Chinese New Year celebrations & Iran Travel Photography

1) Celebrate Chinese New Year with dance and arts

What: Chinese New Year celebration and performances
When: Now till Feb 20
Where: VivoCity
How much: Free

Usher in the festive wave with performances by award-winning tropes from Beijing and Shanghai. There will also be an arts & crafts fair at VivoCity, highlighting the best of Chinese culture and arts. Feast your eyes on egg-shell painting, roots carving and grain arts and handicrafts from Shaanxi and Tibet.

2) ‘Leap To Spring’ Show

What: Chinese New Year celebration and performances
When: Now till Jan 30
Where: City Square Mall
How much: Free

Since being eco-friendly is the new way to go, check out City Square Mall’s eco-themed showcase of dance gymnastics, mask-changing, dragon dance and wushu.

3) The Road to Persepolis

What: Travel photography based on Iran
When: Now till Jan 29, 11am-7pm (Mon-Fri), 11am-5pm (Sat)
Where:Alliance Francaise, Societe Generale Private Banking Gallery, Level 2
How much: Free

Gilles Mascot wants to take you to Iran through his photography. Watch out for this Singapore-based Fremch photographer’s works at the Alliance Francaise.

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Howndingdown, Arts of Central Africa and Colonial Discourse

1) Not your average art exhibition: Howndingdown

What:Art installation by Mumbai-based artist T.V. Santhosh
When: Now till Feb 17, 10am to 7pm daily
Where:Tanjong Pagar Distripark, 37 Keppel Road
How much: Free

Renowned Indian painter and sculptor T.V. Santhosh wants you to stop and share at his art installation “Howndingdown”. It is a provoking image of 30 metallic German shepherd dogs arranged neatly in rows, with digital timers in red figures on their backs. This installation is part of a special collectors’ showcase in a new international art fair, Art Stage Singapore.

2) Congo River: Arts of Central Africa

Know a little more today at ACM

What: Art exhibition featuring African cultures
When: From now till April 10, 9am-7pm; except Mon 1pm-7pm; Fri 9am-9pm
Where: Special Exhibitions Gallery, Asian Civilisations Museum
How much: $8 for adults, $4 with concession

The mighty river of Congo, known as the ‘river that swallows all rivers’, links the nations of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Gabon. Expect beautifully-made sculptures and masks used in African traditions. The exhibition features works by Pablo Picasso, who was strongly influenced by African art as he developed modernist art. This exhibition is the first of its kind to be held in Southeast Asia. 

3) Silent Coercion: Sumatra’s East Coast Through A Colonial Lens

What: Exhibition about the importance of photography in colonial discourse
When: Now till Feb 6, 10am-6pm
Where: The Canyon, Basement, National Museum of Singapore
How much: Free

History buffs would be interested to take a look at the 64 images taken on Sumatra’s East Coast while it was under Dutch colonial rule. This exhibition serves to highlight the functional aspect of photography in colonial discourse as well as understanding stories captured with a camera’s lens.

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Thoughts of Gulag, My Cosmos & Old Places

1) Thoughts of Gulag

What: Solo arts exhibition about expressions towards labour camps
When: Now till Jan 31
Where: The Private Museum, 51 Waterloo Street, #02-06
How much: Free

Singapore-based British artist James Holdsworth expresses his emotional reactions towards documentary footage of labour camps around the world. He uses large oil paintings, charcoal and pastel drawings in this solo exhibition.

2) My Cosmos: From My Room to My City

What: Architectural exhibition by Ito Toyo
When: Now till Feb 25, 1oam to 6pm. Closed on Sun & Mon, Feb 3 & 4
Where:Japan Creative Centre, 4 Nassim Road
How much: Free Admission

A renowned Japanese architect, Ito Toyo whose works include VivoCity, now explores the architecture of the 21st century by going beyond modernism’s purity and machine analogy. He wants to create a ‘cosmos’ in which architecture and nature can flow freely, and be rid of the typical skyscraper forms with grid systems we often see.

