Festival Commission

The Neon Hieroglyph


By Tai Shani (United Kingdom)

27 – 29 May
Fri – Sun, 8pm
Pasir Panjang Power Station


Message from ED

Message from the Executive Director

It seems almost obvious that in the face of the incredible uncertainty of this current moment– that reclaiming and reaffirming the rituals of our daily lives has become ever more important as a bulwark against the shifting sands of contemporary existence. The constancy, history and repetitiveness of social rituals seem almost a comfort and source of solace.
For many of us, the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) is an annual ritual we all look forward to. This year, celebrate a long-awaited return to whatever new normal awaits us, the SIFA team will deliver bold new artistic experiences for everyone to enjoy,  safely of course.

AHL as the festival organiser is proud to have with us Natalie Hennedige to helm SIFA as Festival Director from 2022 to 2024. As a recipient of the National Arts Council Young Artist Award in 2007 and the JCCI Singapore Foundation Culture Award in 2010, Natalie is known for presenting progressive, cross-disciplinary work exploring contemporary issues.

Tan Boon Hui



SIFA 2022 reflects a dissolution of categories or labels; to invite, instead, and adopt artistically fluid collaborations and collaborators, gathering within individual creations a range of artistic disciplines, practices and perspectives. The festival invites practitioners of vivid cultural hues from different walks of life to embrace a blending of genres, artistic disciplines and internationality – in performances made by artists with strong and unique perspectives – in the poly-dynamic and universal language of art.
This echoes the ways in which contemporary performance is being made in the world. Also, importantly, it reflects how our dialogue with each other on a human level requires nuance because we live in systems of such complexity, within a world having gone through serious bouts of illness and faced with pertinent social and political movements that continue to test our passions and challenge us. The performing arts, therefore, needs to be upheld as space for reflection, openness and nuanced creative articulation to be freely expressed.
It was important for me too that SIFA be a platform for originality, propelling artists and performance creation coming from Singapore, while imagining what a meaningful international dynamic looks like within our city's pinnacle performing arts festival.
Natalie Hennedige

A note from Tai Shani

A Note from Tai Shani

I have always been interested in how histories are constructed, the ideological forces that govern what we consider as “worthy” of collective remembrance or “of value”. Histories are always only a small part of a picture, a part that matters in direct relation to power, as a useful ‘myth’ that upholds the status quo of the dominance of that power, or a part that needs to be erased or forgotten to also maintain a status quo. 

The history of ‘Ergot’ as such does not exist: it is a series of disparate phenomena, mythologies, folklore and bits of scientific knowledge. I wanted to use these nodes to create a feminised speculative history that would bring together these fragments into a poetic consideration, and builds a world that orbits around that strange history, a world built around psychedelic senses of collectivity, rejects heroic narratives, and is committed to the ridiculous miraculousness of life and the responsibilities and pleasures that demands towards each other. An Ergot laced world that asks: what if we were egalitarian, green, anti-supremacist, horizontal, no borders, communists that lived for pleasure?

I would hope for the audience to have a sense of hopefulness in the potentials of recognising our interconnectivity, between each other now, but also between each other across time, an acknowledgment that we are indebted to the those in the past that fought against injustices and forged more equitable ways of navigating our society, but we are also indebted to each other in the future that will have to live with the brutal consequences of a profoundly mismanaged world if we do not recognise that interconnectivity which extends beyond the human. We live in a fragile ecology that sustains us, but our spiritual ecology is no less precarious and the hierarchical, supremacist systems we are committed to are a threat to us.

Tai Shani
Creator, The Neon Hieroglyph
Tai Shani
Creator, The Neon Hieroglyph




Tai Shani
Jo Kukathas
VFX Director, 3D Artist and Animator
Adam Sinclair
Score and Sound Design
Maxwell Sterling
The Spirit
Molly Moody
Additional CG Artist
Stefano Tsai
Additional Modeling Support
Lotti V Closs
Production Assistant
Mika Lapid
Spatial Designer
Randy Chan (ZARCH)
Lighting Designer
Sound System Designer
Jeffrey Yue (Ctrl Fre@k)
Multimedia System Support
Brian Gothong Tan
SIFA Producer
Mervyn Quek
Production Manager
Cindy Yeong
Technical Manager
Huang Xiangbin
Stage Manager
Tennie Su
Production Assistant
Chong Wee Nee
Assistant Lighting Designer and Programmer
Yeo Tejay
Front of House Sound Engineer
Elim Lew (Ctrl Fre@k)
Multimedia Operator
Nursyahirah Zulkinia

The film series The Neon Hieroglyph was commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival. The project is also commissioned by The British Art Show, and is developed in collaboration with Serpentine’s Back to Earth project.



Tai Shani

Tai Shani's multidisciplinary practice, comprising performance, film, photography and installation, revolves around experimental narrative texts. Shani creates violent, erotic and fantastical images told in a dense, floral language which re-imagines female otherness as a perfect totality, set in a world complete with cosmologies, myth and histories that negate patriarchal narratives.

