SINGAPORE – An exciting line-up of over 20 arts and cultural programmes await Singapore at Voilah! French Festival Singapore 2018, as France and Singapore pay homage to 10 years of cultural cooperation and exchange this year. The highly-anticipated festival returns from 1 April to 5 May, highlighting the best of French-Singapore partnerships and innovation in the arts, culture and science. From exploring visual arts, film and music through new technologies and techniques, to thought-provoking showcases spotlighting issues of our time, this year’s festival offers something for everyone.
First Singaporean Patron for French Culture
Reflective of the bridging of two communities, Voilah! has named respected local thespian and personality, Hossan Leong, its first Singaporean Patron for French Culture. An artistic tour de force, Hossan helped to bring French arts and culture closer to home for many Singaporeans through his works, and in 2010, was conferred the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.
Unique French-Singapore collaborations
Leong will open this year’s Festival on 1 April in a first-time collaboration with French artist Jean Lambert-Wild and juggler Martin Palisse. The Rock’s Clown is an outdoor visual spectacle mixing poetry and humour with circus antics and a dash of Greek mythology, as the character of Sisyphus is brought to life in and around Gardens by the Bay’s Dragonfly Lake. This one-night-only performance will be the last of Jean’s Clown Parleur (The Talking Clown) trilogy.
Sound artist and composer Tarek Atoui presents his first solo exhibition in Southeast Asia, titled The Ground: From the Land to the Sea. His presentation – a spatial composition that comprises various sounds, instruments, music and new technologies – includes an aural collection with unique Singapore sounds, recorded at local harbours and waterfronts. At the core of Atoui’s practice is an on-going process of inviting composers and artists to collaborate on his pieces, in search of new ideas, gestures and experiences. Here, he has invited acclaimed local sound artists and musicians Vivian Wang and Yuen Chee Wai, and music curator Mark Wong, as well as French drummer and electro-acoustic composer, Uriel Barthélémi, to interact and create their own interpretations of his composition within the exhibition.
Inspiring a new generation of young local performers, acclaimed French choreographers Annie Vigier and Franck Apertet (Les gens d’Uterpan) have worked with the graduating dance students from LASALLE College of the Arts (School of Dance and Theatre) to present Prologue – a newly-commissioned work premiering on 6 April. A poignant piece reflecting the serendipity of the crossing of paths, the performance will be showcased as part of the students’ graduation showcase.
A Spotlight on Innovation
Voilah! 2018 also turns the spotlight towards today’s issues, presenting different perspectives through new techniques and technologies.