3) Old Places film

Catch the Old Places film at the Esplanade library

What:Local film revolving around Singapore’s nostalgic places
When: January 14, 7:30pm-9pm
Where: Open stage in library@esplanade
How much: Free Admission

If you are a sentimental person, you don’t want to miss Old Places, a film directed by acclaimed local director Royston Tan of 881, together with Victric Thng and Eva Tang. The film revolves around the old and forgotten places of Singapore, like the Seletar Airbase and Haw Par Villa.

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Aromascape, Transformations from Pain to Power, Digital Experience

1) Smell the Aromascape of Singapore

What: Scent-sasional workshop
When: Now till Jan 16, 10am to 7pm daily, until 9pm on Fridays
Where: Singapore Art Museum, Glass Porch, Level 2
How much: Free Admission. Usual admission fees to other SAM galleries applicable.

Japanese artist Maki Ueda, who is currently based in Netherlands captures unique scents of Singapore, from durians, food stands, the smells of a market and even garbage and puts in a bottle. This workshop has a combination of lectures and hands-on field work.

2) Another Me: Transformations from Pain to Power

What:Photographic exhibition in which victims are transformed
When: Now till Jan 16, 10am to 10pm
Where: ION Orchard, Level 4
How much: Free Admission

An interesting photography exhibition in which the featured are survivors of drug trafficking, rape or abuse, or children of sex workers. Achinto Bhadra, the photographer who is based in Kolkata, transforms these victims by using make up and elaborate costumes. The process begins when the women attend counselling, and are asked to imagine themselves as empowered persons.

3) A Digital Experience with Stefano Virgilli

What: Photography talk about post-processing
When: 7 Jan, 7pm to 9pm
Where: Programme Space, Singapore Art Museum at 8Q
How much: Free Admission

Learn how to improve the quality of your digital images with Stefano Virgilli, who has been teaching 2D graphic design and post production since 2000. He will be touching on photo post-processing and colour profile.

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Countdown Marina Bay, President’s Design Award, Valentino Fashion

1) Be there when the clock strikes 12: Countdown at Marina Bay

Party among the backdrop of Marina Bay Sands

What: Countdown party to New Year 2011
When: 31 December, 7pm
Where: Esplanade Waterfront & Marina Bay
How much: Free Admission

The national countdown party of the year, which will be televised via Channel News Asia, will be held amidst icons such as Marina Bay Sands. Dazzling fireworks are expected, so is a great crowd. Wishing spheres with handwritten wishes will be set afloat to usher in a new year of new hope.

2) President’s Design Award Exhibition 2010

What: Exhibition showcasing award-winning works
Now till 10 Feb 2011, 8:30am-7pm, except Sat 8:30am-4:30pm. Closed on Sun & PH
Where: The URA Centre, 45 Maxwell Road
How much: Free Admission

The President’s Design Award is Singapore’s highest design prize. Check out this exhibition presenting the works of the Designers of the Year and Designs of the Year to wrap things up for 2010.

3) Fashion exhibition: Valentino, Retrospective: Past/Present/Future

What: Exhibition of haute couture designs
Now till Feb 13 2011
Where: Resorts World Convention Centre
How much: $12 from Sistic

Art and fashion lovers, take note. An exhibition developed by Paris’ acclaimed institution, Les Arts Decoratifs, there are a hundred charming haute couture designs from founder Valentino Garavani’s collection. There are also present-day works by current creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli.

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Christmas Concert, Recycled Xmas Tree & Mt Everest Travel Photography

1) Catch the Christmas Day Grand Concert

Christmas light-up at Orchard Road

What: Christmas performances and carolling at Orchard Road
When: 25 December, 7:30pm
Where: Orchard Road, infront of Tangs shopping mall
How much: Free Admission

What with the dramatic Christmas light-ups and tall decorated trees, performances and spotaneous carolling on Orchard Road will complete the picture. Grab the chance to take photographs of the parade floats and also take the time to give gifts to selected charities.

