Things to fuel your escapist tendencies

  • Tired of the pandemic? Want to do something different?
  • For a breather, escape into the artistic world – take your pick from literary trails, film, virtual exhibitions to book clubs for a guaranteed weekend of fun and relaxation.
(Photo source: @yabaiyabai_ / Instagram)
(Photo source: @yabaiyabai_ / Instagram)

With 76 percent of the population fully vaccinated, we have seen the return of group gatherings and dining in at restaurants since last week. Things are indeed looking up for Singapore.

The happiest news of all? The country is planning to ease travel restrictions for fully vaccinated residents, finally giving us the licence to go overseas again.

In the meantime, let us turn to the arts, a time-tested avenue, to temporarily escape reality.

For those sick of constant reminders of the pandemic, here is a list of artistic activities you can explore for a breakaway. From multi-sensory outdoor trails, film, virtual exhibitions to book clubs, take your pick for an escapade this weekend.

Soul-search through Read! Fest Literary Trails

(23 July to 31 October)

Are you feeling like you could really use a restart eight months into the year? It is never too late for some self-introspection.

In this theme of getting a ‘Reboot’, relatable story protagonist Gerry the Salaryman brings us on a journey of self-discovery through a multi-sensory trail.

Witness Gerry pick up insights inspired by the 12 key titles of this year’s Read! Fest, including tips on staying creative and optimistic, and new outlooks on the meaning of work and labour.

Hopefully you will gain new perspectives from reflecting on the past year by the end of the trail at either East Coast Park (ECP), West Coast Park (WCP) or the National Library Building. 

Should you decide on the ECP and WCP, don’t forget to take the chance to unwind, Stroll through the beaches, hear the waves crash, feel the sun’s warmth on your skin and the breeze tousling your hair.

Installations of Gerry who brings you on an introspective and soul-searching journey, on National Library Board’s multisensory literary trail. (Photo source: @yabaiyabai_ / IG)

#WatchLocal for stories of compassion from Singapore’s past

What about taking a trip down memory lane with 15 short films by different filmmakers? These shorts showcase true stories of the 1970s through to the 1990s about Singaporeans’ selflessness.

Live vicariously in the overcrowded dwellings that lacked basic amenities and move on to experience the  urban environment of today. While the transformation is what Singapore is evocatively commemorated for, the era should also be remembered for its core lifeblood – the people – who supported one another.

The films reveal the people behind the Tinkle Friend Helpline, who lent listening ears to distressed and lonely children for 30 years, and those who volunteered with the Breast Cancer Foundation and befriended patients and their families over the decades.

Each video is dedicated to a specific charity and cause that included the elderly, people with autism and migrant workers.

As you binge watch these series of shorts, you may find yourself having Kleenex moments or even be moved to join one of the causes yourself!

15 short films showcasing true stories of compassion from Singapore’s past, with each short dedicated to a different charity and cause. (Photo source: viddsee.com)

Marvel at how museums  pivot to digital solutions

Singapore is not short of museums to visit for a small city state. But if you are concerned with crowds and are reluctant to make a trip down, don’t fret. You can still visit the galleries virtually right from the comforts of home.

Take your pick: Have a little peek into the previous health crises Singapore has weathered through, or look through the analogue lens of pioneering figures in Singapore’s photography history.

A virtual exhibition of looking through the lens of photographer Lee Sow Lim showcases how museums have pivoted to the digital. (Screenshot of virtual exhibition #NEVERBEFORESG by National Gallery Singapore)

But if you are a literary connoisseur who loves reading the likes of Shakespeare, or someone who believes anime to be the epitome of visual art, there are museums to cater to your taste a click of the mouse away. 

A 360° capture of a physical exhibition. (Screenshot of a virtual tour of the 2017 Shaking It With Shakespeare Exhibition by Singapore Philatelic Museum)

So why not let your fingers do the walking? It is always easier to museum-hop when you are spoilt for choice.

Join the book club you always wanted to

But if you prefer the breeze from flipping the pages of a good novel, then join a book club.

For a start, there are a plethora of existing book clubs available at the National Library Board that are geared to different age groups, languages, and objectives. From reading for the purpose of drawing life lessons, to appreciating local and Asian literature, you are not hard-pressed to find a suitable group to join. 

Book clubs are a good way of making friends and developing the habit of reading. (Photo source: National Library Board)

The pandemic may be tiring to live with, but thankfully, there are these endless artistic outlets we can check into for that one moment in time.

Join the conversations on TheHomeGround Asia’s Facebook and Instagram, and get the latest updates via Telegram.

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