Southeast Asia Globe gives you a rundown of the best and brightest art and culture events going on around the region this January
A night at the circus
The infamous Nitro Circus will be speeding into Manila this month for two nights of trademark death-defying spectacle and edge-of-your-seat danger. This record breaking live show was spawned from a TV series created by Johnny Knoxville of Jackass fame, and will feature head stuntman Travis Pastrana’s Southeast Asian debut as part of the world’s most successful touring extreme sports group. With riders using everything from skateboards and motorbikes to an array of seemingly impossible contraptions, those in attendance will see the fearless (read: insane) team launch themselves through the air to perform flips, twists, turns and everything in between.
WHERE: Manila, Philippines
WHEN: 19 and 20 January
That festival feeling
The ultimate hipster’s paradise, St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival prides itself on being the place to find up-and-coming alternative music. Having grown from humble beginnings celebrating new faces on the indie scene at a small Melbourne speakeasy in 2004, Laneway now showcases an impressive diversity of talent and returns this month for its eighth Singaporean appearance. Gracing the stage in the city-state this year are household indie names such as Wolf Alice, the War on Drugs and Father John Misty, as well as exciting newer acts, including the sultry soul of Moses Sumney and the jazzy, hip-hop sounds of Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals. The festival prides itself on promoting community, collaboration and self-expression, so expect plenty of colour, glitter and hippy-dippy fun.
When: 27 January
City-state of the art
Showcasing the best visual art from Singapore, Southeast Asia and beyond is the sixth annual Singapore Art Week, a citywide event that runs across 11 days later this month. Attracting locals and international visitors alike, the festival will turn the city into an impressive spectacle of exhibitions, walking tours, gallery openings, live performances and immersive multimedia shows. The pinnacle of the event is Art Stage Singapore, Southeast Asia’s flagship contemporary arts show, where hundreds of galleries from all over the world come together to showcase emerging Southeast Asian artists and world-renowned masters at the city-state’s famed Marina Bay Sands hotel.
When: 17-28 January
Century of Light at the National Gallery of Singapore brings together two exhibitions showcasing the best of European and Southeast Asian art from the 19th century. On display for the first time in the region are masterpieces of French impressionism from the likes of Monet, Renoir, Manet and Cézanne, on top of a collection of paintings by two of the most important voices in Southeast Asian art – Raden Saleh from Indonesia and Juan Luna of the Philippines. The exhibitions chronicle the rise of the post-Enlightenment impressionist movement, its influence on Southeast Asian art and the journeys of Saleh and Luna through Europe, where they struggled to negotiate a balance between their artistic identity in the continent and the strong pull homewards.
When: until 11 March
This article was published in the January edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine. For full access, subscribe here.
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