2) Have a green Christmas at Sentosa, the eco-friendly way

What: Christmas celebration with various art and craft programmes and displays
When: Now till 2 Jan
Where: Sentosa
How much: Free Admission, island admission fees apply

Retreat from the bright lights and glitter of Orchard Road to Sentosa where a 4-metre high Christmass tree is made of 1,000 recycled bottles. Haven’t bought Christmas gifts for your loved ones yet? Learn how to make a unique gift, out of recycled materials. There are also professional sculptors to teach you how to make your own sandcastle!

3) Immerse yourself with travel photography  of Mount Everest

What: Photo exhibition of trek to Mount Everest
When: Now till Dec 31, except Sundays
Where: Room with a view Cafe-Gallery
How much: Free admission

Mark Senett, from Drift Photography has exhibited his travel photographs from his trek to Mount Everest Base Camp. If you are interested in travel photography, check out this exhibition at Room With A View, a cafe-gallery.

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Toy, Games & Comic Covention, Cinderelah, Trans-Cool Tokyo

1) Pop culture at Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Convention (STGCC)

What: Showcase of comics, anime, film, toys, collectibles and games
When: 10-12 Dec
Where: Suntec Singapore, Halls 401 & 402
How much: 1-day pass $10.70, 3-day pass $21.40

If you are a collector, comic artist or gaming enthusiast, you will surely enjoy the Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Convention (STGCC). A world of comics, anime, film, toys, collectibles and games await, united in East meets West fashion. Check out the latest products, personalities and characters of pop culture and entertainment.
2) Split sides at Cinderel-LAH!

What:A W!ld Rice comedy production
When: Now till 11 Dec
Where: Esplanade
How much:  $29-$99

Even the kids loved it. Cinderel-LAH is a remake of the original fairytale told the Singaporean way – with men dressing as women, songs, dances, jokes and audience interaction.

3) Japanese culture awaits at Trans-Cool Tokyo

Trans-Cool Tokyo will be at Singapore Art Museum

What: Japanese contemporary art exhibition
When: Now till 13 Feb 2011
Where: Singapore Arts Museum at 8Q
How much:  Free Admission

If you are into Japanese contemporary art, Trans-Cool Tokyo features over 40 works from the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo collection. There are various mediums displayed, from painting, sculpture, performance, photography and video.

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Magic in Singapore, Sentosa Busker Fest & Arabian Nights

1) There’s Magic Everywhere in Singapore

Magic flows in the Asian Civilisations Museum this season

What: A magical journey to discover museums and the heritage of Singapore
When: Now till Dec 12
Where: Various museums
How much:  Both Free & Ticketed events available

Maybe it’s the Harry Potter movie going on, but magic seems  to be the ‘in’ thing now. Explore Singapore presents There’s Magic Everywhere with its 30 events in 15 museums islandwide. Highlights of the event include Singapore’s popular illusionists JC Sum and “Magic Babe” Ning as they perform tricks and attempt to vanish 5 spectators at the Asian Civilisation Museum. There’s also an Art Mart at the Peranakan Museum where you can shop around for quirky and creative designed-by-Singaporeans items.

2) Sentosa Buskers Festival 2010

What: A busker festival of street acts led by international talents
When: Nov 27 – Dec 5, 4pm – 10pm
Where:Imbiah at Sentosa
How much:  Free, with the usual island admission fees payable

The Sentosa Buskers Festival is an inaugural event with international talents performing for the first time in Singapore. Headliners include veteran football juggler Victor Rubilar who is a four-time Guinness World Records winner, Kate Moir a.k.a The Living Statue, Jeff Bradly, a.k.a The Comedian and much more.

For more information on Sentosa, click here.

3) Get enchanted at The Arabian Nights

What: A theatre and musical performance
When: 26 November – 12 December, Wed-Thur 3pm; Fri-Sat 3pm & 7:30pm; Sun 11am & 5pm
Where: The Singapore Airlines Theatre, LaSalle College of the Arts
How much:  $33 (Weekday Matinee), $36 (Evening & Weekend)

A wild combination of magic, princesses, heroes and adventures awaits, with the use of live theatre, puppetry and music. A recommended family musical that is also suitable for anyone who wants to go on a magic carpet ride.

