience is a mesmerising exploration of explorers. Told through fantastical imagery and ethereal music, Tropical Traumasfollows a group of performers who re-enact the wild and exotic expeditions into the steamy Malay Archipelago, based on tales told by Sir Stamford Raffles’ wife Sophia Hull and the great British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace.
Reimagining the narratives found in all sorts of places, from movies to historical travel journals to YouTube videos to daydreams, Tan puts together a daring, playful blend of cinema and theatre that explores the possibilities of multiple realities, stories within stories and speculative histories. His vivid images – including gigantic jungle animals like orang utan and birds of paradise – are illuminated across the perfect circle of Ron Arad’s 720°, set against a haunting musical score.
The result is an epic feast for the senses that will leave you entranced. Whether you are a common wanderer, a trekking tourist or a pious pilgrim in a foreign land, Tropical Traumas promises to be a surreal journey that is at once strange and familiar.
Step inside the lush, unsettling tropics.
Commissioned by Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA).