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S I F A - X
W e l c o m e

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S T I L L L I V E S
M a r i n a B a y
S T E P I N H E R E

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C H I L D R E N
o f V E N U S
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INTRODUCTION

SIFA X
Love Divine

HOUSE PROGRAMME

with STILL LIVES (Marina Bay) by Daniel Kok and Luke George & CHILDREN OF VENUS by SUKKI


26 & 27 May
Fri & Sat, 7pm
CÉ LA VI

Message from SUKKI

Message from SUKKI

CHILDREN OF VENUS is a rebellious act of love. I was inspired by the concept that sometimes those that challenge the status quo are branded like runaway renegades in a 19th century "freak show." I wanted to reveal how the ostracization of these figures in circuses, dime museums and vaudeville actually lead to this incredible and eclectic "chosen family" of solidarity. It touches on the idea that in bravery, bolshiness and sex-positivity there is an underlying hidden pain and fight for acceptance. There's something devastatingly beautiful in those spaces, like the children you hide away when adults come for dinner, or the school photographs you take which - in one manufactured moment of perfection - mask the individuality that lies beneath.

These themes are intertwined with my belief that beauty and art are not always as they are perceived or defined. In particular I wanted to break down what, as a woman, I consider to be one of the figureheads for this kind of ideology of perfection in Botticelli's Birth of Venus - after all, how could I not as a feminist? I wanted to create a piece of work which concluded in a reference to Venus in all her splendour as this strong symbol of womanhood, but also in all her falseness - why does a goddess born not of mortals have a navel? Why has our society idolised western Renaissancism and perpetuated the desirability of fair skin, fertility and heteronormative demureness, all neatly packaged to the beat of a Golden Ratio?

Perhaps Venus is equally a figure of strength, and a symbol of how the patriarchal, oftentimes colonial, definitions of beauty and art have the power to repress the beauty of diversity by only celebrating those who fit into this pedestal of subjective perfectionism. Ultimately, my hope is that my work will encourage us to be a little more brave when it comes to what defines beauty, and indeed what defines "Art," and exactly what it is we can choose to represent as a nation going forward on an international artistic platform.
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SUKKI
Creative Director
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SUKKI
Creative Director

Message from Daniel Kok & Luke George

Message from Daniel Kok & Luke George

When we started working together in 2014, we decided rather quickly to learn to work with ropes together. Dynamic and used for many different purposes in all cultures, rope is a material that lends itself to explorations in relationality. There are numerous examples of figurative speech that employs rope metaphors to describe human relationships and emotions: social bonds, familial ties, intertwined traditions, well-connected individuals, knots in the stomach, tension in a relationship, cutting someone some slack, walking on a tightrope, crossing a red line, unravelling the mystery, intertwined destinies, etc.

Ropes have opened us to a world with many new possibilities to represent the complexities of human relations. Over the last 8 years, we have studied techniques from macramé, camping and sailing knots, and rope bondage. As a material, ropes are strong and tough, as well as soft and gentle. Ropes move, connect things, but also hold things in place. Within rope bondage, we quickly found that ropes are about much more than domination and submission. Ropes embellish a body and enhance its presence, at once emphasising even more its vulnerable subjectivity and enduring objecthood.

STILL LIVES is a series of performance-installations, in which we try to capture (literally with ropes) a significant moment or a place. Each iteration of STILL LIVES involves us working with a cultural icon that in turn invites a wider reflection on its surrounding context. We are interested in what brings people together, particularly when every circumscribed community can always be revealed to be varied and heterogenous. The question for us is always about how people can be different but continue to share the same space.

The STILL LIVES series began just before COVID. STILL LIVES: TAIPEI (2018) was an installation, in which different pieces of vintage furniture was semi-suspended in a colonial-style teahouse on a heritage street of Taipei. For STILL LIVES: VENICE (2019), we tied up a gondola and a gondolier for 4 hours under the hot sun, while playing a medley of English and Italian ballads. Next, the STILL LIVES series came into its own when we tied up 5 Australian Rules footballers and suspended them 8 metres high in the National Gallery of Victoria, with more than a thousand people huddled together to witness STILL LIVES: MELBOURNE (2022). The latter was a particularly moving experience because we worked with 5 different individuals who collectively had many rich personal stores to share about how they grapple with racism, sexism, homo- and transphobia in the sporting world.

For STILL LIVES (MARINA BAY), we have been invited to respond to the CÉ LA VI club as a context. What immediately springs to mind for us is the impressive panoramic view atop the Marina Bay Sands, and how the view is itself a testament to Singapore’s wealth and material success. We decided to work with two Singaporeans who come from affluent backgrounds. It is particularly interesting for us that our two subjects, Nathan Hartono and Grace Kee share a desire to live life on their own terms and chart their own unique career paths, while candidly acknowledging their privileges in society. Through working with them, we hope to tease out nuanced ways of discussing Singapore’s relationship with money.