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Affordable Art Fair, German Film Festival & Graffiti Art

1) Buy a piece of art at The Affordable Art Fair Singapore

What: A place for art lovers to buy afforable art pieces
When:19 – 21 November
Where: F1 Pit Building, No. 1 Republic Boulevard, Singapore
How much: $7 (Students/Seniors) $10 (Public Day ) $15 (Family Package)  *Early bird discounts available*

If you think buying art is boring and for the rich only, consider the Affordable Art Fair. Aptly named, this art gallery event has Singapore to kick-start its first Asian edition, and offers contemporary art like paintings and sculptures from $100 to $10,000. Following the success of Affordable Art Fair(s) in London, New York and Milan, this event aims to make buying art accessible, and has exhibitors from around the globe – Australia, China, France, Germany and much more. Early bird discounts are available at Sistic.

2) The best of films is at the 14th German Film Festival

What: A showcase of award-winning German films and co-productions
When: Now till 21 November
Where: The Cathay Cineplex and Cathay Cineleisure
How much: $10 ($9* for Members of Goethe-Institut, students, seniors and NSF) at The Cathay Cineplex, Level 1 & 5

Described as a showcase of the ‘creme de la crop’ of German films, the 14th German Film Festival will bring a total of 27 award-winning films and co-productions with varied genres from mystery thrillers, comedies, historical dramas and frustrating love stories. The highlight of the event is The White Ribbon, which is set on the eve of WW1, revealing “a brilliant yet disturbing, dour tale of dirty secrets, religious repression and horrors kept behind closed doors.”

3) Sprayed by art: The Spectacular Spectacular By ZERO

Graffiti art at Haji Lane

What:An exhibition revolving around graffiti art and consumer culture
When: Now till 21 November, 12 – 9pm
Where: The Substation Gallery
How much: Free Admission

Graffiti art has been making headlines lately, with the recent graffiti-decorated MRT train and mailbox case. In The Spectacular Spectacular By ZERO , local graffiti artist  Zul Othman aka ZERO, explores the relationship between graffiti art, advertising, and youth-slanted consumer cultures.

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Photography Festival, Yoga In The Park, 1930s Movie Magic

*Updated: Venue of Event Below*

1) What you never knew about Box Office Hits - Magic of Movie Marketing

What: A showcase of vintage movie marketing pieces
When: Now till December 16, 12 – 8pm
Where: The Cathay Gallery, The Cathay
How much: Free

Curious about how movies were advertised in the 1930s, way before eye-catching models were used and Photoshop ruled? Head down to The Magic of Movie Marketing which showcases creative and unique ways of promoting publicity in the bygone era. There are also rare and vintage pieces from The Cathay’s collection and archives.

Click here for more information on The Cathay.

2) Zoom in at the Singapore International Photography Festival

What: Biennial worldwide gathering and platform for photographers 
When: Now till 13 Oct
Where: Various places
How much: Both free & ticketed events available

If you are looking for inspiration or chances to sharpen your photography skills, the Singapore International Photography Festival has got workshops, photo tours, exhibitions and more to help. “5 Magazine Assignments That Changed My Life” is an industry talk by award-winning documentary photographer Justin Guariglia. He shares ‘behind-the-scenes’ experiences on photographing five life-changing experiences, from child sex slavery in Cambodia to Bali’s nightclub bombings. Admission is free for this talk, but registration is required.

3) Eat, Pray and Do Yoga at Botanic Gardens

Yoga In The Park offers a retreat at Botanic Gardens, rather than air-conditioned gyms

What: Yoga class conducted outdoors; great for nature lovers
When: 13 November and other Saturdays, 5:30 pm
Where:Meeting Place – Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, Botanic Gardens
How much: $20 per class, $190 for 10 classes. Private classes also available.

If you are inspired by the movie Eat, Pray, Love to seek spiritual and emotional healing by going to Italy, India and Bali but can’t get away, try Yoga In The Park. With a class of 10 pax maximum, the Anusara yoga session is unique as it is conducted outdoors at Botanic Gardens - not quite Bali, but the manicured greenery makes up for it. Email to book your spot.

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