I am proud and excited to be able to share with you a menagerie of works that brings a bit more of the wild, the natural, and the instinctive into our physical and emotional spaces in the heavily built-up concrete jungle that is Singapore.
2016's Fringe is a gathering of some of our most well-loved local artists and inspiring international artists from countries such as the USA, Mexico, Canada, Czech Republic and Switzerland. Joining them is a gathering of animals, some of them in abundant existence, and others sadly rare or extinct. These works have so much to say about humanity, animals, and the relationships between each of us; human and animal alike.
Some of the works are especially notable for their thoughtful appreciation and affection for animal life, and our relationships with them; such as Migrant Ecologies Project's Railtrack Songmaps and Joshua Monten's Doggy Style. Other works confront us with urgent matters of animal protection and conservation, such as Principo…'s Human Bestiary, Pink Gajah Theatre's BI(CARA) and Andrea Cavallari's Arnia.
Works such as Marla Bendini's Tracks, Edith Podesta's BITCH: The Origin of the Female Species, Jean Tay | Saga Seed Theatre's The Shape of a Bird and the returning White Rabbit Red Rabbit by Nassim Soleimanpour explore vital questions of human freedom and liberty through more symbolic and metaphoric notions of the animal.
Then there are works that capture the playful, mystical, and imaginative realm that draws from the lenses of both child and animal, such as Zeugma's The Chronicles of One and Zero: Kancil, Christophe Canato's Ricochet and Lenka Vagnerová & Company's La Loba.
In each of the works you experience in the Fringe, I hope you will notice not only a great dedication to art-making, but also a great sensitivity to life, nature and the animal kingdom. The artists are bold, disciplined, intelligent, deeply soul-searching and admirably earnest in their craft and treatment of themes and issues.
The Fringe is a celebration of boldness, playfulness, experimentation, diversity and sensitivity. It's a celebration of unique voices and vocabularies that can potentially encourage you in the nurturing of your own thoughts, imagination and liberty. I hope you get to experience work that excites and stimulates you.
Find out more of my thoughts about each work in the 'Sean says' segment of each write-up and join our online conversations about Art and the Animal with the hashtag #M1SFF.
M1 Singapore Fringe Festival