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Daniel Kok
Co-Creator
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Luke George
Co-Creator
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Daniel Kok
Co-Creator
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Luke George
Co-Creator

CREDITS

Credits

Children of Venus

Creative Director:
SUKKI (Singapore)
Creative Support Team:
Lisa Keegan
Emma Seward of CPG Concepts
Lead Choreographer:
Ryan Hanson
Choreographer:
Zelia Cheong

Casts:
Three Piece Burlesque and Cabaret Troupe
The Glamourettes

Theatrical Drag Performer
Becca D'Bus

Aerialist
Adelene Chua

Burlesque Artist
Lychee Bye

Contemporary Artist
Francesca Harriman

CREDITS

Credits

Still Lives (Marina Bay)

Co-Creators:
Daniel Kok
Luke George

BIOGRAPHIES

Biographies

SUKKI
Creative Director
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SUKKI, best known as Singapore’s burlesque Queen “Sukki Singapora,” is the Creative Director of CHILDREN OF VENUS, an immersive experience...

The Glamourettes
Cast
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The Glamourettes is a professional dance performance team founded in 2015, comprising a trio of versatile veterans in the local dance scene...

Lychee Bye
Cast
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Lychee Bye is a multi-talented performance artist, creating gender-bending, genre-defying acts that blend chair acrobatics, drag, striptease and dance...

Becca D’Bus
Cast
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Becca D'Bus is a drag queen interested in garments, entertainment, activism and pleasure...

Adelene Chua
Cast
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Adelene is the Founder, Creative Director and do-it-all boss of Adedance Artistic & Aerial Productions - aka Adedance Aerial...

Francesca Harriman
Cast
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A dancer with over three decades of experience of performing locally and internationally, Francesca is...

Walk into:

STILL LIVES

BIOGRAPHIES

Biographies

Daniel Kok
Co-director
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Daniel Kok has studied Fine Art & Critical Theory (Goldsmiths College, London), Solo/Dance/Authorship (HZT, Berlin) and Advanced Performance and Scenography Studies (APASS, Brussels)...

Luke George
Co-director
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Luke George (he/they) is a multidisciplinary artist creating work that spans performance, installation, craft and curation. Born in lutruwita/Tasmania, Luke resides and creates on Wurundjeri...

Walk into:

CHILDREN OF VENUS

Message from Chairman

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) 2023. A festival is a space where some people gather to immerse and engage in works of creativity and imagination. It is in this spirit that SIFA 2023 presents a range of works that compel us to contemplate our diversity and uniqueness as people existing in common spaces together.

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Wilson Tan

MESSAGE FROM FD

MESSAGE FROM THE FESTIVAL DIRECTOR

This edition’s title SIFA 2023 The Anatomy of Performance: Some People engages with the idea that the human experience exists on a spectrum. We are the sum of all the narratives that chapter and alter our lives; each trial and transformation, what our ancestors and communities have had to struggle through, our experiences as children and adults, things inherited and circumstances imposed on our lives shape how we move through life and experience the world.
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Natalie Hennedige

ABOUT SIFA & AHL

About SIFA

As Singapore's annual pinnacle performing arts festival, the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) presents captivating and diverse works across theatre, music, dance, film and visual arts. First launched as the Singapore Festival of Arts in 1977, the festival has gone through several evolutions and inspired generations of arts lovers and practitioners. Today, the highly anticipated festival is a high point on Singapore's arts and cultural calendar. SIFA continues its festival mission to champion the creation and presentation of Singaporean and international works.

About Arts House Limited

Arts House Limited (AHL) is a not-for-profit organisation committed to enriching lives through the arts.

AHL manages six arts spaces that aim to support our arts sector and bring communities together. These include two national monuments - The Arts House, multidisciplinary arts centre, and Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall, a heritage building that is home to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

It also runs the performing arts space Drama Centre as well as three enclaves for arts groups and creative businesses - the Goodman Arts Centre, Aliwal Arts Centre and Stamford Arts Centre. It is the cultural place manager of Singapore's Civic District.

AHL organises two national pinnacle festivals – the Singapore International Festival of Arts focused on the performing arts, and the Singapore Writers Festival - a multi-lingual festival presenting the world's leading literary talents. In addition, it manages Our Cultural Medallion Story – the showcase on Singapore's Cultural Medallion recipients at The Arts House.

Arts House Limited is a public company limited by guarantee under the National Arts Council. First set up as The Old Parliament House Limited in 2002, it was renamed Arts House Limited in 2014. For more information, visit https://artshouselimited.sg/

Special Thanks To

Festival Supporters
Programme Partners
Official Logistics Partner
Official Outdoor Media Partner
Official Privilege Card
Catering Partner
Wine Sponsor For Opening Reception

FESTIVAL PARTNERS

Organised By
Commissioned By
Supported By
Matched By

Festival Fun

Festival Fun

The festival is in full swing and you're invited to join in the buzz!

IG Filters

The festival is in full swing and you’re invited to join in the buzz!
Surprise your friends and colleagues with these SIFA 2023 filters
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Message Wall

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As the world opens back up from the pandemic, SIFA 2023 presents works that compel you to rediscover what it means to be people today, in all our diversity and uniqueness, existing in common spaces together.

