This week, the place to be is Hong Lim Park, where annual LGBTQ+ rally Pink Dot will be returning to a live, in-person format after two years of being streamed online. Exciting! Details below.
After two years of streaming the event online, Pink Dot (Singapore’s landmark LGBTQ+ rally) makes a return to the familiar grounds of Hong Lim Park. The 14th edition of Pink Dot is a throwback of sorts to the event’s origins as a daytime rally, inviting attendees to write messages of hope and change on physical placards to present a collective vision of what a more inclusive future looks like.
“Change can only come through collective action. We hope that people will show up, stand together with the community, and speak up for the change they want to see in Singapore,” reads the Pink Dot press release. As always, there’ll be a concert with entertainers and allies putting on colourful performances, as well as the community tent, where LGBTQ+ groups representing various issues will have stalls.
These organisations provide year-round support and have been critical to the well-being of the community over the course of the pandemic –participants are encouraged to visit the groups to engage with community leaders, gain access to resources, and learn more about LGBTQ+ issues in Singapore.
While a virtual Pink Dot comes with its advantages – greater accessibility to a wider global audience, watching from the comforts of one’s room etc – there’s something to be said for a physical coming together of people across various communities for a mutual goal.
June 18, 3pm to 7pm at Hong Lim Park, New Bridge Road
Here’s an emerging artist to look out for: Vanessa Liem. The 19-year-old will be unveiling her second solo show, titled For The Time Being, at Cuturi Gallery this weekend, where she’ll be exhibiting a new body of work of surreal self-portraits.
The paintings depict the artist as various alien-like mortal figures in cold, desolate spaces. Drawing parallels from her personal life, this series of highly figurative works are surrealistic depictions of the oppressive weight of existence, particularly hers. According to the artist, her fascination for altering the human body (her figures typically feature oversized heads and disproportionate silhouettes) began when she started to experience fever dreams; her “twisted” images are her way of translating those dreams.
“For this series, I wanted to paint how a person felt, not how a person looked. These figures are variations of myself in states of anxiety, mania, vulnerability and numbness,” says Liem.
June 18 to July 10 at Cuturi Gallery, 61 Aliwal Street
Curated by Lee Chor Lin, the exhibition will explore the rich culture of batik and batik making – but it’s not all historical artefacts. The exhibition will also showcase more contemporary expressions of batik as a fashion item (will that include Dries Van Noten?), as well as spotlighting batik-makers then and today.
There will also be a display of contemporary batik garments, comprising of some 20 loans from Binhouse, a textiles enterprise that is a main arbiter of taste for Indonesian batik fashion. Featuring silks woven on Sulawesi looms, the innovative pieces on display showcase the ingenuity of the company in reviving old motifs with additional techniques like weaving and needlework.
June 17 to Oct 2 at Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place