Chinese New Year preparations kicks off and art takes centre stage this upcoming weekend — here are some of the activities you’ll want to enjoy whether you’re at home or out and about!
1. CNY Fair 2021 at Takashimaya
It’s that time of the year again to start shopping for Chinese New Year! Takashimaya’s annual fair may be reduced to a total of 24 stalls from 60 last year due to COVID restrictions but don’t worry, there’s still enough brands participating so you don’t have to go home empty-handed. Some of them to look forward to are Asian T.Abalone, BBQ Chef, HarriAnns Nonya Table, King of Melon Seeds, My Mum’s Cookies, and Rasa Sayang.
Unfortunately due to safety measures, sampling of food will not be available this year and only an estimated 28 shoppers will be allowed into the hall in Basement 1 at any one time. The location of the fair which was originally the mall’s atrium is now spread across Basement 1 and 2. For eager shoppers heading down this weekend, there are special deals to look out for — an Early Bird Special of up to 20 per cent off on selected brands, and the first 200 DBS Takashimaya Cardholders per day will receive a S$10 CNY voucher with a minimum spend of S$200 (maximum of three same-day receipts).
2. Chinatown Street light-up
More exciting CNY news! The Chinatown Street light-up is synonymous with the official start of CNY festivities, and this year it even goes digital! Watch the 880 metre light-up of lanterns in the shape of pomelos, blossom trees, and ingots. There will also be 88 ox lanterns that will illuminate Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road. In total, there will be 888 lanterns lighting up the precinct.
Visitors who would like to observe the light-up are reminded to abide by safe management measures. Alternatively, they can watch it from their homes as the event will be live-streamed on Chinatown Festivals’ Facebook Page on Saturday at 8 p.m. Other than the light-up, there will also be other programmes like short films about Chinese New Year delicacies to look forward to, streamed on the Chinatown Festivals’ Facebook page this month and the next.
3. Art-making in difficult times
Art-lovers will want to tune in to this one. Join three female artists, Eunice Lacaste, Winnie Li, and Veronyka Lau as they discuss the difficulties of pursuing art amidst the pandemic. Sharing their experiences on how they navigated the changes to their arts practice and how important it is to build on the arts community as a safe space for diverse voices to be heard.
Conducted entirely on Zoom, this event is free for anyone with a myLibrary ID. If you do not have a myLibrary ID, you can create one here. The talk takes place on 23 January, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and registration can be done via this link.
4. Open books: I want to go home – outdoor installation
If you’re familiar with Wesley Leon Aroozoo’s I Want To Go Home, you’ll be thrilled to know that there’s an experiential art installation that takes inspiration from the novel. The book that touches on poignant messages of hope and love is translated into an immersive multi-sensory installation co-curated and designed by Mural Lingo and The Arts House.
The installation which runs in conjunction with Light to Night 2021 brought multidisciplinary artists together to breathe life into the literary work and audiences will be treated to an intimate nautical underwater projection and mural art. They will also be able to read and tune into selected excerpts from the book, as part of an audio-visual experience. The event takes place at The Art House from 22 January to 28 February 2021, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free.
5. Singapore Art Week (SAW)
Returning islandwide for a ninth edition from 22 to 30 January 2021, this annual festival takes on a new hybrid format across both physical and digital platforms this year. Under a fitting theme of “Art Takes Over”, this edition takes place at the usual art and cultural institutions such as National Gallery Singapore and arts spaces within Gillman Barracks, but also beyond.
The festival will venture into unconventional public spaces and neighbourhoods including Bras Basah Complex, Tanjong Pagar Distripark, national parks, bus stops and more, making art more accessible to the masses. Full programme listings can be found on the SAW website and don’t forget to check out the SAW Digital page which also offers virtual programmes that supplement the physical.