Use this wall to share an experience which made you discover the best in people!

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Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

SIFA Advisory Panel
Chairman
Lynette Pang
Members
Sushma Soma
Magdalene Ew
Nelson Chia
Norhaizad Adam
AHL Programming Committee
Chairman
Adrian Tan
Members
Zulkifli bin Mohamed Amin
Yasmin Hannah Ramle
Eugene Lim Yingjie
Kenneth Kwok
Management
(Acting) Executive Director
Yeow Ju Li
Festival Director
Natalie Hennedige
Director, Venue Programmes / Covering Director, Programming and Producing  
Sim Wan Hui
Director, Marketing and Communications
Jasmine Gan
Director, Placemaking and Partnership Development
Lee Mun Ping
Director, Human Resource and IT
Isniati Ali
Director, Asset Management and Leasing
Rachel Chu
Director, Finance
Wee Siok Hoong
Director, Corporate Facilities Management
Stephen Oh
Group Facilities Management
Security Manager
Shri Ram
Assistant Manager
Ahmad Adli
Finance
Senior Manager
Lim Si Wei
Manager
Samantha Chua
Assistant Manager
Amanda Koh
Senior Executive
Jill Lau
Executives
Chris Tay
Lyn Yeoh
Nurulhuda Najib
Siti Nur Jazeerah
Programming and Producing
Deputy Director, Festivals
Ye JunMin
Assistant Director
Lisa Marie Lip
Senior Producers
Christie Chua
Mervyn Quek
Producer
Fezhah Maznan
Intern
Ong Xinchen
Education
Assistant Director
Geraldine Cheang
Production and Technical [SIFA]
Senior Manager, Production [Festival]
Victoria Lim
Festival Production Coordinator
Cristabel Ng
Festival Technical Manager
Kailash
Festival Senior Production Assistant
Wee Nee
Festival Technical Coordinators
Melvin Lee
Xiangbin
Executive, Administration [Technical Production]
Izyan Nooraini Binte Ramlee
Festival Production Managers
Celestine Wong
Melissa Chin
Marketing and Communications
Deputy Director
Elizabeth Wong
Assistant Director
Valerie Koh
Project Manager
Aimee Karman
Senior Executive
Megan Lee
Executive
Kimberly Kou
Senior Designer
Mohammad Firdaus Bin Wari
Festival Designer
Mylin Soh
Copywriter and Social Media Specialist
Akanksha Raja
Ticketing Specialist
Jayden Tan
Lia Tan
Video Editor
Amelia Su
Interns
Celestine Tay
Yeo Wei Jiang
Event Operations Management
Assistant Director
Emma Tagoe
Front Of House Management
Jess Chiang
Mufidah Sapari
Sandhya Silva
Vaishnavi Pumynathan
Artist Logistics and Hospitality 
Luc Toh
Natalie Wong
Sharon Wang
Secretariat and Manpower Management
Sarina Sahari
Placemaking and Partnership Development
Assistant Director
Emmanuel Paul Ng
Senior Executive
Michelle Choy
Production and Technical [Venue]
Assistant Director, Production and Technical
Mohamad Fazil Bin Sulaiman
Assistant Manager, Production and Technical (System Specialist)
Muhammad Hannan Bin Mohd Khusni
Assistant Managers, Production and Technical
Hisyamnudin Bin Shariffudin
Muhammad Asraf Bin Kadir Sharip
Production Co-ordinators, Production and Technical
Alexandra Chan
Haironissa Karim
Lee Kong Shen
Muhammad Noh Bin Sapari
Nur Hidayah Binte Esa
Riley Tan
Senior Technicians, Production and Technical
Abdul Rashid Bin Abdul Rahman
Anwar Bin Razi
Joanne Ng
Muhammad Nurhaizad Bin Johari
Muhammad Ilyas Bin Anhar
Muhammad Isyaffi Bin Mohd Isah
Mohammad Razali Bin Abdul Rahman
Muhammad Ridzwan Bin Sekimin
Muhammad Sufian Bin Mohamed Ishak
Salim Bin Sairi
Asset Management and Leasing
CENTRE MANAGEMENT

Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall / The Arts House

Centre Manager
Sophie Sham

Senior Operations Support (Tech)
Asokkumar Kannan
Muhamad Asri Bin Abdul Rahman
Muhammad Zulhilmi Bin Abas
Sharohan Bin Othman
Syafiq Bin Mohamed Yatim

Senior Manager, Facilities Management 
Muhammad Farid Bin Abdul Rahim

Technicians, Facilities Management
Mohamed Adiyat
Mohammad Helmi Bin Sajat

Operations Executive (Tech)
Muhammad Sufri Bin Azman

Stamford Arts Centre

Centre Manager
Rina Chan

Senior Manager, Facilities Management
Cindy Liew

LEASING
Manager
Racel Yee
Assistant Managers
Razak Bin Hussein
Human Resource
Senior Manager
Regina Hong
Senior Executives
Andrea Wong
Jeffrey Yeo
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