Jo Kukathas

Jo Kukathas is a Malaysian writer, director, actor and Artistic Director of The Instant Cafe Theatre Company which was formed in 1989 to create political satire and multilingual contemporary theatre. She has co-created and directed a number of cross cultural works notably in Japan, Singapore and Malaysia and has run theatre workshops in Brazil, Taiwan, Japan, Australia as well as online.


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.  
Under the helm of Festival Director Natalie Hennedige from 2022 to 2024, SIFA will focus on performance and creation in the physical and online space, around the theme The Anatomy of Performance.
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 is the cultural place manager of Singapore’s Civic District. It manages two key national monuments – The Arts House, a multidisciplinary arts centre with a focus on literary programming, and the Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall, a heritage building that is home to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. It also runs performing arts space Drama Centre as well as three creative enclaves for artists, arts groups and creative businesses - the Goodman Arts CentreAliwal Arts Centre and Stamford Arts Centre.

AHL organises the Singapore International Festival of Arts – an annual pinnacle performing arts festival; as well as the Singapore Writers Festival – a multilingual festival presenting the world’s leading literary talents. In addition, AHL manages Our Cultural Medallion Story – the showcase on Singapore’s Cultural Medallion recipients at The Arts House.

AHL was set up in 11 December 2002 as a public company limited by guarantee under the National Arts Council and was officially renamed Arts House Limited on 19 March 2014. For more information, visit

Special Thanks To

Festival Sponsors
Official Hotel

Official Logistics Partner

Official Outdoor Media Partner
Official Airline

Official Technical Sponsor of Pasir Panjang Power Station Programmes
Catering Partner for Opening Reception
Festival Donors

Jeremy Lee
Mr & Mrs Victor & Michelle Sassoon


Organised By
Commissioned By
Supported By
Matched By


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Executive Director:
Tan Boon Hui
Festival Director:
Natalie Hennedige
Senior Director, Strategy and Planning:
Yeow Ju Li
Senior Director, Programming & Producing:
Ken Tan
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:
Oh Boon Ping
Director, Corporate Facilities Management:
Saburulla S/O Abdul Gani
Corporate FM
Security Manager:
Shri Ram
Asst Manager:
Ahmad Adli
Managers and Executives:
Amanda Koh
Chris Tay
Huang Shuncong
Jill Lau
Lyn Yeoh
Samantha Chua
Siti Nur Jazeerah
Programming & Producing
Senior Producers:
Christie Chua
Mervyn Quek
Ye JunMin
Fezhah Maznan
Hoo Kuan Cien
Senior Manager, Programmes:
Lisa Marie Lip
Ai Honda
Production & Technical
Senior Production Managers:
Mohamed Fazil Bin Sulaiman
Cindy Yeong
Production Coordinators:
Celestine Wong
Melissa Chin
Alexandra Chan
Technical Managers:
Muhammad Hannan Bin Mohd Khusni
Technical Coordinators:
Huang Xiangbin
Iswadi Bin Razle
Executive, Administration:
Izyan Nooraini
Marketing and Communications
Principal Manager:
Elizabeth Wong
Senior Managers:
Valerie Koh
Winnie Chan
Kelly Roxanne
Project Manager:
Benny Tan
Senior Executive:
Vanessa Tan
Megan Lee
Senior Designers:
Mohammad Firdaus bin Wari
Muhammad Hakim Bin Rahim
Festival Designer:
Mylin Soh
Ticketing Specialist:
Allison Lai
Ticketing Assistant:
Chew Ying Ying
Copywriter and Social Media Specialist:
Adeline Loh
Video Editor:
Amelia Su
Sue-Anne Gouk
Mohamed Tawfiq Bin Mohamed Ismail
Placemaking and Partnership Development
Christine Leong
Project Coordinator:
Natalie Sim
Asset Management and Leasing

Venue Managers:
Sophie Sham
Dorothy Neo
Kenneth Chng
Rina Chan

Manager, Leasing:
Salyn Yap
Debbie Yan
Assistant Manager, Leasing:
Razak Bin Hussein
Junainy Jamila
Human Resource
Senior Manager:
Regina Hong
Senior Executives:
Andrea Wong
Jeffrey Yeo
Event Operations Management
Senior Manager, Event Operations Management:
Emma Izzabella Tagoe
Manager, Front-Of-House:
Sharon Wang Mei Yun
Manager, Front-Of-House:
Sai Sandhya Silvalingam
Senior Executive, Front-Of-House:
Chiang Heng Jie Jess
Senior Executive, Front-Of-House:
Wong Jia Hui Natalie
Manager, Back-Of-House Hospitality:
Toh Sie Ming (Luc)
Senior Executive, Back-Of-House Hospitality:
Koh Ngiap Siong Gerald
Manager, Artist Logistics:
Patrick Anthony Chan
Senior Executive, Secretariat & Manpower Management:
Au Min Li