NEW YORK: People in New York have been flocking to Madison Square Park for an unusual experience of Singaporean culture.
Singapore: Inside Out, which has already visited Beijing and London, is a travelling showcase organised by the country’s tourist board, highlighting the island’s best contemporary creative artistic talents - from drama to music to cooking.
Curated by architect and artist Randy Chan, Singapore: Inside Out is an interactive celebration of the country’s best talents.
At the showcase, one can help paint what started off as a white cube as part of artist Speak Cryptic’s installation, sample literature curated by the poet Alvin Pang, listen to the latest sounds of Singapore in a special booth, or get a taste of Singapore by helping oneself to chef Janet Wong’s edible art, which includes kaffir lime caramel and barbeque pork lollipops.
"Basically what I wanted to curate here was actually tasting the flavours of Singapore through the art,” said Wong. “So people are basically changing the art, evolving the art, every single second and moment, and they have a story to tell, a piece of participation."
Singapore: Inside Out in the heart of New York City in Madison Square Park is all about showcasing the best of Singapore - technology, art, drama, dance, music and cuisine. One of the evening’s biggest draws is the Singaporean-themed burger, created specially by Shake Shack.
There is also a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds - T.H.E company, which represents the many dynamic layers that make up the Singaporean society, also performed their dance Permission to Speak, Sir.
The idea behind the whole showcase is to present a microcosm of the country’s growing arts scene to famously creative New Yorkers.
"There’s so many things to learn about us and I just want them to be interested,” said Actress Tan Kheng Hua. “And I hope that Singapore: Inside Out just piques a little bit of their interest and they go home and find out about us and continue this dialogue that we’ve started."
For the guest of honour, Singapore's Ambassador to the US H E Ashok Mipuri, this is all about revealing a new, lesser-known side.
"People know Singapore for its strengths - business, finance, clean and green. The arts has been a very new part of the economy,” he said. “This just adds a new dimension to it - the idea being that, you know from the perspective of soft diplomacy, really offering a different dimension to how people see Singapore."
The exhibits will be available to Singaporeans in November, when the showcase finally heads for home.